Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1. Question: What hardware specifications are required to run ATILA?
*Please note: ATILA is being sold as a PC/Windows machine only. Since there are very few users running ATILA on a Macintosh platform, MMech will only be supporting the Windows version.
Intel Pentium 4+ or equivelant (Not necessary to run, but HIGHLY recommended)
256MB RAM (For large meshes the rule of thumb is 1GB/1 million elements)
High End Graphics Card
(Not necessary, but greatly reduces load times and animation frame rate)
Windows Operating System (8/7/Vista/XP)
2. Question: Do I have to purchase GID to run ATILA?
No, GID is not a necessary program to run ATILA. However, GID serves as a very nice easy to use Pre/Post process as well as a beautiful GUI which helps aid in the process of learning the software. MMI recommends purchasing GID for it's easy to features and aided learning curve. More information on GID can be found at mmech.com/gid-processor.
3. Question: What is the difference between ATILA-Light and ATILA Full?
The difference between the two versions is: ATILA-Light is a limited version used mainly for demonstration purposes. ATILA-Light is limited to 700 nodes of freedom when calculating/meshing. The download of ATILA-Light is basically to learn the basics of the software and to begin to navigate around the software and get a feel for how it works. The full version of ATILA is for users who feel comfortable with the software and are wishing to purchase a lease for the software. When the full version is downloaded, users will need to contact MMI and receive a "key" (a NIC card key and a USB portable key are available) to register their version for a yearly lease. When registered, ATILA will have unlimited nodes of freedom and all calculations and meshing are possible.
4. Question: I am having problems installing the software/interface!
Most problems with installations occur when the most recent versions are not downloaded. MMI strives to have all current updates on the site as soon as they are completed. If you receive errors when installing, please first check that you have the current version of ATILA downloaded. If the problem persists after all current versions are downloaded, please contact MMI and we will be glad to help you install everything correctly.
5. Question: What is the ATILA/Interface?
The ATILA/GID interface is what connects the GUI of GID and ATILA together seamlessly. The two software programs are written seperately and to allow them to communicate together, an interface must be downloaded to allow connectivety between the two software programs. You can download the latest interface on our downloads page. This IS needed to use GID and ATILA together.
6. Question: I find ATILA to be too expensive!
This can be an issue if your company is small. Although ATILA can seem expensive, there are several factors to keep in mind if you are looking elsewhere for FEM software.
Yes, ATILA is roughly doubled compared to the general FEM software like ANSYS. However, if you purchase ANSYS, you need to create a sort of sub-software to combine with the piezoelectric constitutive equations, which is time consuming and laborious. This manpower and period are much more expensive than our ATILA price.
In addition, if you compare ATILA with other piezoelectric software such as "Piezo ...", which may be a little cheaper than ATILA, the quality is totally different. A significant difference can be found in the loss introduction. Most other piezoelectric-related software include only one loss factor (so called damping factor), which damps impedance curve peak values equally, leading to the big discrepancies with the real measured impedance curve peak values. On the contrary, ATILA includes three different loss factors (dielectric, elastic and piezoelectric losses) independently.
Each resonance peak value (electric impedance and/or mechanical vibration amplitude), depending on the resonance mode, is differently dependent on dielectric, elastic and piezoelectric losses. This basic physics is neglected by the other software than ATILA.
7. Question: I just renewed my ATILA subscription and have received my new USB key. I've inserted my new key into my computer but when I try to calculate a simulation a window comes up saying "License problem, Please contact your ATILA representative, after recording the following message...."
This happens because ATILA saves a file which references the information from the previous key. To fix this, remove the new key from your computer. Then open the C: drive or the drive which ATILA is loaded on. For example open C: -> Program Files -> ATILA-6.0.0. With in the ATILA-6.0.0 folder, locate the auth.dat file and delete this file. Now reinsert the USB key and restart the simulation. This will create a new auth.dat file.
8. Question: I’ve lost/can’t find my GiD licenses number, can I look it up somewhere?
Yes you can, first open GiD. If you have GiD 7.2 or earlier go to Help -> Register Module. A window will pop up; record the Name, Operating System, and the sysinfo number. With this information in hand contact your software dealer or go online to http://gid.cimne.com to get your licenses number. If your GiD package is 8.0 or newer go to Help -> Register GiD… -> Local machine. Again record the Name, Operating System, and the sysinfo number and either contact you software dealer or go to http://gid.cimne.com to get your licenses number.
9. Question: When I try to create a surface I got an error on the command which reads “Error, bad surface, contour lines not closed” how do I fix it?
This sometimes happens when structures are copied or extruded. Basically there are extra surfaces, lines, or points directly where another surface, line or point is located. To fix this you’ll need to go to Utilities -> Collapse -> Surfaces then select all of the surfaces of your model. After the surfaces are selected press escape, if you look on the command line you should see “Collapse::created -4 points,-2 lines ,0 surfaces, 0 volumes. ImportTolerance=0.001050” The number of points, lines, surfaces and volumes depend on the number of entities collapsed. Now you should be able to create the surfaces.
Side Note: The same would apply when collapsing volumes, instead of going to surfaces go to Utilities -> Collapse -> Volumes and select the volumes of the model.
10. Question: When trying to generate a structured mesh I get an error reading “2 lines have been rejected. They don’t belong to selected surface” what am I doing wrong?
This is very similar to question 3 and it can be fixed in one of 2 ways. First way is to follow the procedure from question number 3. The second way is to delete the lines in question. Before doing this make sure you save your file. Then go to Geometry -> Delete -> Line, now select the entire model (don’t worry only the lines not associated with surfaces will be deleted). After the lines have been selected press escape and the extra line will be deleted. Check the command line, it will read “4 lines rejected. They have higher entities” and “Deleted 2 lines, Leaving deleting function.” This means that 4 of the lines selected belong to the surface and weren’t deleted. The other lines didn’t belong to a surface and was therefore deleted.
11. ATILA-GiD Version Compatibility
ATILA-GiD should be used in proper version match as below: