Physics Fun with Jamie: Setting Up a Design Study Analysis

Article by Jamie Hill, CSWE updated June 22, 2023


Welcome back to “Physics Fun with Jamie”. A design study analysis in SOLIDWORKS FEA is a powerful tool for simulating and optimizing the performance of a product or part. It allows designers to evaluate multiple design alternatives quickly and efficiently, thereby reducing the cost and time of physical testing. Here are some steps to follow when setting up a design study in SOLIDWORKS FEA.

  1. Define the goals: Define the design study goals by specifying the performance metrics that you want to evaluate. These can include maximum stress, deflection, or displacement, among others.
  2. Create the geometry: Create the 3D model of the part or assembly you want to simulate. This can be done in SOLIDWORKS or imported from other CAD software.
  3. Assign the material properties: Assign the appropriate material properties to the model. The material properties should be defined accurately to ensure accurate results.
  4. Define the loads and boundary conditions: Define the loads and boundary conditions that the model will experience in its operating environment. This can include loads from gravity, external forces, or thermal effects.
  5. Generate the mesh: Generate the mesh for the model. The mesh size and type should be selected based on the complexity of the model and the accuracy required.
  6. Select the analysis type: Choose the analysis type based on the intended use of the product. The analysis type can be static, transient, or dynamic.
  7. Run the analysis: Run the design study analysis and review the results. SOLIDWORKS FEA provides graphical representations of the results, including stress and deformation plots.
  8. Evaluate the results: Evaluate the results by comparing the performance metrics of different design alternatives. Identify the design alternative that best meets the design study goals.
  9. Refine the model: Refine the model by adjusting the loads, boundary conditions, or material properties, and re-run the analysis.
  10. Finalize the design: Finalize the optimized design and prepare the model for manufacturing.

In conclusion, setting up a design study analysis in SOLIDWORKS FEA is a critical step in evaluating the performance of a product or part. By following these steps, you can ensure that your design study is accurate, efficient, and effective in achieving the desired performance goals.

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Jamie Hill, CSWE

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