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Parametric Electromagnetic Simulation in SOLIDWORKS

Article by Arvind Krishnan created/updated March 7, 2018

What is parametric Electromagnetic simulation?

In the EMS for SOLIDWORKS add-in, we can study how the electromagnetic fields, forces etc., vary as a function of a given parameter. The parameter can be any SOLIDWORKS dimension or any simulation related variable. Examples of SOLIDWORKS dimensions can be mate distance, model dimension, number of units in a linear or circular pattern etc. Basically, anywhere in SOLIDWORKS where you can input a numerical value as a variable can be used as a parameter in EMS. On the other hand, simulation parameters can be the current in a coil, the number of turns in a winding, the frequency of alternating current etc. Parametric simulations are an elegant way of studying how the electromagnetic fields, forces etc vary with the change in the parametric variable.

How to do parametric simulation in EMS?

A Parametric Electromagnetic Simulation can be enabled in the study option by checking the Parametrization check box as shown in Figure 1 below. Parametric simulations are allowed for the following study types – Electrostatic, Electric conduction, Magnetostatic and AC Magnetic. Also, one can couple Thermal simulation to these study types with Parameterization.

Parametric Simulations

Figure 1: To enable parametrization

Once you have enabled Parametrization in the study, you need to decide the type of parametric simulation you need to perform. You can have SOLIDWORKS geometry dimensions, simulation variables or a combination of both as a parameter. You can also have multiple parameters in the same study to create numerous what-if scenarios.

Creating a SOLIDWORKS dimension as a parameter

To include SOLIDWORKS dimensions as a parameter, you need to first open the Parameters dialog box. One can access the same by RMB (Right mouse button) on the assembly name (above all the studies) in the EMS study tree and select Parameters. This is highlighted in Figure 2 below. Now from the screen select the appropriate SOLIDWORKS dimension to create a parameter.

Selecting a SOLIDWORKS dimension as a parameter

Figure 2: Selecting a SOLIDWORKS dimension as a parameter

Creating a simulation variable as a parameter

Nothing special needs to be done to make the simulation variables as a parameter. Once you have defined the study and created all the components in a study like creating coils, assigning boundary conditions, creating mesh controls etc, you can use any of these as a parameter.

Creating Design Scenarios

Once you have created all the parameters and defined the study completely, it is time to create design scenarios where parameters can be used. To create a design scenario just double click on the Design Scenarios under Parameterization folder in the EMS study tree. You can select the parameters you want and then assign possible values for them. Here one can include both geometric variables as well as simulation variables to parameterize. If you already selected a SOLIDWORKS dimension earlier, it will automatically appear under geometric variables. You can refresh scenarios to include all the possible combinations you want to simulate. Refer to Figure 3 below on how to access Design Scenario page in EMS.

Design Scenarios

Figure 3: Design Scenarios

Run the Study and look at the Results

Once the design scenarios are setup, you can run the study. Once it is solved, you will be able to access the results for all the scenarios.

Examples of Parametric Simulation

Figure 4 shows how the force on a steel plate in a magnet arrangement changes with the distance between the steel plate and the magnet arrangement. EMS automatically plots the Force as a function of distance and all the relevant plots for all the scenarios.

Force variation with distance

Figure 4: Example 1 – Force variation with distance

Figure 5 shows how parametric simulation can be used to study how the current through the coil influences the force acting on the plunger in a linear actuator.

Influence of current on the plunger movement Electromagnetic Simulation

Figure 5: Example 2 – Influence of current on the plunger movement

Figure 6 shows how parametric simulation can be used to study the influence of magnet size in the flux produced at a distance from the Halbach array.

Size of the magnet in a Halbach array is treated as a parameter

Figure 6: Example 3 – Size of the magnet in a Halbach array is treated as a parameter

Conclusion

Parametric simulation can be used effectively in EMS for SOLIDWORKS to study how different variables (both geometric and simulation) affect the electromagnetic behavior of a device. It can be used to understand the behavior of your device under a wide variety of what-if scenarios all under one study in EMS. Finally, the result processing capability of EMS enables you to view results for all scenarios.

To get more information about parametric simulation in EMS, you can watch the webinar below:

EMS for SOLIDWORKS

EMS for SOLIDWORKS is the first and only completely embedded Gold Certified software for SOLIDWORKS which helps SOLIDWORKS users study their magnetic, electric and electromagnetic designs seamlessly. It can utilize the geometry created using SOLIDWORKS directly for simulation. Its user interface emulates SOLIDWORKS and hence there is no learning curve associated with the EMS software for SOLIDWORKS users. Want to try a SOLIDWORKS electromagnetic simulation?

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Arvind Krishnan

Arvind Krishnan is the Director of Product Management at EMWorks. He has been a user of SOLIDWORKS and CAE tools for the past 15 years and has an interest in technologies based on Magnetism.

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