ParaView for Structural Analysis

ParaView is a great tool for displaying input meshes to and results from solvers based on the Finite Element Method (FEM). These solvers are used in many domains but particularly often in the fields of mechanical, civil and automotive engineering. “Elements” and “Nodes” in FEM quite naturally map to “Cells” and “Points” in VTK terminology, and once an appropriate reader module is found for the solver of your choice, ParaView will quite easily display the input mesh, find and emphasize cells with arbitrary characteristics (such as pathologically formed cells), deform the mesh according to derived vector quantities, and map result values on the nodes and elements through arbitrary color tables.

Crushed can time varying test data set can.ex2.

Stock ParaView contains readers for these well known FEM centric solvers and file formats:

  • Ansys
  • Ensight
  • Exodus
  • LS-Dyna
  • Spyplot
  • Tecplot
  • XDMF

These ParaView resources are often used by structural analysts:

  • Calculator filters
  • Gradient filter
  • Mesh Quality filter
  • Plot Over Time filter
  • Temporal Interpolator filter
  • Temporal Statistics filter
  • Threshold filter
  • Warp by Vector filter