3DEXPERIENCE Structural, The Next Big Step in Simulation

SOLIDWORKS Simulation has been the de facto standard worldwide for SOLIDWORKS users in need of finite element analysis. SOLIDWORKS Simulation offers a wide range of capabilities including advanced non-linear applications, but like most things in life, SOLIDWORKS Simulation does not offer a solution to every type of analysis. This is where 3DEXPERIENCE STRUCTURAL takes over.

3DEXPERIENCE STRUCTURAL is part of the 3DEXPERIENCE SIMULATION portfolio, a group of physics simulators on the 3DEXPERIENCE PLATFORM that includes structures, fluids, electromagnetics, and plastics. 3DEXPERIENCE STRUCTURAL can, in some ways, be thought of as the next level beyond SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium. It’s powered by the Abaqus FEA solver at its core, but operated through 3DEXPERIENCE, making it easier and more convenient for SOLIDWORKS users. It offers a wide range of additional capabilities, including advanced non-linearity, advanced meshing, cloud compute, general contact, and with a SOLIDWORKS CAD Connector to maintain that continuity of data you get when doing analysis with SOLIDWORKS Simulation. Let’s look at an example that shows how 3DEXPERIENCE STRUCTURAL is the next big step in simulation.

Take this thin disc for example. This hyper elastic rubber disc has a complex pattern of holes throughout its large face. The disc is held fixed around the outside rim, while in the inside hole is rotated as well as translated.

, 3DEXPERIENCE Structural, The Next Big Step in Simulation

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium can handle this type of simulation to a degree. SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium has the hyperelastic material model, the fixture, loads, and contacts to solve this problem. However, the solution breaks down. Due to the exaggerated rotation, and translation of the center hole, the application of hundreds of small holes collapsing onto themselves, and the use of a tetrahedral mesh, SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium can’t quite get to a full solution.

The various feature additions and improvements of 3DEXPERIENCE STRUCTURAL allow it to solve this model to completion. 3DEXPERIENCE STRUCTURAL not only provides a tetrahedral mesh, but a hex mesh as well. A hex mesh is best suited for large strain applications and, as shown below, maps to this highly complex geometry easily.

, 3DEXPERIENCE Structural, The Next Big Step in Simulation

The general contact feature of 3DEXPERIENCE STRUCTURAL detects all contacting surfaces in the model without having to define any contact pairs. It easily considers all the holes and their self-contact, speeding up the setup process. Also, being based on the Abaqus solver, the contact algorithm is also extremely robust, solving both quickly and accurately.

Being able to solve this problem locally or using cloud compute has a variety of positive impacts. In the case of this model, we can have a pretty dense and detailed hex mesh without having to worry if the local machine can actually solve it. We’re also free to use that machine for other work while the model is being computed remotely. 3DEXPERIENCE STRUCTURAL comes with 8 cores of cloud solving power as a standard. (If we wanted to go really wild, we could buy additional cloud access and leverage over 100 cloud cores without having to purchase a supercomputer and a year’s worth of software compute licensing.)

, 3DEXPERIENCE Structural, The Next Big Step in Simulation

, 3DEXPERIENCE Structural, The Next Big Step in Simulation

We can see below that the application of a hex mesh, general contact, and cloud computing lead to a quick and accurate solution.

, 3DEXPERIENCE Structural, The Next Big Step in Simulation

The collapse and extreme stretch of the small holes is a result we couldn’t fully achieve using SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium. 3DEXPERIENCE STRUCTURAL proved it is the next big step in simulation and is ready for all your complex problems. To learn more about the SOLIDWORKS Connector, and how you can use SOLIDWORKS alongside 3DEXPERIENCE STRUCTURAL, read this article by my colleague Matt Sherak . If you want to learn more regarding the advanced capabilities within 3DEXPERIENCE STRUCTURAL, Matt has another article to check out. As always if you have questions or would like to see 3DEXPERIENCE STRUCTURAL up close please contact Computer Aided Technology.


, 3DEXPERIENCE Structural, The Next Big Step in Simulation
Robert Warren
Simulation Specialist, Elite Application Engineer
Computer Aided Technology

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