Creating Multiple Bolt Connectors in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE updated January 12, 2024


    SOLIDWORKS Simulation Bolt Connectors are a great way to simplify your FEA studies for faster run times. Rather than having physical bolt geometry to mesh and interact with surrounding parts, a Simulation Bolt Connector adds a simplified beam element to represent the bolt shank and rigid or distributed bars to the surrounding faces. Situations arise where you may have many holes in your model that require bolts.  This article will explain different methods of creating multiple bolt connectors in SOLIDWORKS Simulation.

    Adding Bolt Connectors One at a Time

    When a Bolt connector is created and accepted, a single feature is added to the Simulation tree under the Connectors category. Adding more connectors one by one will create additional features.

    Bolt Connectors

    SOLIDWORKS Bolt Connector

    Bolt Connectors

    SOLIDWORKS Bolt Connector Features

    Keep Visible in Bolt Connectors PropertyManager

    To speed up the process you can enable the ‘Keep Visible’ icon in the Bolt Connector PropertyManager. This keeps the PropertyManager open with the same values after clicking Accept so you can quickly add more connectors.  This will create all Bolt Connector features within the same session under a Bolt Group. This keeps things cleaner when you have multiple bolt sizes or locations.

    Bolt Connectors

    SOLIDWORKS PropertyManager Keep Visible

    Bolt Connectors

    SOLIDWORKS Simulation Bolt Group

    PRODUCTIVITY TIP: Use the right mouse button while in the PropertyManager to jump between selection boxes and to Accept

    Additional Bolt Groups can be created by adding folders to the Connectors feature. Existing bolts can be dragged in and out of folders.

    Bolt Connectors

    SOLIDWORKS Bolt Connector New Group

    Convert Toolbox Features to Bolt Connectors

    If you have a Simulation Professional or Simulation Premium license and use Toolbox fasteners in your assemblies, these can be automatically converted to Simulation Bolt Connectors. Right-click on the Connectors folder and choose ‘Toolbox Fasteners to Bolts’. This generates Simulation Bolt connectors by picking up the sizes of the Toolbox components. The Toolbox components are automatically excluded from the Simulation study and placed in a folder.

    Automatic Conversion of Toolbox Fasteners to Bolts – 2024 – SOLIDWORKS Help

    Bolt Connectors

    SOLIDWORKS Toolbox Fasteners to Bolts

    Bolt Connectors

    SOLIDWORKS Auto-Converted Toolbox Fasteners

    Assembly Hole Series Feature to Propagate Simulation Bolt Connectors

    And lastly, if you want the ability to add one Simulation Bolt Connector and have all other holes populated, the Hole Series assembly feature can be used. The Hole Series assembly feature applies to multiple components within the assembly. This is required as a Bolt Connector needs to reference at least two components. A simple Hole Wizard feature within the part level does not provide enough information.

    Bolt Connectors

    SOLIDWORKS Hole Series

    Details on using the Hole Series feature can be found in our blog articles How to use the SOLIDWORKS Hole Series Wizard and Save time by using a SOLIDWORKS Hole Series in your assemblies!

    Applying a Bolt Connector to any of the Hole Series instances will provide a prompt to propagate bolts to all holes. This conveniently groups them all in the same Bolt Group.

    Bolt Connectors

    SOLIDWORKS Bolt Connectors on Hole Series Holes

    Bolt Connectors

    SOLIDWORKS Hole Series Simulation Bolt Connectors

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    Scott Durksen, CSWE

    Scott is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.