What’s new in Abaqus CAE 2017

The Dassault Systèmes SIMULIA portfolio releases new versions of its software products every year, and this year is no different. The first release of Abaqus 2017 is now available for download at the media download portal. In this blog post, I provide a brief highlight of updates in Abaqus CAE 2017. A more detailed explanation of any mentioned update, or answers to further questions, can be obtained either by listening to the webinar recordings at SIMULIA 3D Experience user community portal, leaving a comment on this post, or contacting us.

  • Consistency check for missing sections

Abaqus CAE users would probably agree that this mistake happens quite often, even though the parts with defined section assignments are displayed in a separate color. In previous releases, this check was not included in data check runs, so it was not possible to detect this error unless a full run was executed. In the 2017 release, missing regions can be identified in a data check run, thus saving time by eliminating fatal error runs.



  • New set and surface queries in query toolset

The sets and surfaces can be created at part as well as assembly level. In earlier releases, it was not possible to see the content of a set or surface in the form of text, though it was possible to visualize the content in the viewport. In the 2017 release, query toolbox includes set and surface definition options. In case of sets, information about geometry, nodes, and elements can be obtained with respect to label, type, connectivity and association with part or instance, whichever is applicable. In case of surfaces, name, type, and association with instances, constraints, or interactions can be obtained.



  • Geometry face normal query

In the 2017 release, it is possible to visualize the normal of the face or surface by picking it in the viewport. In case of planar faces, normal is displayed instantly. In case of curved faces, CAE prompts the user to pick a point location on the face by various options.


  • Name length restrictions

Now the names of parts, models, instances, sets, and surfaces can be up to 80 characters long. All other objects can be up to 38 characters long.

  • More visual information on interactions

In the 2017 release, it is possible to visualize the normal direction of shells participating in a surface-to-surface interaction through a vector. In earlier releases, the only available option was to visualize the associated surfaces by brown and purple color sides. In the new release, it is much easier to visualize the normal directions and correct them if needed.



  • Improvements in contact search wizard

The search wizard has been quite helpful as an assistant in detecting contact pairs in large assemblies where master and slave surfaces are close to each other. It is not possible to assign contact controls as well in the contact wizard window. However, this column is hidden by default and can be invoked by the “edit visible columns” option through the MB3 option.



  • Improvements in linked viewports

The linked viewport manager now allows you to synchronize two or more viewports using the frame navigation or frame selection option. The frame navigation option links the viewports using animation buttons, and the frame selection option links the viewports through a frame selector.


  • In Abaqus CAE 2017, it is possible to export the field output to CSV file.


  • Improvement in history data nomenclature

Default name while saving XY data from history output is now derived from history output name. So there is no more XYdata-1, XYdata-2, etc. that the user needs to change manually.

  • Improvements in rendering

It is now possible to render and visualize shells with variable thickness in the viewer. It is further possible to create sets in the viewer.


After sharing all the good information, here is some news that may worry our Abaqus standalone CFD users. Abaqus CFD including FSI has been deprecated from 2017 and future releases of Abaqus, at both the solver and CAE level. Old CFD models of Abaqus CAE can still be viewed in CAE 2017 but cannot be modified. The co-simulation engine still exists, but not with Abaqus CFD solver. All the CFD functionalities of Abaqus solver can now be accessed from the 3DExperience platform only. Abaqus 2016 and previous releases have not been affected.

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