Using the ‘Worksheet’ Page in Mechanical

One of the least used, but most powerful, features within ANSYS Mechanical is the Worksheet page.  In versions older that R12.0, this was accessed by clicking a separate tab on the Graphics Window, at R12.1 it moved to a button on the toolbar. 

What the Worksheet does is show you a tabular summary of a particular branch.  Here’s a quick summary of the ‘big items’ shown for each branch:

Geometry Branch Material, Volume, # Nodes
Coordinate Systems Origin and Axis Data for all coordinate systems
Connections Behavior, Formulation, Stiffness Update

Mesh control type, Active/Suppressed Status

Analysis Settings Solution controls for every load step
Solution Element table results available (only for R12 and newer)
Solution Information ANSYS Solver Output window

Here’s a picture showing what it actually looks like:


In addition to listing out a large amount of information, you can also sort by any column heading.  You’re probably thinking, “wow, that’s awesome…I can list and sort information about various levels of my model, but how come I can’t edit anything in the worksheet?”  Great question, and this is where the power of ‘Go To’ (see my previous article, err…blog) comes into play.  Simply select the rows that you want to edit, then Right-Mouse-Button > Go To Selected Items.  This will go through and highlight all the corresponding items in the Outline Tree.  Settings can then be changed in the Details Window, and will be propagate to all selected items. 

So let’s say you have a bunch of contact pairs in your model, some of which are defined as being frictional and need to have the same coefficient of friction applied.  Simply click on the ‘Connections’ branch, then select ‘Worksheet’, then select the ‘Type’ column to group all of the frictional pairs together. 

Next, hold down shift and do a flood-selection of all of the frictional pars, RMB > Go To Selected Item. 

Finally, type in the coefficient into the details window.  Done…all frictional contact pairs now have that value defined.

Long story short, by combining the ‘Go To’ capability with the Worksheet view, you can become the feared “über-efficient Voltron of ANSYS Users”.  Well, maybe nothing that cool, but you’ll at least got a lot of work done.

Side note:  According to Wikipedia, Voltron is owned by Sony Pictures Television.  This was a cartoon I remember watching as a kid where a giant robot was formed by connecting five robot lions piloted by the heros of the show.  I even had the toys to go along with the show, and yes, they joined together to form awesomeness in its purest form, I mean, the fists were spring-launched lion heads!!!  It was a sad day when I found that I had lost one of the lions heads…I believe that’s when my childhood officially ended.