Hi Hannah,

SpaceClaim has some ability to convert solid extrusions to line bodies, but I don’t know if it will work on a swept solid body. If you are lucky, in SolidWorks there is a circle cross section and a 3D curve that the circle is swept along to create each individual solid braid strand. If that is the case, export the 3D curves as an IGES file and import that into SpaceClaim. Then you can turn those curves into Line bodies which can be meshed with beam elements.

In the current version of Ansys Structural the node or element limit for the Student license is 128,000 but that includes all the nodes and elements that are automatically created after you hit the solve button such as contact elements. So even though the node/element count in Mechanical statistics of the Mesh show it is below 128,000 that number undercounts the elements that are sent to the solver.  An accurate count is made in the Solution Information folder after the Solve button is pressed.

The Student license node/element number limit is not a count limit, but a numbering limit. What can happen sometimes is an initial mesh is made, the count is too high, so some mesh controls are edited to bring the count down, but some body does not get remeshed and it retains its original node number, which is too high. In that case, you can insert a Mesh Numbering object under Mesh and force the mesh to be renumbered to fix that problem.