Reaction moments are only applicable to element with nodes having degrees of freedom in rotation. This is not the case for solids as they only have 3 degrees of freedom per node (3 translations, but no rotation). So how can we get reaction moments on fixed faces of Solid Bodies?
Have you ever tried imposing symmetry for shell elements in SolidWorks Simulation 2012 or older? If you have then you would probably know it is a very tedious process and requires exact knowledge of what the symmetry condition actually does to impose it for shells. The built-in symmetry condition does not work because it requires the symmetry to be applied on a face (which is also the cutting plane), whereas the shells are cut along an edge and not a face. The actual process of imposing this boundary condition was actually published in a previous blog post, “Use of Symmetry in Shell Elements“.
If you tried imposing symmetry boundary condition in SolidWorks 2013, pay close attention to the icon for symmetry plane selection. Did you notice any different between Simulation 2012 and 2013?
Fatigue is the most common cause of catastrophic failure in metals and can occur in other materials as well. SolidWorks® software provides a fast, reliable, and cost-effective way to predict and resolve fatigue-related problems before they happen. Download the guide to learn how you can strike a balance between saving materials and preserving design life along with an overview of the SolidWorks Simulation tools available for you to account for fatigue.
Some time ago, I had written a blog post comparing two solvers in SolidWorks Simulations, FFEPlus and Direct Sparse. When comparing the speed of the solvers, the FFEPlus solver was beyond doubt the faster of the two solvers when handling large Degrees of Freedom.
The question may now arise, why use the Direct Sparse Solver. The simplest answer is accuracy. Since the Direct Sparse solver does not make any approximations for solution, it solves the problem directly and there are no associated computational errors. The Direct Sparse Solver becomes the solver of choice in problems where the software has other iterative processes going on as well and the error can accumulate over these iterations. (Contact Problems, Large Displacement Analysis, Circular Symmetry etc.)
This video demonstrates a simple test to compare the accuracy of the two solvers.
SolidWorks ScanTo3D is a utility available in SolidWorks Premium which allows a user to open scan data from any 3D scanner in the form of a mesh or point cloud file. This data can then be converted into a Surface or a Solid Model. If you wanted to do exactly the reverse of this operation, the only option would be to save the file out as an STL file but there is little control that a user has over the point distribution and the resolution of the STL file.
Here is a nice trick that allows you to save the data as a point cloud file from a SolidWorks Model. You will need to have SolidWorks Premium to complete this operation.
- Create a new Static Study in SolidWorks Simulation
- Mesh the model with the desired resolution
- Right-Click on the Mesh in the feature manager and choose probe
- Choose Selected Entities
- Turn on the Filter Face from the filter toolbar
- Click on a face and then click CTRL+A to select all faces
- Hit update on the Probe property page
- Uncheck show element number but keep the Show X,Y,Z location
- Hit Save as CSV
The CSV file that is created has all the X,Y,Z data like a point cloud file and can be used as a point cloud file
See the attached video to see step-by-step guide how to create the point cloud file
When using Shell elements in your Simulation studies it is important to define the offset of your shell to ensure that the geometry accurately represents the 3D model.
The default offset selection in a shell definition is Middle Surface. Therefore the defined thickness will have half of the material on either side of the surface. If you require all of the material on one side or the other, the Top or Bottom surface can be applied. The direction is defined by the orientation of the mesh. If the Top offset was selected, then the material will start from the Top surface of the mesh (part colour) and go below. If the Bottom offset was selected, then the material will start from the Bottom surface of the mesh (orange colour) and be above. Flipping the mesh or adjusting the offset definition may be required.
In SolidWorks 2012 and prior, the orientation was verified after meshing the model by comparing the mesh to the offset setting. New in SolidWorks 2013 is the ability to render the thickness in 3D to graphically see if the offset is correct. Please watch the following video to see this new functionality.
In this guide from DS SolidWorks the concept of thermal analysis as it relates to product design is explained. You will learn the principles of conduction, convection, and radiation using real-life products as examples. Plus there is an overview of the different ways to perform thermal analysis, specifically how you can use design validation software to simulate thermal conditions. A list of the desired capabilities in thermal design validation software is also included along with examples of how you can solve design challenges using SolidWorks Simulation software.
SolidWorks 2013 adds a new post-processing capability which allows the user to view the results on selected entities. These entities could be either bodies or faces.
To view the plot on a selected entities, open the plot PropertyManager and, under Advanced Options, select Show Plot on selected entities. You can select faces or bodies to view results on.
Watch the video below to see how to use this new feature:
Perhaps the best enhancement for simulation studies added in SolidWorks Simulation 2013 is the submodeling capability. For studies with a large number of bodies, this feature allows the users to improve results at critical areas without having to rerun the analysis in the entire model. It can allow mesh refinement for a selected portion of the model and rerun analysis only in the selected region. This feature can act as a huge time saver.
You can display the mesh and results of shells using a 3D representation of shell bodies. There is a new option to display the thickness of shells in result plots (stress, displacement, and strain) and when viewing the mesh.
To view the results on a 3D representation of shell bodies, in a Stress Plot, Displacement Plot, or Strain Plot Property Manager, under Advanced Options, select Render shell thickness in 3D (slower).
The shell thickness displayed in the plots is the value defined in the Shell Definition Property Manager. The orientation of thickness is displayed with relation to the midsurface of the shell, as defined by the offset value (Shell Definition Property Manager).
For stress plots, results for the top and bottom shell faces are shown. Results are linearly interpolated across the shell thickness. When probing stress plots, both the top and bottom shell values are displayed.