SOLIDWORKS Design Analysis is NOT just for Experts anymore

Article by Rod Mackay updated March 22, 2018


SOLIDWORKS design analysis provides the greatest benefits when implemented very early in the design cycle because that’s when it is easiest and most cost-effective to make design changes. When analysis is performed in conjunction with solid modeling, design engineers can leverage analysis results to fix, improve, or optimize designs.

For many years, design analysis was the exclusive domain of highly specialized analysts, who would analyze models after a design engineer had finished his or her work. This approach resulted in a lot of wasted time related to the back-and-forth interaction between designers and analysts, especially when solid models had to be recreated in a separate analysis package.

Analysis Experts

Analysis Experts

Using SOLIDWORKS design analysis as part of conceptual design

But in recent years, the benefits of using SOLIDWORKS design analysis as part of conceptual design have become apparent. When properly trained to use today’s modern, integrated analysis systems, design engineers are better positioned than analysts to leverage analysis results to modify solid models as design iterations progress. The direct involvement of design engineers in analyzing their own designs allows for quick turnaround times and ensures that design modifications indicated by analysis results are promptly implemented in the design progress.

SOLIDWORKS Design Analysis

Design Analysis with SOLIDWORKS Simulation

In many ways, SOLIDWORKS design analysis technology is helping to blur the lines of demarcation among traditional engineering organizations. While drafting, designing, and analyzing product designs were traditionally separate tasks executed by different people, the availability of powerful, easy-to-use, and affordable CAD and SOLIDWORKS design analysis software has fostered a greater sense of collaboration among all engineering functions.

Analysts continue to play an important role by conducting the more advanced and time-consuming types of analysis.

Learn about our range of SOLIDWORKS Simulation Analysis software designed for engineers.

Analysis Training

Preparing and training design engineers to reap the benefits of design analysis is just as important as selecting the right package for a manufacturer’s needs. Design engineers generally need to conduct only simple types of analysis and today’s integrated design analysis packages make FEA theory completely transparent to the user. Most design engineers possess the requisite knowledge to use design analysis from their engineering background.

The amount of analysis training required for a design engineer to begin productive work should be a matter of days, not weeks or months. The key element in effective analysis training is providing users with a solid conceptual understanding of analysis fundamentals, such as major assumptions, limitations, and inherent errors as well as common mistakes, traps, and misconceptions.

Design Analysis Class

Design Analysis Class

Hands-on training approach

The analysis training course should employ a hands-on computer approach so participants can benefit from the synergy produced by acquiring software skills while becoming familiar with analysis theory. Too much of an emphasis on “how to run the software” may overshadow more important issues related to analysis fundamentals and give the impression that familiarity with the software equals analysis expertise. Industry experience indicates that users who know the fundamentals of analysis can easily figure out how to operate software, but acquiring software operational skills does not necessarily lead to a full understanding of analysis.

Analysis training requirements

In summary, design analysis training should:

  • Focus on a conceptual understanding of analysis
  • Avoid too much software-specific content at the expense of analysis basics
  • Use hands-on analysis examples with a progressing level of complexity
  • Employ examples that utilize CAD models
  • Combine theory with hands-on examples
  • Use integrated design analysis software while stressing the differences between the
    two technologies
  • Follow up later with software-specific training

While focused training on the proper use of analysis can make a good design engineer even better, the opposite can actually make them dangerous. Effective training makes all the difference.

Javelin SOLIDWORKS Design Analysis Training

Javelin provides comprehensive instructor led training courses for the SOLIDWORKS Simulation products. All the courses are hands-on and will allow you to learn by carrying out different tasks outlined in the training.

Customers can also take live online SOLIDWORKS Simulation training in their office. The live courses are convenient and allows for little disruption to your working day. Live Online Training Courses are 3 or 4 hours per day.

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Rod Mackay

Rod has been using 3D CAD software for over 25 years and has trained thousands of designers to use their CAD systems more effectively. Rod is the Javelin Webmaster and is based in Ottawa, ON., Canada.