There is a lot to dig into when it comes to simulation and effectively testing your designs. In this article, we will be looking at three main stages of SOLIDWORKS Simulation and the essentials for getting your part set up for analysis. Finite element analysis (or FEA) is a numerical technique of solving field problems described by a set of partial differential equations. Many people use this form of analysis, from acoustics, fluid dynamics, electromagnetism, and many others. However, there are other numerical methods of analysis such as the finite difference method and others.
Three Stages in SOLIDWORKS Simulation Part Analysis
When it comes to simulation, we are talking about three main stages:
- The first is preprocessing, or what kind of test are we running? (e.g., static, thermal). In this step we set up material properties, loads and fixtures or restraints directly applied to our model. Finally, we mesh out our model, and our part/assembly is split into several finite elements.
- The second step in this process is the solution. We are computing the desired results and having SOLIDWORKS determine where our stresses are going to be most prevalent given our certain loads/forces applied as well as fixtures.
- The last step in the process is the most important, postprocessing. We analyze the results SOLIDWORKS gave us. In areas of high stress, we may want to come in and do some clean-up. This can be defeaturing, the process of suppressing or removing geometry features that are insignificant for analysis such as cosmetic fillets, rounds, and logos. We can also come in and add more mesh around high stress areas to add more elements for a deeper analysis. As you can see below, we have added a mesh control around the corner in this bracket(further refinement of elements). Our goal is to obtain a convergence point of MPa, where from study to study we further refine our model so that our maximum stresses are flattening out and becoming further accurate.
How to learn SOLIDWORKS Simulation
TriMech provides comprehensive instructor led training courses for SOLIDWORKS Simulation software including SOLIDWORKS Simulation Essentials.
The SOLIDWORKS Simulation Essentials training course provides an in-depth coverage on the basics of Finite Element Analysis (FEA), covering the entire analysis process from meshing to evaluation of results for parts and assemblies. The class discusses linear stress analysis, gap/contact analysis and best practices.
This training course will help you to:
- Gain an understanding of using Analysis tools in SOLIDWORKS
- Create better designs by performing analysis and evaluating the behavior of your parts and assemblies under actual service conditions.
If you or your colleagues are interested in getting hands-on training with some of the concepts that were covered in this article please reference the upcoming schedule and contact us for more information.
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