SOLIDWORKS Mass Overrides with Simulation

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE updated August 21, 2020


In some situations, the mass of a component may not match the real world value.  This would be caused by either an improper mass density of the material assigned, or the volumetric geometry is not identical to the physical component.  The most common source is from imported geometry that is missing components or detail.

Within SOLIDWORKS, a mass override can be defined to explicitly give a component a custom mass.  This can help with mass calculations of assemblies.

SOLIDWORKS Mass Override

However when creating a Simulation study, it is very important to realize that these mass overrides are NOT applied to the study.  Simulation is highly dependent on proper materials and geometry defined.  To see the actual mass of the Simulation study, you can use the Simulation Mass Properties.  Here you’ll notice the mass is not the same as the override.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Mass Properties

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Mass Properties

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Evaluated Mass

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Evaluated Mass

If you wish to change the mass of a component in the Simulation study, obviously the best solution is to modify the geometry for accurate representation of the physical component.  This would ensure the center of mass is correct.  Another method is to create a custom material and define a density value based on the volume to reach the desired mass.

The Remote Load/Mass feature can be used if the geometry itself does not require analysis, but rather the effects of its mass on other components.  Here you can enter a specific mass value and location of center of mass.

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Scott Durksen, CSWE

Scott is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.