The Power of Parameters in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

Article by Suman Sudhakaran updated December 4, 2023

Article

When performing simulations for product designs, precision and efficiency are paramount. Engineers and designers need tools that allow them to explore a wide range of scenarios very quickly without having to manually adjust each boundary condition to simulate specific scenarios. Enter the ‘Parameters dialog’ in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation—a hidden gem that can revolutionize your fluid simulation workflow.

You can define parameters that serve as Flow Simulation global variables – they can be used in specifying boundary conditions, and equation goals, or when defining parametric studies such as “What if” scenarios. The key benefit of using parameters is that you can define complex dependencies, i.e. define a parameter that is dependent on another parameter, flow simulation project goals, or time in transient flow simulation projects. Imagine you’re designing an exhaust system for a high-performance vehicle, and you want to optimize the flow behavior. While you can set up a parametric study accounting for variations in mass flow rate, temperature, pressure drops, etc., you can efficiently set up scenarios with dependencies using the parameter function.
To define a Parameter, you can navigate to the Parameters dialog via Tools on the main ribbon and click on the Add icon   or the “+” sign as shown below:

                                Parameters in SOLIDWORKS Flow dialog box

Once the Parameter dialog box displays you can add a parameter, give it a name, and double-click the cell under the value column to provide a value.

                                    Parameter value

Clicking on the dependency icon “ ”, gives you the option to select either goals, formula definition, or other parameters to set up dependencies.

                                      dependency icon

Unit can be set as needed in the dimensionality column. Using multiple parameters, you can specify dependencies such as adjusting input mass flow rate based upon specific pressure boundary conditions or goals. In the image below, a distribution cylinder has three fluids entering the system. The mass flow rate of one of the fluids entering the system varies depending on the input mass flow of other fluid entering the cylinder.

                                                                distribution cylinder has three fluids entering the system

 
Another example where you may use the Parameter feature is when defining heat source power that is dependent on both the temperature and time. They can also be used in defining equation goals or mathematical functions/formula definitions.
Instead of cloning projects and updating boundary conditions manually, the Parametric Study can easily automate the process. Parameters can be predefined and used in parametric studies as input variables. As you delve into the world of parametric studies, consider the possibilities: What if you linked parameters to real-world data, creating a dynamic feedback loop? The journey doesn’t end here—explore further and let the parameters guide you towards creating realistic scenarios for simulations that accelerate your product development process.

To learn more about SOLIDWORKS, see our list of training opportunities here. 

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Suman Sudhakaran

Suman Sudhakaran is an Applications Solutions Consultant with TriMech