18 November 2018
If you have two bodies that are bonded together, like a steel column set into concrete. You could have two bodies and use bonded contact to connect them. That allows you to plot results at the interface, and adds some elements to the model. Or you could use Shared Topology, where either DesignModeler or SpaceClaim will recognize a face that his common to both parts and mark it so. Then the mesher will just put down one set of nodes on that face and both bodies have elements that use those nodes. The two bodies are now connected to shared nodes.
To make your model smaller for the Student license limits, you can use 1/4 symmetry if your model had symmetric loading. You can replace thin solid sections with sheet bodies and you can replace long slender solid beams with line bodies and instead of using solid elements, you will use shell elements and beam elements.