Materials

Use the Materials tool on the Structure tab to view a table showing all parts and materials in your model. A material is the physical substance that a part is made of, such as steel, aluminum, or plastic. The type of material does not determine the visual appearance of a part, only its physical properties. Materials can be assigned to a selected part by using the context menu.

In Inspire, optimization only works with solid materials and only considers the elastic behavior of those materials. Most common structural materials exhibit elastic behavior when you apply a moderate force. They deflect proportionally to the amount of force you apply and then spring back to their initial position when the force is removed. If you apply a strong enough force to a part, that part will eventually break or permanently bend and be unable to spring back to its original shape. Optimization cannot guarantee that your part won't bend or break under high loads. Further engineering is always necessary to predict and understand when and how a design will fail.

A small library of common materials is included in Inspire, but you can also add your own. A material is defined by four parameters that characterize basic linear properties:

If you wish to create new materials, these properties are easy to find in most material handbooks or from websites that list the properties of materials.

Assign a material to a single part
  1. Right-click on a part in the modeling window or Model Browser.
  2. Choose Material from the context menu. A list of available materials appears.
  3. Choose a material from the list to assign it to the selected part.
Exclude a part from a design space
  1. Select several parts in the modeling window by holding down the Command key while clicking or by using box selection.
  2. Right-click one of the selected parts. The part context menu appears.
  3. Choose Material from the context menu. A list of available materials appears.
  4. Choose a material from the list to assign it to the selected parts.
See a table of all parts and materials
  1. Click the Materials icon on the Structure ribbon. A table of parts and their assigned materials appears.



  2. To assign a different material to a part, click on the material name and choose a material from the list.



  3. To see all the parts that use the same material, click the Material column header. The table is sorted by material.
  4. To look up the E, Nu, Density, and Yield Stress of a material, click on the Material Library tab.
Exclude a part from a design space
  1. Click the Materials icon on the Structure ribbon. A table of parts and their assigned materials appears.



  2. Click the My Materials tab at the top of the table.



  3. Click the Create New Material icon. A new material is added at the bottom of the table.
  4. Enter values for the Material, E, Nu, Density, and Yield Stress of your new material.
  5. To assign this new material to a part in your model, click the Parts tab.
  6. Click a material name to the right of a part in the table and choose a material from the list.