Altair SimSolid virtual connectors

In Altair SimSolid, virtual connectors can be applied in cases where the corresponding connecting parts are missing in the model. Virtual connectors are a rigid imaginary part created between selected faces representing the geometrical support of the connector. The type of contact interaction between a virtual connector and a real part is defined by the type of virtual connector. Read on to find out how virtual connectors are defined and used.

Although more are planned, today, a single connector type, the Virtual Pin, is supported.  A Virtual Pin can connect an arbitrary number of coaxial cylindrical faces. Bonded Virtual Pins are glued into the support faces. Rotating pins can rotate around the axis of the cylindrical faces (sliding in circumferential direction), but cannot slide along the axis. It acts like a hinge between connected parts.

To define a Virtual Pin do the following:

  • Open the virtual connector dialog.


  • Select the faces to apply the connector to. For Virtual Pins, cylindrical faces must be selected. Select one face and Altair SimSolid will automatically select all faces that are coaxial to the one selected. If this is not what you want (that is, too many are selected), select a face label in the dialog and press delete to remove it from the Virtual Pin definition.


  • Select the connector type – bonded or sliding
  • Select OK to complete the definition

Now just run the analysis as normal. The virtual connectors will act as rigid joints to transmit loads through your model. Here is an example using a virtual connector.


And here is the equivalent result using a standard rigid pin. vc-image-05More virtual connectors are coming soon including a General virtual connector to bond any selected set of faces. Virtual connectors are available in the Altair SimSolid Power edition only. Go ahead and give them a try.

Ken Welch
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Ken Welch

About Ken Welch

Ken was the cofounder and CEO at SIMSOLID corporation. He has over 30 years experience in the CAE industry in a variety of technical, sales and executive roles at companies including PDA Engineering, Rasna, Moldflow and MSC Software. Ken holds a B.S. and M.S. in civil engineering from the University of California, Davis.