Use the Contacts tool to find neighboring parts and designate whether they should be bonded, contacting, or have no contact. This tool can be accessed by clicking the Structure tab on the ribbon.

The Contacts tool allows you to see which areas are in contact. Bonded contacts are shown in red, and areas where parts are contacting are shown in green. Inspire automatically determines whether neighboring parts should be bonded or contacting, even if you never use the Contacts tool. If there are no fasteners or joints connecting two parts together, they are assumed to be bonded. If fasteners or joints are present, parts are assumed to be contacting.

You can select contacts individually and use the buttons on the microdialog to change the type, or you can select several contacts and use the guide bar to apply changes to the entire group. If your parts are bonded or glued together, select Bonded. If there is relative sliding between the parts, select Contacting. If parts are close but you don't want them to have contact, select No Contact.

Two parts which are in contact in multiple locations must have the same type of contact at each location.

The type of contacts you create at each location will have an impact on analysis and optimization calculations, as bonded and contacting parts create different load paths. Also note that parts which are contacting may either slide, or slide and separate. Allowing separation can have a significant impact on optimization run times, so you may designate Sliding only or Sliding with separation under Contacts on the Run Optimization window. If there are no contacting parts in your model, this option will be grayed out.

To Create contacts
  1. . Select the Contacts tool.
  2. A guide bar appears and the find operation is executed automatically. The total number of contacts is displayed in a counter above the Contacts tool.
  3. If Auto is selected on the guide bar, Inspire automatically determines whether contacts should be bonded or contacting based on the presence of other connections between parts.
  4. To accept the contacts as shown, click Redefine All on the guide bar.
  5. To change the type of contact:
    • Select the contacts you want to change in the modeling views. Hold down the Ctrl key or use box selection to select multiple contacts.
    • Click the Auto button on the guide bar and select a type of contact from the list, then click Redefine Selected.
  6. To see where all of the contacts are located, use the arrow keys on either the guide bar or your keyboard to pan your model from one contact to the next.
  7. Right-click or press Esc to exit the tool.
To Edit a contact
  1. Select the contact(s) you want to edit.
    • If the Contacts tool is active, single-click the contact(s) you want to edit. Hold down the Ctrl key or use box selection to select multiple contacts.
    • If the Contacts tool is not active, double-click the contact(s) you want to edit.
  2. A microdialog appears, allowing you to change the type of contact. The options are Bonded, Contacting, or No Contact.
  3. Right-click or press Esc to exit the tool.
To change how contacting parts are handled when running an optimization
  1. Click Run Optimization Icon_Boolean_Arrow on the Optimize icon. The Run Optimization window appears.
  2. Select an optimization Objective. The options in the Run Optimization window will change based on which objective you select.
  3. Set options for mass targets, stress constraints, frequency constraints, thickness constraints, speed/accuracy, and gravity as desired.
  4. Click the chevron button next to Contacts and select Sliding only or Sliding with separation.
  5. Click Run to start the optimization. While the optimization run is in progress, you can monitor its status using the Run Status window.
  6. When the optimization is complete, click Show Optimization Results on the Optimize icon to view the optimization results.
TO view a list of contacts in the model
  1. Hover your mouse over the Contacts icon until the List Contacts tool appears.

  2. Click the List Contacts List Icon tool. A table displays a list of all contacts in your model including the type of connection and the parts it connects.

Guide Bar Options

Use the options on the guide bar to change the gap tolerance and the type of contacts that are created.

Use the arrow keys on the guide bar or your keyboard to pan to the Previous or Next selected contact.
Click the button to change the type of contact that will be created when you click the Set All button. Auto is the default value and automatically determines what type of contact should be created. You may also select Bonded, Contacting, or No Contact, in which case all contacts will be set as the selected type.
Click the Redefine All button to set all contacts to the selected type. If you select a subset of contacts, the button text changes to Redefine Selected and the type will only be changed for the selected contacts.