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SOLIDWORKS Simulation Pin Connector

Article by Irfan Zardadkhan, PhD, CSWE created/updated March 17, 2015

A Pin Connector connects a solid or a shell body to another solid or shell body. The selection entities can be cylindrical faces or circular edges from the same body or two different bodies.

The Pin connector is represented with a very stiff beam. Each end of the Pin is located at the center of the cylindrical face (on the axis, and halfway across the height). Each end is then connected with perfectly rigid bars to each node of the cylindrical face it corresponds to.

pin connector

Under loading, pin connectors behave as follows:

  • The pin remains straight (it does not bend)
  • Each face maintains its original shape but can move as a rigid body
  • All faces defining the pin connector remain coaxial

The With retaining ring and With key options are implemented by freeing some DOFs between the rigid bars (translation for With retaining ring and rotation With key)

The Material properties and the Tensile Stress Area are not used to realistically represent the stiffness of the pin.

Instead, the Pin forces are calculated based on assumption that the Pin is very stiff. The axial and shear forces and the bending and torsional moments in the Pins are calculated during the solution based on that assumption. Then, from the obtained values, the defined Strength data is used to calculate the factor of safety.

The pin connectors can be defined between two cylindrical faces from two separate parts. However, if you want to define between three (or more) components, you need to define two pin connectors (or more). Before you define the pin connectors, split the cylindrical surface of the middle component in two cylindrical faces (each of half the initial face’s height) and use them for each pin connector definitions (first cylindrical face with one part and the second cylindrical face with the other part).

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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.

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