There can be a lot to keep track of when setting up a simulation, and it can also be difficult to understand if the study you’re running will give you results that make sense. Thankfully, SOLIDWORKS Simulation has a lot of tools that, in 2023, are easy to access on the command manager and run to get diagnostic information about your study. Here is a quick look at what simulation diagnostic tools are available to you and when to use them:
Simulation Diagnostic Tools
In static studies, this tool can show you which bodies in a part or assembly are allowed to translate or rotate freely. The results of this will list all of the degrees of freedom still available in the under constrained model or the message that the model is fully constrained. This is important because it can give insight as to the fixtures, connectors, or interactions you should implement to constrain your model from moving freely. There are some added benefits to using this with Simulation Professional and Premium, as the solver is faster and it can also take into account contact interactions that have been defined. If you’re interested in learning more about the differences in simulation packages, check out this article that goes over the different simulation offerings: Which SOLIDWORKS Simulation Package is best for me?
This tool can provide corrective actions for items in your study to ensure it runs smoothly. In short, it can ensure an optimum setup. This will check for things like available storage capacity in the results location, ensuring all bodies have material assignments, mesh and geometry volumes, and any invalid conditions. This is a good sanity check to perform before running your study.
Similar to the assembly visualization tool, the interaction viewer can graphically break down the state of your assembly or multibody part that you are simulating. When using this tool, regions of the model are rendered with colors that coordinate to a variety of interaction types. This can be for both static (bonded, contact, free, shrink fit, and virtual wall) and thermal (thermal contact resistance and insulated) studies. Not only will it show the geometry interactions, but the solver based interactions – meaning the mesh elements that participate in the condition will be visualized.
Mesh Failure Diagnostics
Most issues in running simulations occur by getting the fixtures and connecting conditions wrong and getting meshing wrong. Should the mesh fail, there’s a diagnostic tool to resolve these issues, and can identify the bodies that failed to mesh. Once the mesh has failed, faces and edges that are causing the failure are highlighted in the graphics area. It should be noted that this is only a tool available to solid mesh.
Mesh Quality Diagnostics
Maybe your mesh isn’t failing, but it may still not be perfect, which is why you can use the Mesh Quality Diagnostics to assess if your mesh has poor quality elements. This can vary based on criteria you input, so that you can determine the quality based on jacobian ratio, aspect ratio, and element volume. Shell meshes can also be evaluated based on element area or skewness. The plot can be customized too, so that only selected bodies are shown.
We go over when to use these simulation diagnostic tools effectively while running simulations in our SOLIDWORKS Simulation Essentials course.
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