Thursday, February 19, 2009

Python and Abaqus

Recently I had the opportunity to work with a student who needed to perform a Finite Element Analysis on roughly 400 files using Abaqus. Processing such large number of images using the graphical user interface would have been impractical. We were happy to learn that Abaqus has a python scripting module which could help us with the automation.

We set about writing the python program from the individual function calls given in their manuals. But considering the scope of the software and its complexity, the approach quickly became difficult. Instead, we resorted to creating "macros" and modifying it to our purpose.

Creating Macros

The macros in Abaqus lets you perform a series of operations and record them as python scripts. The scripts by default are stored in "" with each macro recorded as a function. Since the macro was created for a particular model, we modified the names in the function " Entire_Work_Flow" to be generic so that other models can be loaded. We then added other functions that will call the function created using macro.

The other function created were "getvalues" that obtains the relavant von mises stress values from the ODB file. The main function reads each of the solid model (.sat file) in a given directory and passes the filename to the macro function. It then calls getvalues function and stores the result in a CSV file for further analysis.

To run the script, type "abaqus cae -noGUI".

The Entire_Work_Flow has been trimmed to show only the relevant lines that corresponds to creation of the name of parts, instance and job name.

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