Physics Fun with Jamie: Best Practices for Applying Interactions

Article by Jamie Hill, CSWE updated April 25, 2023

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Welcome back to “Physics Fun with Jamie”. In SOLIDWORKS FEA (Finite Element Analysis), interactions play a critical role in accurately modeling the behavior of objects and how they interact with their environment. Here are some best practices for applying interactions  in SOLIDWORKS FEA:

  1. Define the correct interaction type: SOLIDWORKS FEA offers several interaction types, including bonded, contact, and free. Choosing the appropriate interaction type is crucial in achieving accurate results. For example, if two components are tightly fitted together, a bonded interaction type should be used, whereas if there is a gap between the components, a contact interaction type should be used.
  2. Use appropriate mesh size: The size of the mesh used in FEA affects the accuracy of the simulation. When applying interactions, it’s essential to use an appropriate mesh size to capture the contact details accurately. A smaller mesh size will provide more accurate results but will also increase computational time. Therefore, finding a balance between accuracy and computational efficiency is crucial.
  3. Consider symmetry: In some cases, the geometry of the object being simulated may have symmetry. In such cases, it’s possible to take advantage of this symmetry and apply interaction only to a portion of the object. This can save time and computational resources while still providing accurate results.
  4. Apply appropriate boundary conditions: Boundary conditions define the constraints on the object being simulated. Applying the appropriate boundary conditions is crucial in obtaining accurate results. For example, if an object is subjected to external forces, the boundary condition should be set to simulate those forces accurately.
  5. Run and analyze: Finally, it’s essential to analyze and verify the accuracy of the simulation results. Changing the interaction parameters, mesh size, or boundary conditions and observing the effects on the simulation results can help identify any errors or inaccuracies in the simulation.

In conclusion, applying interactions in SOLIDWORKS FEA is a critical step in obtaining accurate simulation results. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your simulation accurately models the behavior of objects and their interactions with their environment. To learn more, check out the rest of “Physics Fun with Jamie” blog series.

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Jamie Hill, CSWE

Jamie is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert working in the Javelin Oakville, Ontario, Canada office.