3. Coordinate Files

If we were to directly evaluate the imported geometry, the Ansys software would consider the truss as a collection of solid body objects, and generate a highly complex mesh on each of the truss members by creating a mesh around each circular and rectangular tube. This is wasted computational time. Each of the truss members is a simple beam, and can be evaluated using beam theory. In order to tell the Ansys solver to compute it as such, we need to convert these members into line bodies and assign them a cross section.

The first step is to create a coordinate file detailing the end points to which the curve of the line bodies will be applied. We have split this into four files in order to visualize each section easier, rather than having it be a jumbled mess in one file. The files are provided here. Unzip them and place them in an easy-to-find place.

(extra) Deciphering the Coordinate Files

If you open the files, it might be confusing at first what is going on. Each row is a different point, and each column (separated by a tab) is a property of this point. The property columns are as follows:

1. The Group Property

This property links points together. All Group 1s will be considered in one line or plane, all group 2s in another line, etc.

2. The Point Number

This property denotes the order of the points in the group. It starts at 1 and proceeds upward. For example, a line will start at point 1 and end at point 2. All points in a group need to have a different number and the order of the numbers affects the directionality of the geometry.

3-5. The Coordinates

These numbers are the x, y, z coordinates of the points.  This is the most straightforward, but also the most tedious, part of creating the files. Each point was modeled on the coordinate systems.