Dave Looman
Ansys Employee

Most Ansys products use the Finite Element Method, so you will definitely need to discretize (mesh) the geometry.  Selecting the element type is automated in Ansys Mechanical so you won't need to worry about that.  You also need to have separate geometry for each step of the analysis so that you can introduce parts of the model incrementally with the element birth and death feature.  Search on Element Birth and Death in the Mechanical help for how to use this feature.  Search the internet for Ansys Element Birth and Death for examples.