SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2021 Terminology Changes

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE updated September 28, 2020


There are some amazing enhancements coming with SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2021.  Although SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2021 Terminology may not be a significant enhancement, it will be noticed immediately.  Here is an explanation of the changes.

The naming conventions for contacts have been updated to better match conventional industry terminology.  The changes are specific to what has previously been named Local Contact Set, Component Contact and Contact Visualization Plot.

The new mindset is that we have Interaction between components.  This gives us a way to easily differentiate between the three options.

  • Bonded remains the same where two components remain connected
  • Contact applies to locations where we have collision, previously considered as No Penetration
  • Free is now used instead of Allow Penetration

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Component Contact

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Local Interaction

The component global bonded option, previously known as Compatible and Incompatible mesh, has changed to an advanced option Enforce common nodes between touch boundaries.  This in itself gives a more accurate description of the difference.  A Compatible mesh only occurs for a global bonded contact where components come together with coincidence.  The mesh is uniformly meshed together like a single part with shared nodes.  Similar to the 2020 version, Simulation 2021 has the option disabled by default (i.e. incompatible).

With this option:
Enabled = Compatible
Disabled = Incompatible

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Enforce Common Nodes

Local contacts have the ability to specify a gap (clearance) between components that will come in contact.  The name has been changed to Contact Offset.  If there is clearance between the two selections, this gives the ability to indicate if a clearance should remain.

Unlimited gap clearance = Always ignore clearance
If gap is less than = Ignore clearance only if gap is less then

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Contact Offset

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Scott Durksen, CSWE

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