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Parametrization in ANSYS Workbench

In this blog post we are going to present different ways to parametrize the CAD model and creating a design table for design study. This approach will then be used to automate pump cavitation analysis in the following blogs. We have used Solidworks 2010 for CAD model creation and parametrization. Two parameters were created in the sketch for a rectangular duct. These were “Width” and “Height” of the duct. The third parameter that was created in the extrude feature of the model is representing the “Length “of the duct. “DS_” defines the parameter key for filtering the parameters while importing in ANSYS Workbench, as explained later.

parameternames parameternames1

1. CAD Import Approach

With this approach we can import neutral files in STEP, IGES etc. formats as well as native CAD formats from other CAD systems.

Go to: File > Import or click Import into Project icon  importIcon

Or create a geometry cell in the project schematic, right click on that cell and choose Import Geometry > Browse

A new dialogue window will open; Select the location of the CAD model and name of the file and click Open.


Or alternatively create a geometry cell in the project schematic, right click on that cell and choose Import Geometry > cubemodel.SLDPRT (CAD model name)


2. Direct Connection Approach

In this approach we can launch ANSYS Workbench directly from CAD system.

As we are using Solidworks 2010 for CAD and ANSYS Workbench 2012 for analysis; we can launch Workbench from Solidworks by going to ANSYS 12.1 > Workbench


This will open ANSYS Workbench with a Geometry cell as shown below.


Using both of the above mentioned approaches (i.e. CAD Import or Direct Connection approach) leads us to the Geometry cell created as shown above. To import parameters into workbench we have to open ANSYS DesignModeler. We can do this by right clicking on the Geometry cell and then clicking on Edit…. 


This will open ANSYS DesignModeler with a window to specify the units for the CAD model. Select the appropriate units and click OK.


In Details View window, make sure that Import Parameters is set to yes with Parameter key as DS and click on Generate icon generate. (It is important to note that the Parameter Key should be the same as used in the relative CAD system while creating parameters, otherwise parameters will not be imported in ANSYS DesignModeler.


The Generate command will import the CAD model into the ANSYS DesignModeler with appropriate parameters as described by the Parameter Key. Parameters which were imported in ANSYS DesignModeler will appear in the Detailed View window as shown below;


Successful import of CAD parameters can also be confirmed by clicking on the Parameters icon parameters  at the main menu, which will open parameters manager window as shown below.


These parameters can be converted into Workbench parameters by clicking once in the selection box with each parameter’s name, a blue colour “P” appears in this selection box, indicating that this parameter has been converted to a Workbench parameter now.


We can now close ANSYS DesignModeler and the Workbench project schematic will look as shown in the figure below.


To edit the parameters or to create the table of Design Points, right click on the Parameter Set and then click Edit.

This will open a new window as shown below, which allows us to edit the names and values of the parameters and also to create design tables and parameter charts.


To return back to project schematic click on Return to Project icon return


8 Responses so far.

  1. Thanks for this article, more Workbench users need to understand how easy it is to go parametric!

    It may also be good to show how direct modeling tools like “SpaceClaim” can help by parameterizing dead models…

    Once the model is parameterized (geometry and/or solver parameters), you can use the parametric persistence of WB and get going with Design exploration, optimization or Six Sigma Analysis using tools like ANSYS DesignXplorer or tools from any of our many optimization parners… OptiSlang from Dynardo is probably the best integrated into WB, but many others will work well.

  2. Eduardo says:

    I tried to follow you, drawings a very simply plate on solid Woks, assigning parameters and importing to Ansys.

    I’m using Ansys 14 and SolidWorks 2013.

    But I got a problem. I created the parameters in SW, (“DS_height” and “DS_lenght”), then, I imported geometry, and parameters appears in Design Modeler, in the “Detailed View window”, but are not present on the parameter manager and /or in the Workbench simulation desktop.

    Any idea?

    I can modify the parameters on ANSYS Design Modeler using Detailed View window, model is re-build, but also modifies original SW file. Is it as is suppose to be?

  3. François Grégoire says:

    Thank you very much for this information.

    I have a question: Did you find a way to use expressions in the Design Parameters list? I know we can write expressions in the Parameter/Dimension Assignments tab, but it looks like it’s impossible in the Design Parameters tab from my experience. It would be soooooo useful to use expressions in the Design Parameters tab, I really don’t understand why it is not implemented yet.

    For example:
    Design Parameters
    x1 = 1
    x2 = 2
    x3 = x1 + x2

    Then I could assign a dimension to an edge or whatever and just type directly x3 and it would assign the x3 value. Instead of having to click the dimension box in the details view and go write the expression x1 + x2 in the Parameter/Dimension Assignments tab. If I have to apply the x3 dimension at many places in my model, it would be s omuch faster to have expressions in the Design Parameters list!


  4. Meric Ucan says:

    Thanks my friend. Nice sharing.

    I have one question. I am applying the same procedure but I can not get the extrude dimensions as parametric. I go t the sketch dimensions as parametric.

    I use Solidworks 2013 and Ansys 14,5,7 Is this can be problem? What is your versions?

    Did you face with this problem to? If so how did you solve it? Please look at the pictures.

    Thanks in advance,


    • admin says:

      Hi Meric,
      What filter prefix are you using in
      Details View> Basic Geomety Options> Parameter Key

    • Jorge says:

      Hi Meric!!

      I have the same problem as you. I am also using Solidworks 2013 and Ansys 14.5.

      Have you found the solution for the problem.

      Thank you very much.


  5. Meric Ucan says:

    Actually there is no filter for the picture I uploaded. Since the name of the dimensions are different. But I also give the same name to all dimensions DS_ but it didn’t work again.

    I also tried the same procedure with two different laptops. But the problem is still the same.

  6. eng.eltlhawy says:

    Thanks for your sharing.

    I’ve a question. How can I import CAD parameters from CATIA V5 or CATIA V6 to ANSYS 12.1 or ANSYS 14.5

    Thanks in advance

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