What Are the Capabilities of SOLIDWORKS Simulation?

You have a new design, and it looks great. But how can you be certain it will perform as expected? Waiting until production to test your design can be costly and time consuming. Some questions that you might ask yourself are: how do I decide which is the right direction while I’m still in design phase? How do I ensure that my design is strong and efficient enough while minimising expenses? What about design changes and other unforeseen challenges?

When you overlook these issues until later in the design process, it can halt the entire production due to design flaws or recalls. Surely there must be a more efficient approach.

Introducing SOLIDWORKS Simulation – it presents a suite of tools leveraging Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to anticipate the physical behaviour of a product by testing CAD models virtually. It offers linear, non-linear static and dynamic analysis capabilities.

1. Linear Static Analysis

This is a computational method used to predict how a structure or component will deform and respond to applied loads, assuming linear material behaviour and small displacements.

This analysis calculates the stresses, strains, deformations, and FOS within the structure, helping you to identify areas of potential weakness or excessive deformations. It also includes Trend Tracker tool to help you track the results of design changes automatically.

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2. Buckling Analysis

This is employed to assess the stability of load-bearing structures under compressive leads, providing an accurate evaluation of the Factor of Safety (FOS) against the risk of buckling failure in a design.

When a structure is subject to compression, it may eventually bend or collapse (hence, buckle) under the pressure. Buckling Analysis helps you to predict and prevent this failure by simulating different scenarios to determine the critical load at which buckling is likely to occur and ensure the design is robust enough to withstand such conditions.

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3. Fatigue Analysis

Fatigue Analysis is used to predict and assess the durability and lifespan of a component or structure subjected to repeated loading or cyclic stresses over time.

Setting up Fatigue Analysis in SOLIDWORKS Simulation enables you to assess if your product can withstand usage requirements over a period of time and not just if it can perform well under a single specified load condition.

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4. Motion (Kinamatic) Analysis

This analysis leverages user-defined constraints (mates) in assemblies and mechanical inputs (gravity, springs, dampers, forces, etc.) to precisely replicate the mechanical movement of the assembly. This process yields reaction forces, position, acceleration, and velocities, offering you comprehensive insights into the assembly’s movements.

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5. Frequency Analysis

Also know as modal analysis, this analysis is a technique employedto identify the mode shapes and natural frequences of individual components as well as entire assemblies. This data holds significant importance for engineers, especially when creating designs intended to endure vibration inputs or operate within vibrating surroundings.

By conducting modal analysis, you can identify critical modes that may lead to resonance or structural failure, allowing you to make informed design decisions to mitigate these risks.

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6. Thermal Analysis

This test allows you a means to study and examine heat transfer processes and anticipate how a system will respond to thermal loads and environmental conditions. This understanding allows you to design products that meet performance requirements and withstand real-world thermal scenarios.

Thermal analysis can also be used in stress analysis to see how thermal conditions can influence the structural integrity and performance of a design resulted from affected mechanical behaviour.

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7. Topology Optimisation

This is the most common type of structural optimisation, used to optimise the material layout within a given design space. It allows you to define the “bounding box”, stiffness, weight, and frequency criteria for a component so the software can generate the optimal shape to fulfil these criteria, while also considering manufacturing limitations.

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8. Parametric Optimisation

Parametric Optimisation enables designers to quickly assess and refine a design based on variables such as dimensions and materials with specific constraints and overall objectives such as weight, strength, frequency and even production costs.

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9. Drop Test

This analysis offers a user-friendly solution for simulating the impact of drops on components and assemblies. It provides comprehensive control over parameters such as impact surface, drop height, velocity, and angle, enabling you to gain insights into the behaviour of designs under different drop impact conditions.

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10. Nonlinear Analysis

Linear solvers are inadequate for accurately testing materials like rubbers, plastics, Nitinol and other nonlinear materials. Nonlinear analysis enables engineers to use advanced material models to precisely analyse designs incorporating these materials.

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Using SOLIDWORKS Simulation is the most efficient and comprehensive approach to validating your designs prior to prototype creation. Within minutes, you can effortlessly assess your designs for various variables such as flow, stress, temperature, FOS, pressure, and more. From small mechanisms to large machines, SOLIDWORKS Simulation helps you to simplifies the testing process, and even extending the capabilities to injection moulded plastics validation and environmental impact assessment. 

With SOLIDWORKS Simulation, complex calculations are handled automatically, allowing you to concentrate on the design aspect. You can also explore different materials and configurations, all without the need for physical prototypes. Integrated directly into the SOLIDWORKS interface, SOLIDWORKS Simulation facilitates validation throughout your design process, ensuring optimal designs are achieve right from the start.

For more information about SOLIDWORKS Simulation and packages we offer, visit our page.

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