Visualization of orientations and local coordinate systems

15 October 2012

by N. Tardieu, EDF R&D / AMA

When using certain finite elements or some models, it is essential to orient them. This is essential:

  • to correctly specify the orientation of a section of a beam which does not have rotational symmetry (for example an angle);
  • to define the local coordinate system of a shell where its efforts are expressed;
  • to set the orientation of an orthotropic material.

It is a tricky task for which the verification was difficult.
A new feature has been added to Code_Aster to allow visual validation of this data.

It is now possible to print the local coordinate systems in the MED format MED for :

  • Beams;
  • Plates and shells;
  • Continuum elements.

This feature can be used with the IMPR_RESU/CONCEPT command (already mentioned in this news) adding REPERE_LOCAL=’OUI’:


3 vector fields are written in the MED file, each one being a component of the local coordinate system. The simultaneous display of these three fields allows the visualization of these coordinate systems on each element.

Available in the version 11.2.17 and later

Local coordinate systems