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 Elements ribbon, click the Orientation Review tool or from the laminate or ply context menu.

    Figure 1.
  2. In the dialog, click the Material System tab.
For further details, see Orientation Review.

Figure 2.

Ply Direction

Visualize ply directions.

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

  1. From the Elements ribbon, click the Orientation Review tool.

    Figure 3.
  2. In the dialog, click the Ply directions tab.
For further information, see Ply Directions.

Figure 4.

Ply Shape

Visualize ply shapes.

To visualize ply shapes boundaries of selected plies in the graphics area, select a ply entity in a browser or the modeling window


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 on the View Controls toolbar.
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. Click on the View Controls toolbar.
  2. Set the shell thickness option to 3D.
    This will visualize the total thickness on each element.
  3. Set the ply layer and edge option to Ply layers.
    This will display the individual layers within each element thickness.

    Figure 5.
  4. Click on the View Controls toolbar.
  5. Set the face color to Property.
    This will color each layer according to the color of the ply.
  6. From the menu bar, select File > Preferences > Graphics and type a factor in the ply thickness factor field. Typical values range from 5 to 10.
    The thickness of each ply layer is increased.

    Figure 6.