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  • Documentation

    What Does Imprint Do?

    Imprint is a CAD operation that helps to recognize solid/solid and solid/fluid interfaces. Later on, these interfaces will be assigned as contacts in Conjugate Heat Transfer (CHT) or Finite Element Analysis. The contact definition is vital since these regions are responsible for transferring heat and loads between parts.

    Imprint Operation

    Before going through the effect of imprinting a geometry, let’s first see how to perform this operation in SimScale. The imprint operation can be run within the CAD mode environment:

    imprint cad mode simscale
    Figure 1: SimScale’s CAD mode contains several CAD operations, including imprint.

    In CAD mode, the user will be able to directly create and run an Imprint operation, as in Figure 2:

    running imprint operation in the cad mode environment simscale
    Figure 2: To perform imprint go to MODEL, click on ‘Imprint’ and hit ‘Apply’.

    After running the operation, you can click on Finish on the top-right corner to export the updated CAD model to the Workbench.

    Now that we know where to imprint a model, let’s see what it does to the geometry. The following picture represents an assembly, which consists of two solid parts that touch.

    part without imprinting
    Figure 3: Without an imprint, notice how the bottom face extends much further than the region of contact with the blue part.

    Without an imprint operation, the interface between the solid bodies may not be correctly recognized and grouped as partial interfaces. This will be the case, for example, if we have an enclosure enveloping the two parts.

    In this case, the highlighted face (red) shares contact with both an air domain and a solid body. To prevent partial contact, the face should be split into two interfaces, one between the solid part, and the other between the air domain.

    partial contacts imprint troubleshooting
    Figure 4: Warning message indicating partial contacts. In this case, imprinting the geometry solves the problem.

    The imprint operation does exactly that – it splits the surfaces so that we can have precise contact detection. Comparing the highlighted face from Figure 3, we can see that it now has been split in two, due to the imprint operation:

    imprint what does it do
    Figure 5: Imprinting allows for effective detection of contacts between faces

    In this case, we can obtain valid contacts in the simulation setup.

    Last updated: September 9th, 2022