solidworks simulation

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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Understanding beam diagrams in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

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When conducting a finite element analysis (FEA) of a weldment structure in SOLIDWORKS Simulation, the software will default to meshing each structural member using beam elements. Beam elements are one dimensional finite elements, where the section properties of the beam (inertia, cross sectional area, torsion constant, etc.) are accounted for in the mathematical model as opposed to the geometrical model. In other words, when we use beam elements to mesh an extruded shape, we don’t subdivide the cross section of […]

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Mesh Controls in SOLIDWORKS: Not just for Faces and Edges

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When it comes to mesh controls, people often ask if they can be applied to an entire part instead of to edges, faces and vertices. The answer is of course “Yes”, but the method is slightly different than it is for edges, faces, and vertices. Outside of the mesh failure diagnostic window, there are two workflows/methods for applying mesh controls to parts and one of them is a little less obvious than the other. Let’s dive in and start with […]

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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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Slow Your Roll, Slow Rotating Regions in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation.

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If you have used SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, you will likely know that one of the best enhancements in recent years is the “Sliding Mesh” rotating region feature. This boundary condition is geared towards turbo machinery design, allowing the impeller/ rotating geometry to drive fluid flow. This technology is an advanced option for designing impellers, volutes, propellers or anything else you want to rotate in a fluid. As you might have noticed these applications rotate at a fast rate usually 100’s […]

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Insert Molding with SOLIDWORKS Plastics

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What is the correct term – insert molding or insert overmolding?  I hear the terms used almost interchangeably in conversations about SOLIDWORKS Plastics.  I always ask the speaker for clarification.  The ask is not because I do not understand what both terms mean, I want to make sure that we are discussing the same thing.  Let’s clarify the terms so we can move forward with today’s blog.  Insert molding is the process of adding an insert, typically a metal component, […]

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Tips and Tricks for Post Processing in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

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SOLIDWORKS Simulation makes the process of setting up, solving and post-processing a simulation study easy and intuitive. In this blog I will share some of my favorite tips and tricks for the post processing stage. Tip #1: Start post processing with displacements not stresses When the SOLIDWORKS Simulation solver is complete, the results are automatically loaded into the results folder. Typically, the results folder will include default plots of von Mises stress, displacement and strain (in that order) and after […]

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How Big of a Strut? Motion Has Us Covered.

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One of the benefits of being the engineer in a group of friends is that you get to help with all your friends’ projects. The same friend who I helped design a Trebuchet found in this 4 part blog series asked me to help create a concealment flag. A concealment flag is basically a lock box that looks like wall art. These are used to hide several things including candy from kids. The box will have an RFID lock on the […]

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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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What Can I Learn in a Buckling Study?

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Like most of the central United States, the Chicago area (where I live) experienced a brutal February 2021 with frigid temperatures and lots of snow. We got whacked with a serious blizzard that lasted about 36 hours. This was the scene outside my back door when the blizzard was over. That’s 22 inches of fresh powder on my patio table. After the backbreaking work of shoveling the driveway was complete, I started to wonder whether my patio table was in […]

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