The application of mechanical principles for solving biological problems has been dynamically expanding and CAE simulations have found effective application for biomechanics studies. Examples of such applications include analyses on the behavior of femurs before and after the application of hip prostheses, the determination of the stresses occurring at joint discs under static forces, and the estimation of design parameters of implants. Other studies include CFD analysis of the blood flowing in the vertebral arteries, enhancement of stent designs via CFD simulations and investigation of flow irregularities. These however are only a few examples amongst the numerous applications of CAE in the industry and today the need to understand failures and performance through various design scenarios makes CAE infiltrate deeply into life sciences.
Bioengineering analyses however pose difficult challenges. The geometries are usually irregular and not easily represented while material properties are inhomogeneous, anisotropic, and nonlinear. Drawing its expertise through the intensive application and development for many industries for 20 years, BETA CAE Systems products suite addresses such challenges offering a complete toolbox for biomechanics pre- and post- processing and accommodates all features and tools required for multidisciplinary analyses in a single environment.
The complexity of the geometries involved in biomechanics studies makes ANSA pre-processor a unique option due to its advanced geometry handling capabilities. Geometric entities are easily handled and manipulated by numerous integrated tools and geometrical errors are automatically identified, isolated and fixed. CAD definitions are supported for numerous formats such as CATIA V4, CATIA V5, NX PTC Creo (Pro/Engineer), inventor, Solidworks, JT, IDES, STEP, and VDA.
ANSA pre-processor offers state-of-the-art meshing capabilities that easily meet the meshing requirements and quality criteria for both shell and solid mesh in less than 75% of the time needed by other software. It embodies numerous quality mesh criteria for detecting elements that can cause hour glassing, shear locking, or element-collapse phenomena -depending on the solver-, and offers automatic and manual functions for fixing them. As models in biomechanics have complex geometry it is needed to generate the mesh considering the smallest details. However, to decrease computational time it is also needed to create the least possible number of elements. Addressing this need ANSA offers the option to use size boxes for the refinement of specific regions and a fully automated curvature dependent surface meshing that allows the control of the growth rate, min & max element size and mesh feature angle to create a flexible mesh with small element size at regions of high importance and a coarse mesh in regions of low importance. Moreover, our pre-processor offers automatic volume detection and definition, unstructured volume mesh generation of tetra, prism, pyramid, hexa and polyhedral elements, and structured or pure hexa-volume mesh generation through map and sweep algorithms or HexaBlock tools while a very robust algorithm ensures high quality layers generation all around complex model geometries.
ANSA offers powerful automation capabilities for surface and volume meshing through the Batch Mesh Tool that respects the user specified quality criteria and mesh parameters. Among others, the Batch Mesh tool offers automatic feature recognition and de-featuring, deferent meshing sessions for different areas of the model, and local refinement or coarsening. A process that can be applied repeatedly on new geometries, based on part or property name filtering conventions, ensuring mesh consistency and saving time and resources. META provides the analyst with a unique range of powerful tools to set up automated 3D and 2D post processing tasks. Special action based language (session), Python programming and user defined toolbars can boost productivity offering limitless automation capabilities.
ANSA pre-processor and META post-processor in combination with all popular optimization codes provide a complete tool for optimization applications. From concept design to final testing, ANSA & META package brings enormous performance and versatility to optimization problem set-up. The powerful morphing tools are able to adapt an existing meshed model or geometry to similar (patient specific) geometries, sustaining the complex grid characteristics that have been considered at the initial meshed model.
"ANSA is by far the best tetrahedral element meshing software that our lab has used for meshing complex biological structures.
ANSA is able to consistently and quickly create well shaped elements and provides nice gradients in element size between more refined zones and coarser zones. The other tetrahedral meshing packages that we have used created meshes with poorly shaped elements (i.e. slivers) and/or created gradients in element size that were too large. These types of meshes perform poorly when used for the highly deformable, nonlinear analyses needed for our biomechanics research. One of ANSA’s primary benefits is the ability to trim an imported surface mesh along a curve; particularly important when working with meshes created in segmentation software. Furthermore, the support of ANSA by BETA CAE is wonderful. Our questions have been answered quickly, clearly, and thoroughly.
The Musculoskeletal Research Laboratories greatly appreciates our working relationship with BETA CAE and uses ANSA for most of our biomechanics research requiring finite element analysis."