Generate an FEA Report in Inventor Professional 2014

30 Jun, 2013 By: Radu Stancescu

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Any Inventor user can create a finite element analysis (FEA) report by following these steps.

Editor's Note: This tutorial courtesy of IMAGINiT Technologies.

Generating a report of an analysis simulation shouldn't be a challenge for any Inventor user. I will be covering the following topics in this article: linear static analysis assumptions, legend settings, report formats, and publishing results as DWF, DWFX, and PDF documents.

Linear Static Analysis Assumptions

Before diving into the "report zone," there are some things we need to consider:

  • We are in the elastic zone where we assume the material fully recovers to its preloaded state when loads are removed; as a consequence, the simulation excludes post yielding, plastic and large deformation, large strains, the effects of orthotropic and anisotropic material behavior, and more.
  • The assumption applies to material linearity where stress–strain ratios are constant during the loading (no time variation).
  • Element compatibility and constitutive relationships are linear and the stiffness matrix does not change.
  • Equilibrium is satisfied in the un-deformed configuration.
  • Displacements are directly proportional to the loads; stress is directly proportional to strain.

Make sure that these underlying assumptions are valid for your model behavior; otherwise, the results could lead to irrelevant and incorrect design conclusions. In cases where your model operates outside the linear region, consider further investigation using simulation resources that can account for nonlinear behavior. Autodesk Simulation Mechanical 2014 provides extensive capabilities for such needs.

Legend (Color Bar) Settings

The color bar displays the range of the results being shown. The color bar is posted in the graphics region and can be relocated within the graphics region by activating the Color Bar command. By default, it's displayed on the top/right side of the screen and could be changed anywhere you like.

Also you can change the maximum and minimum threshold settings to reorientate the colors and to more easily understand the results. A monochromatic or grayscale color bar is also available.

Report Formats

The command is easily accessible from the Stress Analysis tab or Report panel. The Report dialog box is divided into four sections: General, Properties, Simulations, and Format.


Here you can find many controls for changing the report including:

  • Author, Title, Report Location, etc. (General tab)
  • Several iProperties (Properties tab)
  • Simulation Analyses previously run on this model.

You can customize this by selecting the material, boundary conditions (loads, constraints), and results (specify what type of result you need to include in the report; most people look at Von Misses Stress, Displacement, Safety Factor, and Reaction Force).

It is very important to note that you can select which simulation you want to print in the report (in this case, I have Simulation 1 with regular mesh and Simulation 2 with a finer mesh). Caution: By selecting All to include many simulations, you can create a very elaborate report that could overwhelm the reader with information and pictures.

The Output (report format) has three options:

  • Web page — multiple files
  • Web page — single file
  • Rich Text Format — RTF extension (my favorite). (Use the last setting to report all results to a single RTF file; Microsoft Word is required to generate the RTF file.)

Of course, you can update an existing report by running a different simulation and overwriting it.



Publish Stress Analysis Results in DWF, DWFX, and PDF Files

Autodesk data can be published in DWF format and viewed using Autodesk Design Review. Viewing and sharing data is an important tool when communicating with vendors and customers. Anyone can use published DWF files, even without installing Autodesk Inventor. DWF files are highly compressed, open quickly, and you can share them by e-mail.

Publishing from Autodesk Inventor creates a DWF file that maintains design data such as line weights, scale, and mass properties for 2D and 3D files. Both 2D and 3D data can be included in one file. The stress analysis results display the model in various colors according to the intensity of the applied forces and constraints.

While working in the Stress Analysis environment, you can use the various display commands to create the view you want to export to DWF. In the simulation browser bar, select and display the results that you want to see in Autodesk Design Review. The current state of the part or assembly model is published in the DWF file. (Note: Not all analysis types are published, only the active type shown on the screen at the time of publishing.)

While exporting to DWF you can enable measuring, printing, markups or even assign a password to the document to enhance security.

If the file is saved as DWFX, you can open it using Windows Internet Explorer. Here you can still rotate, measure, mark up, and have all the available options as if it's open within Design Review. The advantage is that you do not need to download Autodesk Design Review software.

Another export option is to save the file in a PDF document; as in the DWF file type, only the current state of the part or assembly model is published.

About the Author: Radu Stancescu

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