SolidWorks Simulation 2014: Contact Visualization Plot

Article by Irfan Zardadkhan, PhD, CSWE updated December 17, 2013


Have you ever wondered what contacts you have created when running a simulation and what contacts have you missed? Imagine a large assembly with hundreds of contacts. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get a summary of the contacts you have created to avoid those error messages which say that your model is unstable or not properly restrained? SolidWorks Simulation 2014 does just that.

With a 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.

To view this plot, Right-click Connections, click Contact Visualization Plot

Select Components: Select either the assembly or components (two and more) to view the regions of contact.

Calculate: Calculates all areas of contact between the selected components and renders them with a unique color according to the contact type. Lists all detected contact pairs under Results.

Include solver generated contacts (mesh required): Active after meshing the model. Select to view at the mesh level the areas of the model detected by the solver (before starting the analysis) with an assigned contact definition

Contact TypeColor Rendering
No PenetrationPurple
Allow penetration (Free contact)Green
Shrink FitOrange
Virtual WallYellow
Thermal Contact ResistancePurple

Note: This tool is available in SolidWorks Simulation Professional and SolidWorks Simulation Premium.

Watch the video to see the tool in action:

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Irfan Zardadkhan, PhD, CSWE

Irfan holds a PhD in Aerospace Engineering and is as Elite AE. He contributes regularly to the SIMULATION and COMPOSER tech blogs. He has won the TenLinks Top blogger award for SOLIDWORKS. He has presented at local user groups and at SOLIDWORKS World.