Finite Element Analysis

Napkin Sketches, Hand Calculations and… SOLIDWORKS Simulation?

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Why do we Designers and Engineers resort to napkin sketches and hand calculations?  Some people would say it is because we are gluttons for punishment!  Other people might recognize that a napkin sketch is a great way to convey a new idea quickly.  Still others might voice an opinion that hand calculations provide quick insight into performance.  Whatever your reason for resorting to a napkin sketch or hand calculation is, I say keep doing it!  What do either of these […]

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Give Cyclic Symmetry a Spin in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

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If I told you that it was possible to make your analysis solve faster, would you be interested?  You absolutely should be!  Faster solve times allow you to analyze more iterations and make better informed decisions to improve your designs.  Today I am going to explain how to use another method of reducing your finite element model using Cyclic Symmetry in SOLIDWORKS Simulation. Hopefully you are familiar with using a symmetry boundary condition in SOLIDWORKS Simulation.  Symmetry allows you to […]

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Tight Fit Option with Bolt Connectors in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

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How often do you utilize a bolt connector in your analysis work?  Have you ever investigated the multitude of options available with this virtual connection?  If you have, how many of the options were intuitive?  In a prior blog, I wrote about the bolt series option to fasten more than two components.  In that article, I truncated the bottom portion of the Advanced Options section of the bolt connector property manager.  The full Advanced Options section is shown in Figure […]

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How many ways can I simplify an analysis in SOLIDWORKS Simulation?

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Imagine the following machine design scenario.  I am tasked with generating early validation data for a machine that flips barrels from one conveyor to another.  The barrel is constructed of American Oak wood staves that are charred, then filled with liquid that will be stored for a very long time.  Years, in fact, if done correctly!  The machine will flip the barrel from one side to the other in three seconds.  Finally, the mass of the barrel and contents are […]

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SOLIDWORKS 2021 What’s New – SIMULATION Contact Terminology Changes

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If you have read through the What’s New document for SOLIDWORKS 2021, I am sure you noticed the many updates and improvements listed for SOLIDWORKS Simulation.  Blog title aside, if you think this is only about terminology changes, think again!  I can assure you nomenclature is only a part of what I will describe for SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2021.  If you want to know more about this topic, start with my colleague Matt Sherak’s blog Understanding Contact Hierarchy in SOLIDWORKS Simulation.  […]

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How Would You Like a Bolt Sandwich from SOLIDWORKS?

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Bolted connections are used in many industries for a wide variety of applications.  Look around and you will see fasteners used in automobiles, furniture, appliances, electronics, medical devices, construction, and many other design applications.  If you have worked in Engineering and design long enough, chances are you have designed a non-permanent joint using fasteners.  Like me, you may have needed to solve a finite element model that included fasteners and get accurate results for design verification and validation activities.  I’m […]

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SOLIDWORKS Simulation: Result Plot Tips – Part 2

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In a previous CATI blog accessible here, several tips were presented related to post-processing SOLIDWORKS Simulation results. It featured stress plots on mixed mesh models, showed how to present results on selected entities, and highlighted the Stress Hot Spot Diagnostics tool to locate stress singularities. Here I will mention others that I use nearly every time I conduct an analysis. Controlling plot display via the color bar The image below shows the items that are available via right mouse button […]

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SOLIDWORKS 2020 What’s New – Draft and High Quality Mesh Definition

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In the search for faster and more efficient simulations, SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2020 introduces new meshing functionality for linear static studies that is sure to help. We can now mix draft and high quality solid element meshes in the same study. Individual bodies can be meshed with either formulation to help reduce the total degree of freedom (DOF) count, resulting in quicker solutions. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, here’s a brief overview. Tetrahedral-shaped elements are formed when you mesh […]

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SOLIDWORKS Simulation Material Properties

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How do you obtain the material property data utilized in your analysis work?  Do you only use the materials in the SOLIDWORKS Material Library?  Are you one of the many SOLIDWORKS Simulation users that believe SOLIDWORKS Corporation should provide several hundred more materials in the built-in material libraries?  To me, this is a serious question that I often debate with other SOLIDWORKS Simulation users.  How often?  As recently as a few days ago I was engaged in a slightly heated […]

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Simulation Verification – How Accurate are My Results?

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Do you need to provide documentation about the accuracy of the Simulation program to support a Quality Assurance (QA) process in your company? Or have you ever asked yourself; “How do I know I’m getting accurate results?” No need to guess or worry, the SOLIDWORKS Simulation team has provided verification problems with comparison to theory to support this need. To access the full list of these problems and open the model files associated with each, navigate within SOLIDWORKS to the […]

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