SIMULATION TECH TIP: Contact Visualization Plot (Sim 2014)

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If you haven’t already heard, SolidWorks Simulation 2014 helps you visualize the applied contacts within your assembly analysis. With the new contact visualization plot, you can view how bodies are connected in multibody parts and assemblies. Before you run the analysis, you can detect the areas of contact applied by the global contact settings and any local contact sets. Not only does this ensure that you have created all the contacts that you need, but also confirms that you have […]

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SIMULATION TECH TIP: Automatic Conversion of Toolbox Fasteners to Bolts

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If you haven’t already heard, SolidWorks Simulation 2014 allows you to automatically convert your toolbox fasteners to Bolt Connectors. To run the automatic detection tool, simply right-click on the Connections icon in the Study PropertyManager and select Toolbox Fasteners to Bolts. This is found in the shortcut window, as shown in the picture below. During the conversion process, all information related to the location, geometric features, and material of the Toolbox fasteners is mapped internally to the formulation of the corresponding […]

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SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION TECH TIP: Flexibility in Non-linear Fixtures

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There’s a feature I always suspected was in COSMOS/SolidWorks Simulation Premium, but I never needed it badly enough to do more than a web search to a dead end and give up. Well, I finally had the need: it was an analysis of a clip/pin system.The goal: Determine plastic deformation and insertion/retention forces during the pin installation/removal process solved in sequence. 1. The “C” clip is first installed on the housing. 2. Then then pin is inserted into the housing […]

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Where to Learn SOLIDWORKS Simulation

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There are multiple places to get help with Simulation. Whether you have years of FEA experience or none at all, it pays to start slowly when learning a new program and then tackle more complex problems later. SolidWorks Simulation has one of the nicest simulation interfaces I have ever used, but it still takes some adjustment for new users. There are multiple places to get help in different ways; I’ll go into them in some detail. Tutorials Knowledge Base Context-Sensitive […]

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SOLIDWORKS FLOW SIMULATION: Animating Transient Flow Runs and Solver Iterations

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In this simulation tech tip, I am going to cover using animations to display the auto mesh refinement splitting cells, since it is useful for watching steady state flow solutions develop, as well as viewing multiple time steps in a transient solution. 1. Make sure we are saving the steps during the Flow solution. Open the “Calculation Control” dialog. This is accessible from the flow feature manager, command manager, and the solver menu window:   1a. Choose the saving tab […]

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Tractor Trailer Aerodynamics in SolidWorks Flow Simulation [VIDEO]

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As time progresses and fuel prices increase, you might have noticed some changes to the tractor trailers you see on the highway. Fairings on tractors have been common for quite a while; however, side skirts and extended “tails” on the trailers are relatively new additions. To satisfy my curiosity on the effectiveness of these devices, I’ve performed a virtual experiment using Flow Simulation. Watch the quick video below to see the results of the test. For more training and tutorials […]

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How to Isolate Simulation Results in an Assembly

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Recently, I have been asked on a couple of occasions how to ‘isolate’ the Simulation results in an assembly. After running an analysis, we can certainly visualize the results on the entire assembly, but what if we wanted to localize those results on a single component for reporting purposes? The first thing people try to use is the Isolate command. The problem is that once you isolate the component, as soon as you select the study tab at the bottom, Isolate […]

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Simulation Tip: SolidWorks Simulation Verification Problems

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Have you ever wondered, after running a SolidWorks Simulation study, whether or not your results are correct? A few people I have talked to have questioned the validity of their results and sometimes wonder if the software is reporting what they actually see in the field or in a ‘test.’Well, I typically find that the problem is not with the results, but in the set-up of the analysis. For example, loads may not be accurate, or may be applied incorrectly; […]

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Factor of Safety Plots on Selected Bodies in SolidWorks Simulation

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In SolidWorks Simulation 2013, you can now view your factor of safety information on any given part/body in your assembly. Prior to 2013, you had to view the factor of safety information on the entire assembly.In the Factor of Safety Property-Manager, click Selected Bodies (as shown below). Select one or multiple bodies to view plots of factor of safety distribution, or regions below the factor of safety. Results are shown only for the selected bodies. Selected Body = Arm Selected […]

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Thermal Loads for Other Purposes: Solid Bolt Models and Shrink Fits

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There are simulation cases that come up where one can use a thermal load to manipulate the model. I have even known of simulations where thermal shrinkage and expansion has been used to drive complex non-linear models to emulate muscle-like behavior. However, I have two specific non-exotic use cases in mind. First is for creating a bolt pre-load when you actually want to analyze the whole bolt and not use an idealized beam element representation that is used in the […]

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