Physics Fun with Jamie: Setting Up a Drop Test Study

Article by Jamie Hill, CSWE updated June 23, 2023


Welcome back to “Physics Fun with Jamie”. SOLIDWORKS Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is a powerful tool for simulating the effects of a drop on a product. The software can be used to perform a drop test study, which predicts the response of a product when dropped from a specified height. Here are some steps to follow when setting up a drop test analysis in SOLIDWORKS FEA.

  1. Define the drop conditions: Start by defining the drop conditions, including the drop height, orientation, and impact surface. This information is critical to accurately simulate the drop test.
  2. Create a model: Create a model of your product using SOLIDWORKS CAD software. The model should be fully defined, with all the necessary dimensions and features specified.
  3. Mesh the model: Mesh the model using appropriate mesh size and type. The mesh size should be fine enough to capture the critical regions of the model, but not too fine to increase the computational time.
  4. Apply materials: Assign the appropriate materials to the model. The material properties should be defined accurately to ensure accurate results.
  5. Define boundary conditions: Define the boundary conditions, including the fixed supports, restraints, and applied loads. The boundary conditions should be consistent with the drop conditions.
  6. Specify the drop test settings: Specify the drop test settings, including the time step, damping, and gravity. The time step should be small enough to capture the dynamic response of the model, while the damping and gravity should be set to appropriate values.
  7. Run the study: Run the drop test study and review the results. SOLIDWORKS FEA provides graphical representations of the results, including displacement, velocity, and acceleration plots.
  8. Verify the results: Verify the results by comparing them to known test data or published results. If the results are not as expected, review the model, loading conditions, and material properties.

In conclusion, setting up a drop test study in SOLIDWORKS FEA is straightforward when you follow these steps. By defining the drop conditions, creating an accurate model, applying materials, defining boundary conditions, specifying the drop test settings, and verifying the results, you can ensure that your product is designed to withstand impact forces and have a long service life.


Related Links

Certified SOLIDWORKS Services available from Javelin

Javelin can help you to:

Find Related Content by TAG:

Jamie Hill, CSWE

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