A frequently asked question for us at Equitus Engineering Limited is how does one balance the need to meet product development and validation timescales with computing resources availability i.e. is there a way to queue up multiple Finite Element Analysis jobs to run autonomously whilst the person can go about doing what they need to do, and if so, how.

Let me introduce you to batch processing mode using Autodesk Inventor Nastran. Before I proceed further, I will assume that:

1.      You are familiar with the Autodesk Inventor Nastran interface and have been doing some Finite Element Modelling using the software.

2.      Your analysis is all set-up and ready to run.

3.      You are able to access the Autodesk Inventor Nastran Editor.

This whole Batch-mode thing involves three stages as follows:

1.      Generating and saving the Nastran File via Inventor Nastran Interface

2.      Loading the Nastran files in the Inventor Nastran Editor to form a queue and running the queue

3.      Opening and viewing the results (what’s the point otherwise, right!)

Stage 1: Generating and Saving the Nastran File

You have your CAD model open in Autodesk Inventor and you’re in the Inventor Nastran environment. All your loads and constraints have been applied to your model, it’s meshed, contacts are defined and it’s ready to run. Now, instead of pressing run in the Ribbon, on the analysis tree, right click on ‘Analysis’ and then go down the options to ‘Generate Nastran File’. You will see a progress bar indicating the generation of the ‘.nas’ file. Once it’s done, you’ll see the ‘.nas’ file within the Inventor Nastran environment. Now, save the ‘.nas’ file using the save button with an appropriate name and at an appropriate location that will enable you to easily find it. If you have multiple subcases in the analysis, they will all be solved together.

Tip: It’s a good practice to save the .nas file with the same name as the .ipt or the .iam file

Repeat the above process until all the analyses you need to run are saves as .nas files.

Step 2: Loading the Nastran Files in the Nastran Editor and Solving the Queue

Open Autodesk Inventor Nastran Editor from the Start menu. If you have the Product Design and Manufacturing Collection, it should be part of your standard Autodesk Inventor Nastran installation. Once you’re in the Inventor Nastran Editor environment, open the .nas files generated in Stage 1. If they’re all in the same location, you can bulk open them and add them to the queue. The queue will be visible at the bottom of your Nastran Editor interface. Right Click on Default Queue and select ‘Start Queue’. It will solve all the .nas files present in the queue.

Step 3: Loading and Viewing the Results (The Really Important Bit)

There are two ways to view the results.

Option 1: Autodesk Inventor Nastran (CAD Interface

Open the appropriate Inventor file (ipt, iam) and go to the Inventor Nastran environment. From here, select ‘Load Results’ from the ribbon. Go to the location where your batch queue was solved and select the appropriate ‘fno’ file. View the results as normal.

Option 2: Nastran Editor

Open the desired Nasran (.nas) file. Now, go to ‘File’ and ‘Load Result’s and select the appropriate results (.fno) file. View the various results. If you have multiple sub-cases, the results will also be listed as per these sub-cases.
This was a short summary of how to queue and run multiple analyses in Autodesk Inventor Nastran using batch mode. For further queries or in case of questions, get in touch![/vc_column_text]



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