Tools for visualizing orientations, ply shapes and ply layers.

Several types of visualization tools specific to composites are available. Information that can be plotted includes:
  • Composite part material direction
  • Ply fiber and matrix directions
  • Ply shape
  • Ply layers of 2D model shown with thickness

Material Direction

Material direction of composite parts.

The material direction of a composite part defines the direction referenced by all ply orientations. Visualizations are performed using the Orientation Review tool.

  1. From the menu bar, click Tools > Orientation Review or select from the laminate or ply context menu.
  2. In the dialog, click the Material System tab.
For further details, see Orientation Review.

Figure 1.

Ply Direction

Visualize ply directions.

Ply directions for both nominal fibers and draped fibers can be visualized.

  1. From the menu bar, select Tools > Orientation Review.
  2. In the dialog, click the Ply directions tab.
For further information, see Ply Directions.

Figure 2.

Ply Shape

Visualize ply shapes.

Visualize ply shape boundaries of selected plies in the graphics area using the selector in the Model Browser.

  1. In the Model Browser, change the selector entity type to Plies.
  2. Activate the selector.
  3. Select one or more ply entities in the Model Browser.

    Figure 3.

Thickness and Layers

Display thickness of ply layers.

For ply-based shell models, the thickness of each ply layer can be displayed using the visualization options at the bottom right of the graphics area.
Note: Only laminate thickness is supported for zone-based shell models. Ply layer visualization is not supported. The recommended option is to use the Aerospace Absorb Properties option to convert the zone properties to plies.
  1. From the Visualization toolbar, set Element Representation to 2D Detailed Element Representation.
    This will visualize the total thickness on each element.
  2. Set the Composite Layers control to Composite Layers.
    This will display the individual layers within each element thickness.

    Figure 4.
  3. Set the Element Color Mode to By Prop.
    This will color each layer according to the color of the ply.
  4. From the menu bar, select Preferences > Graphics and type a factor in the ply visualization thickness factor field. Typical values range from 5 to 10.
    The thickness of each ply layer is increased.

    Figure 5.