5 settings to set when starting a simulation project in SOLIDWORKS

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated January 23, 2023


When you start a new part, assembly, or drawing in SOLIDWORKS, you have a lot of default settings that are stored in your document template that optimize to your requirements. Simulation in SOLIDWORKS has similar concepts, but the settings are not as obvious as setting the document properties. Below are some settings to customize the simulation project in SOLIDWORKS experience to remove minor annoyances.

  1. Simulation units

Have you noticed your plots are in the wrong unit system? That is your first hint that the units inside of simulation are not set. Simulation add-ins (Flow Simulation, SOLIDWORKS Simulation) have their own internal unit system that is independent of the CAD platform. To set the unit inside of Simulation, Options, Default Options, Units. If you are using Flow Simulation, right click on Input Data and select units or using drop down menus, Tools, Flow Simulations, Units.

  1. Configurations

Have you had the experience of starting your simulation but then realizing that you are in the wrong configuration? When you switch to the correct configuration, the simulation tree is greyed out. What can you do? Not much. SOLIDWORKS only lets you switch configurations when you are creating a new study or copying a study, but this does not mean you cannot copy piecewise from the Simulation study tree. To copy piecewise, either select and drag the branch of the simulation tree and drag to the tab of the simulation desired or you can right click and use copy and paste.

  1. Selection

How do you just pick a single thing or a collection of elements. Depending on the simulation some tools can be more useful than others to pick certain objects. SOLIDWORKS has selection through transparency as an option (Tools, Options, Selection) and its commonly used in Flow Simulation. Selection sets can often be used for SOLIDWORKS Simulation for geometry that has to be selected over and over. Selection filters from the Selection Filter toolbar can be used to filter out unwanted selections.

system options - selection

System options – selection

  1. Transparency

Transparency can mean many things inside of SOLIDWORKS, but we are going to focus on display transparency. Simulation results are an overlay onto the CAD geometry and sometimes you will be able to see both. This is where the display transparency can affect what you see. By default, it is on 50%, but depending on the simulation you may want it on 70% to 80%. To change this, in Simulation, right click on the plot and select Settings, Deformed Plot Options, select Superimpose model on deformed shape. For Flow Simulation, Display, Transparency or using drop down menus, Tools, Flow Simulations, Results, Display, Transparency.

  1. Default options

Simulation does not support templates like typical SOLIDWORKS parts, assemblies and drawings, but you have a setting section, Default Options, that functions like a template. It is set like the names says, the default options for your simulation and you can template several things:

Default mesher, Contact type, Default plots, among other things.

Default Settings - Interaction window

Default Settings – Interaction window

The above outlines some suggested simulation project settings that should be set before you start on a project to avoid minor annoyances and speed up your post processing of results. If there are additional questions, please reach out to your TriMech representative.

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TriMech Solutions, LLC

TriMech provides thousands of engineering teams with 3D design and rapid prototyping solutions that work hand-in-hand, from sketch to manufacturing. Javelin became a subsidiary of TriMech Solutions LLC in 2021.