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Tips for importing CAD into Abaqus or similar FEM software

1) Create geometry in AutoCAD or free alternatives (Draftsight, Nanocad,...). Explode entities if necesary to obtain only lines and save as Frames.DXF
2) Use gCAD3D (it is a free and open software, import Frames.DXF and save as Frames.IGS
3) Import parts as wires with Abaqus/CAE

Planar shells:

1) Create geometry in AutoCAD or similar. Explode entities if necesary to obtain only lines. Separate and save as Contour.DXF and Partitions.DXF
2) Import Contour.DXF as sketch in Abaqus/CAE
3) Create part form sketch called Contour
4) Tools> Partition>Face>Sketch and use the sketch called Partitions

3D Shells and solids:
1) Create regions (command REGION of AutoCAD) and solids in AutoCAD and export as SAT (ACIS) file
2) Import parts as shells and solids with Abaqus/CAE

The latest procedure also works for planar shells but it is less precise.


  1. This is a very informative article on importing CAD files into simulation software. It's crucial to optimize the CAD files before importing them to ensure that the simulation runs smoothly. Using CAD drawing services can help ensure that the CAD files are optimized and meet the necessary requirements for simulation software. CAD drawing services can create detailed 3D models of hardware components, which can be used for simulation and testing. These services can also identify potential problems early in the development process, such as component interference or placement issues, which helps to reduce the risk of costly errors and delays in the later stages of development. Thank you for sharing these useful tips on importing CAD files, and the importance of utilizing CAD Drawing Services for reliable and efficient design processes.

  2. Superb! Thanks for posting the tips for importing CAD into Abaqus. I'll definitely use these tips with AutoCAD Software!