SOLIDWORKS Mass Properties
One of the inherent benefits of using SOLIDWORKS to model is that you never have to calculate mass properties for any part. The software is intelligent enough to calculate these based on your geometry, the material choice and its position in space as defined by the part origin. To get these properties, you can navigate to the tools pulldown menu, then go to mass properties, or go to the evaluate tab and select mass properties from there. SOLIDWORKS then gives you a nice layout that you can actually print out on its own. Below is an example of this table.
An important fact to realize is that SOLIDWORKS uses the material choice in these calculations. This means that when the material is unspecified, SOLIDWORKS will use arbitrary values, therefore, the calculations will not be correct. A lot of times, you may have a component of your part that you do not want to account for in a property, such as its weight. In such a case, leaving the material choice unassigned will give you erroneous results. For these cases, SOLIDWORKS has a way to fix that property. Simply check the ‘Assigned mass properties’ box and you are good to go from there.
Now as opposed to arbitrary values, you will be able to fix and even zero out the weight of a component and that weight will be factored in to the rest of your calculations. SOLIDWORKS allows you to assign the weight, as well as the COG, giving you ample flexibility in your mass properties.
Brian Adika CSWP
Computer Aided Technology Inc.