SOLIDWORKS Simulation


  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

    Optimize Your Designs While Cutting Costs with SOLIDWORKS Simulation Tools

    Nathan Sneller by Nathan Sneller on August 7, 2018

     SOLIDWORKS SimulationWhether you’re a small or large business owner, an engineer, designer, or laborer there are processes you can adapt to make your job easier. If you have a stake in your business, a reduction in parts could cut your raw material and labor costs and if your company offers a bonus for cost reduction, the reward can be pretty handsome. Even if your company doesn’t have a formal cost reduction program, going into a year-end review with a claim that you saved the company money can help put you ahead.

    Regardless if your company calls it “cost reduction” or “Value Analysis & Value Engineering”, it all comes down to making more money on existing products by spending less to make them. It’s the easiest profitability. There are a few tools in the SOLIDWORKS portfolio that are crucial in assisting with this. In this blog, I share how to use SOLIDWORKS Simulation and SOLIDWORKS Plastics to make better products for less cost.

    Continue reading


    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

      SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Tutorial: Fluid Flow Problems

      Drew Buchanan by Drew Buchanan on June 15, 2018

      Flow Simulation tutorial

      Testing fluid flow problems used to be a fairly complicated and difficult process to execute. With the advent of technology, you can now run fluid flow problems virtually. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has been around for the past 30 years, and it has become even more user-friendly and powerful than it was 30 years ago.

      One of the most common questions I hear from users new to CFD is how do I get started? In this SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation tutorial, I am laying out how to prepare a model for a fluid flow problem. Let's get started. 

      Continue reading


      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

        Simulation with SOLIDWORKS: Is it Enough?

        Nathan Sneller by Nathan Sneller on May 21, 2018

        SOLIDWORKS premiumIf you’re a SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software user, you’ve likely experimented with different features and read different blog posts on SOLIDWORKS to brush up your knowledge. With so many features offered (and three different software solutions to choose from), it can be hard to know if you’re using your software to its full potential. Keep reading to learn how to get the most out of the Simulation tools within SOLIDWORKS Premium and a chance to attend a fun webcast where we'll analyze the workings of James Watt’s flyball governor using simulation features in SOLIDWORKS.

        Continue reading


        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, CAD

          SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2018 and Topology Study

          Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on April 24, 2018

           using SOLIDWORKS simulationSOLIDWORKS 2018 introduced users to a number of enhancements that makes using SOLIDWORKS Simulation faster and easier than ever before. SOLIDWORKS 2018 also includes a new tool called Topology which is a design guide and study type that adds SIMULIA technology to the simplicity of a typical simulation set up. Together, these tools can improve workflow and help overcome otherwise difficult challenges in the design process.

          As we’ve seen in previous blogs, SOLIDWORKS 2018 has made several improvements to the entire portfolio - from product data management to realistic visualization and electrical schematics; simulation and design validation is no exception. Keep reading to see how SOLIDWORKS Simulation is a design validation game changer and familiarize yourself with Topology.

          Continue reading


          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, CAD

            SOLIDWORKS Plastics Simulation - Can Software Replace Human Observation?

            Nathan Sneller by Nathan Sneller on April 11, 2018

            SOLIDWORKS Plastics Simulation

            I was once treated to lunch by an older engineer whom I greatly admire. He holds many complex patents and co-founded a plastics company that he sold to a large industrial conglomerate. As we talked our discussion turned to injection molding simulation software such as SOLIDWORKS Plastics simulation software.

            He believed the software was unnecessary, and that the results rarely provided information that couldn't be gained from a conversation with an experienced mold maker. He thought that in choosing software over an experienced human, the “richness of the dialogue was lost”, a phrase that has stuck with me for many years.

            Continue reading


            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, CAD

              How to Use Design Validation and Virtual Simulation Software

              Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on March 5, 2018

              Virtual Simulation SoftwareVirtual simulation is not only for specialists and final design validation. It’s an intuitive design solution for all product engineers in all industries. Using simulation software, you can set up virtual real-world environments to test your product designs before manufacturing them. If fact, it pays to use simulation software. You will lower your costs and shorten your time-to-market by reducing the number of physical prototypes before going into production.

              To teach you more about how to use SOLIDWORKS design validation and virtual simulation software, we invited SOLIDWORKS Simulation expert Joe Galliera from corporate DS SolidWorks to present a webcast called, Design Better Products Faster with Virtual Simulation. Keep reading to learn more about using simulation software.

              Continue reading


              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

                Top New Features in SOLIDWORKS 2018 Flow Simulation

                Drew Buchanan by Drew Buchanan on February 23, 2018

                SOLIDWORKS 2018 Flow SimulationSOLIDWORKS 2018 released a ton of new features and enhancements that we’re excited about. In our “What’s New” blog series, we’ve been covering the entire SOLIDWORKS 2018 portfolio. In today’s blog we will be covering some of the great new features in the SOLIDWORKS 2018 Flow Simulation portfolio.

                For an even more in-depth look, make sure to register for my upcoming webinar “Top Flow Simulation Tips and What's New in SOLIDWORKS Flow 2018” that I’ll be hosting on February 27th at 11 AM EST. Let’s get started.

                Continue reading


                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, CAD

                  What’s New in SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2018

                  Drew Buchanan by Drew Buchanan on December 7, 2017

                  What's New in SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2018-1There are so many new features and enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2018 that we’re excited about. Our “What’s New” blog series takes you through the entire what’s new in SOLIDWORKS 2018 portfolio. In this blog, we will be covering some of the great new features in the SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2018 portfolio.

                  Do you want a demonstration? I hosted an in-depth webcast on the newest release of SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2018 covering solutions from stress/deflection, electromagnetics, topology optimization, injection molding scenarios, casting simulation, and more. Let’s get started!

                  Continue reading


                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, CAD

                    Optimize Your Plastic Parts and Injection Molds with SOLIDWORKS Plastics

                    Drew Buchanan by Drew Buchanan on August 16, 2017

                    Optimize-Your-Plastic-Parts-and-Injection-Molds-with-SOLIDWORKS-Plastics-In an increasingly technologically driven manufacturing environment, product lifecycles continue to become shorter and shorter. Designers are looking for ways to reduce costly prototypes, and to get a leg up on their competition. With the advent of computer-aided engineering (CAE), designers and engineers are able to test out designs and determine if design changes need to be made prior to prototyping and fabrication.

                    SOLIDWORKS Plastics is one of the many tools in the SOLIDWORKS CAE portfolio. Read on to learn more about SOLIDWORKS Plastics and view our recorded 30 minute webcast to see  product demonstrations and examples of how to use the tool in your everyday workflow.

                    Continue reading


                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, CAD

                      Come Explore Technology and Design at solidThinking Converge 2017

                      Chad Zamler by Chad Zamler on August 15, 2017

                      Come-Explore-Technology-and-Design-at-solidThinking-Converge-2017Throughout history, technology has always influenced design. There are countless examples from coal and pigments to the printing press, and of course computer-aided design (CAD) and computer aided-engineering (CAE) software, such as solidThinking design validation tools.

                      Today, a new wave of technology has emerged and is converging with the design world to inspire new design possibilities never thought possible. This is exactly what we plan to explore at solidThinking Converge 2017 in Los Angeles, California on September 13th.

                      Continue reading


                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, CAD

                        Meet our Experts: Drew Buchanan - Application Engineer

                        Angelle Erickson by Angelle Erickson on August 11, 2017

                        Power of Our People Application EngineerMeet our Application Engineer, Drew Buchanan, who is based out of our office in Horsham, Pennsylvania and has been with Fisher Unitech since 2015. Drew has been immersed in Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) technology, also known as design validation or simulation technology, for the majority of his career. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh he continued to Villanova University for his Masters degree.

                        Keep reading to learn more about Drew’s background with CAE, his simulation webcast on SOLIDWORKS Plastics, and how having the right solution can help you spot challenges before they occur during the design process.

                        Continue reading


                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, CAD

                          Strength Check Your Designs with SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional

                          David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on June 21, 2017

                          Strength-Check-Your-Designs-with-Simulation-Professional-1Simulation tools in SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software are so user friendly and widespread these days that we often compare them to a spell checker analogy. Almost every application that requires entering text has a built in spell checker. Similarly every seat of SOLIDWORKS has some form of “Simulation” built in. You shouldn’t send on an email without a quick spell check, so why release a design without doing a performance check?

                          Keep reading to find out how to quickly check your design the first time and eliminate repercussions.

                          Continue reading


                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, CAD

                            Getting Started: SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard

                            Drew Buchanan by Drew Buchanan on June 5, 2017

                            Getting-Started-SOLIDWORKS-Simulation-Standard-1In an increasingly technologically driven manufacturing environment, product lifecycles continue to be shortened and shortened. Designers are looking for ways to reduce costly prototypes, and to get a leg up on their competition. With the advent of computer aided engineering (CAE), designers and engineers are able to test out designs and determine if changes need to be made prior to prototyping and fabrication.

                            SOLIDWORKS Simulation is one of the many tools in the SOLIDWORKS CAE portfolio. This blog will provide you with a brief summary of SOLIDWORKS Simulation and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard.

                            Continue reading


                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                              How to Deal with Fixture Warnings in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

                              Drew Buchanan by Drew Buchanan on May 3, 2017

                              How-to-Deal-with-Fixture-Warnings-in-SOLIDWORKS-Simulation-00You sit down at your desk to finalize the design for a new product you are working on. You want to verify that the product does not fail under loading, and expect the finite element model to be fairly easy to set up and run.  However, much to your chagrin you run the model and a warning pops up.

                              If you have been working with SOLIDWORKS Simulation for a long time, you most likely have seen this warning box before. In today’s blog I will show a handy tool which can remedy this issue very quickly. It should be noted that all tips in today’s blog pertain to a traditional Linear Static Analysis, which is available in SOLIDWORKS Premium,  SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard, SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional, and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium.

                              Continue reading


                              • POSTED IN 3D PRINTING, ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

                                Why You Should Use Simulation and 3D Printing Technologies Together

                                David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on April 14, 2017

                                We often joke at Fisher Unitech that simulation technology, also known as Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), and 3D printing technology are competitors. In reality, for product development, they are engineering partners. Each has its respective strengths and weaknesses.

                                It’s kind of like a buddy cop show. One has street smarts and the other is the brainy young whippersnapper. When they work together they solve tough crimes. Simulation and 3D printing technologies work together to help prevent engineering crimes: such as missing project timing dates and quality and performance issues.

                                Continue reading


                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

                                  Simulation Tip: Animating Transient Results in SOLIDWORKS Flow 2017

                                  David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on March 3, 2017

                                  Today, I was running a SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation (CFD/Computational Fluid Dynamics) model of a blow mold tool. The goal of the analysis is to compare cooling line effects on tool surface temperatures.

                                  Simulation-Tip-Animating-Transient-Results-in-SOLIDWORKS-Flow-2017-1Molding is a transient process and XY plots are important but it’s very useful to see heat migration through the parts via animation. This is one of the big values of design validation. We can visualize phenomena that are difficult to see or measure physically.

                                  In the process, I was using a new SOLIDWORKS tool for animating surface plots and cut plots. It made my life so much easier that I had to stop working and started writing this blog.

                                  Continue reading


                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, CAD

                                    How to Design a Filtration Unit with SOLIDWORKS and solidThinking

                                    Drew Buchanan by Drew Buchanan on February 22, 2017

                                    Recently, as I was drinking a cup of tea, I appreciated having hot and clean water to drink. I thought about the process of obtaining that water. Specifically, about the filtration process. I wondered, what if I could simulate the filtration process within SOLIDWORKS? I quickly realized that I could do more than simulate the filtration process. I could simulate the casting of individual parts as well as the injection molding of specific parts of the apparatus.

                                    With that understanding, I set forth to utilize SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, SOLIDWORKS Plastics, and solidThinking’s Click2Cast software to optimize the design. In this blog, I will lay out the steps to analyze a filtration unit with three different simulation and analysis solutions. There is also a recorded webcast you can view that includes demonstrations of what I cover in this blog.

                                    Continue reading


                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

                                      solidThinking: Empowering Engineers with the Right Design Validation Toolsets

                                      David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on February 13, 2017

                                      If you read a few of my SOLIDWORKS Simulation tutorials and finite element analysis blogs you will notice the recurring “tool” theme. As an engineer and gearhead, I love anything that will help me do my job better, whether it’s extracting a broken bolt from a cylinder solidThinking-Empowering-Engineers-with-the-Right-Design-Validation-Toolsets-1head or determining the optimal amount of material to meet performance specifications. Show me a tool that can help me do it better and I’m listening.

                                      One of my fondest memories as an engineering intern was the day my manager approached me with a tool catalog. This was before online ordering when PO’s were still done by hand.

                                      He said, “Pick out what you think we need for the mechanical lab, and order two of everything.”  As a student with an internship being able to fill up the gas tank felt like a luxury. Now I get to order any tool we might need? I was in heaven.

                                      Continue reading


                                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

                                        SOLIDWORKS Simulation Tech Tip: Flow Solver Scalability

                                        David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on December 16, 2016

                                        Back in 2015, I tried an experiment comparing model size (number of cells) to memory needs and solve time. When I used SOLIDWORKS 2016, it was better at taking advantage of multiple cores as shown below. 

                                        flowsolverscalability

                                        The old solver started to lose advantages around 6 cores per job. You can see that the green curve is still upward sloping after 6 cores, that is the new solver.

                                        Continue reading


                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

                                          Save a Life – Optimize that Design with SOLIDWORKS Simulation

                                          Drew Buchanan by Drew Buchanan on November 30, 2016

                                          The beads of sweat drip off my forehead as I drill my climbing anchor into the rock. I maneuver the rope through the anchor’s 9mm slot for the rope to fit through. After the rope is tucked through the anchor, I place the strap through my carabiner and secure it, then begin my climb upwards. As I move upwards my left foot slips on a piece of shale, and my hands lose their grip. I fall backward hoping my carabiner and anchor system holds. Thankfully, the carabiner’s suggested 9 KN engineering rating holds fine, and I fall only five feet instead of the 100 feet to the mountain floor.

                                          I realize many of you may not spend your free time hanging out on the side of a mountain 100 feet in the air on a small rock ledge—trusting that engineers adequately designed a four inch curved piece of metal to hold your weight. Regardless, we all rely on products we use daily that have been designed and optimized by engineers for our safety.

                                          Continue reading


                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, CAD

                                            Save Time with SOLIDWORKS Simulation Feature: Blended Curvature-Based Mesh

                                            Drew Buchanan by Drew Buchanan on November 7, 2016

                                            Finite element modeling (FEM) continues to evolve and makes solving multiphysics problems easier and easier for users. No longer, are the days of dedicated engineers or programmers sitting in cubicles writing code to solve finite element problems. SOLIDWORKS Simulation has set the bar for making FEM easier for users while still being computationally powerful. In this blog, I will cover one of the newer capabilities in SOLIDWORKS Simulation that can save you a lot of time: the “Blended curvature-based mesh” feature.

                                            Continue reading


                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                              The Right Tool for the Job Part 3: Getting Your Fix with Fixtures

                                              David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on September 20, 2016

                                              In the first blog in this series, I introduced SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard, our entry level but high value analysis package. In my second blog, I discussed the single body limitations in Sim Xpress and compared that with the extended capabilities in our more full featured tools. In this post, I will discuss the fixed constraint option in Sim Xpress and compare this to the capabilities of Simulation Standard.  

                                              Continue reading


                                              • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS, CAD

                                                The Right Tool for the Job Part 2: The Single Body Limitation in Sim Xpress

                                                David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on September 8, 2016

                                                In my last blog, I introduced SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard and how it is a lot of analysis power for the money. One point that I made is that there are many times when SOLIDWORKS users might be trying to do too much with the free Xpress tools or might not realize what they are missing in a more complete solution like Simulation Standard Professional or Premium. In this blog, I will discuss the single body limitation imposed by Sim Xpress.

                                                Sim Xpress allows only a single body and "fixed" constraints that stop motion on the chosen face in the X, Y, Z directions. The main reason for this limitation is that it prevents users from creating an unstable model by accident. Fix any face in X, Y, Z directions on a single body and you are going to have a stable model. In other words it's a slam dunk that the solver will able to solve for equilibrium and we can find a solution. This limitation guarantees a solution but limits the areas we can accurately extract stresses from and limits the types of situations we can accurately reproduce.

                                                Continue reading


                                                • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, ELECTRICAL, SOLIDWORKS PDM

                                                  Join Us at a SOLIDWORKS 2017 Launch Event Near You

                                                  Christa Prokos by Christa Prokos on September 7, 2016

                                                  sw17cropWe are excited to announce that Fisher Unitech and our friends at Prism Engineering will be hosting a series of SOLIDWORKS 2017 launch events beginning next month on October 5th. With hundreds of new enhancements and features, the newest version of SOLIDWORKS promises to be the most powerful release yet.

                                                  So if you’re just as geeked out about SOLIDWORKS 2017 as we are you’ll fit right in! Join us at one of our live launch events to engage with our experts and gain some tips and tricks, along with a deeper understanding of how industry-specific tools can address your personal designing needs.

                                                  Continue reading


                                                  • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, CAD

                                                    Simulation Standard: The Right Tool for the Job

                                                    David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on August 23, 2016

                                                    As the SOLIDWORKS Simulation Product Specialist at Fisher Unitech, I generally blog about tips and tricks using our analysis tools. Today’s blog covers one of the biggest engineering crimes that I witness these days: Trying to make your engineering problem fit the tools that you have, rather than using the right tool for the job.

                                                    Continue reading


                                                    • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

                                                      Simulation Tech Tip: How can I simulate freezing water expansion?

                                                      David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on June 8, 2016

                                                      Now that spring is here ice is probably the last thing on your mind. Unless your designing a product where stress induced from freezing is a problem. One of my customers posed an interesting question.  How might we emulate freezing water in FEA ?

                                                      Simulation As you may know water expands when freezing and this can wreak havoc on any structure where water is contained or trapped.  Hence all the lovely pot holes in the spring punishing our fancy alloy wheels.

                                                      Continue reading


                                                      • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, CAD

                                                        More Video Opportunities to Learn Simulation and Analysis Fundamentals

                                                        David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on April 13, 2016

                                                        I just received an email from my analysis colleagues at SOLIDWORKS  kicking off a series of Simulation training videos.  This is one of the great things about SOLIDWORKS there are so many places to learn and this is a great team to learn from.

                                                        Check out the video series.

                                                         

                                                         


                                                        • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

                                                          30 Minutes to Smarter Design Decisions with SOLIDWORKS Simulation

                                                          David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on February 23, 2016

                                                          In the past 20 years, I have worked in manufacturing, product design and as a consultant/applications engineer for several simulation software companies. Working with many companies seeking to innovate and differentiate their products, I have seen personally that the decisions engineers make early in the design process often make the difference between success and failure of the products and the companies.

                                                          Continue reading


                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                            Simulation Tech Tip: How to Load Results Faster and Reduce File Size for Nonlinear and Transient Studies (Results Options)

                                                            David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on January 8, 2016

                                                            Here's a quick and simple tip for all multi step simulations , dynamic, non linear, drop  etc... You don't have to keep ALL the data for EVERY solution step the solver takes.  The solvers will take smaller steps for convergence purposes and a solution may have hundreds of steps. For a large model this means large files and computational overhead (aka lag switching between studies. The good news is we may not need every piece of data for post processing and we can control the data that is retained under "Result Options".

                                                            For example:

                                                            I had a nonlinear dynamic study that was about 200K degrees of freedom in size and it took 50 steps to solve.  The time to switch studies varied quite a bit depending on how much data I chose to retain.

                                                            Save data for all steps  = over a minute
                                                            Save every 2 steps load time = 7 seconds
                                                            Save every 5 steps = 2 seconds

                                                            Who wants to wait to review a study ?  When you look at the size of the results file it start to become understandable why there is a lag.

                                                            How to Load Results Faster and Reduce File Size for Nonlinear and Transient Studies

                                                            If you have nonlinear or dynamic runs that take forever to load and you don't need to review every time step at every location you can modify the "Result Options".

                                                            1. Right mouse button on "Result Options"  and choose Define/Edit:

                                                            How to Load Results Faster and Reduce File Size for Nonlinear and Transient Studies

                                                            2. Decide if stresses are important, for example in a dynamic simulation we might only want to compare displacements and accelerations. If they are not needed for the study un-check the box.

                                                            How to Load Results Faster and Reduce File Size for Nonlinear and Transient Studies

                                                            3. Check "Solution Steps":  Then define how often to save data.  In the above dialog if the solver takes 1000 steps to complete the problem we will save every tenth step.  You can also specify multiple "Sets" saving multiple increment values during different parts of the simulation (see the video).

                                                            4. Lastly, choose how to handle sensor specific data.  Do we want to retain  all, none or specific sensors.  If you are not familiar with sensors check them out they are quite useful to define specific simulation quantities or locations to save data.
                                                            After you click "ok" , this setting will apply to the next time you run the study.  You will benefit by using up less disk space and being able to move between studies faster.
                                                            For a video example on a nonlinear seat spring model take a look here: Narrated Results
                                                            Cheers,
                                                            -Dave

                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

                                                            It's a Simulation Holiday, How long to cook that Bird?

                                                            David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on January 5, 2016

                                                            While I was deciding on an appropriate brine, rub and injection for this years Turkey I was curious how closely a quick and dirty simulation would come to the reality of my smoker out on the deck? So while I was waiting for the bird to thaw I started modeling one up.  Then, to calculate the fowl temperature versus time I used a 4 step process:

                                                            1. Gather Data and make Assumptions:

                                                            - I'm assuming homogeneous thermal properties.

                                                            - Assuming the majority of heat transfer is via convection not accounting for radiation.

                                                            - I'm modeling the turkey while cooking dinner so bones are not added. If anyone has a full 3D Turkey skeleton send it on over.

                                                            I found some thermal properties for meats here:

                                                            http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/specific-heat-capacity-food-d_295.html

                                                            - Most of the standard material properties in Flow are temperature dependant however for this study I'm assuming conductivity and specific heat are basically constant in this temperature range.

                                                            - Assuming constant ambient temperature.  When I get a second probe with recording capabilities I will try again with ambient temp(time).  Ideally with the control system on the pellet smoker it's pretty consistent so it's not too big of an assumption.

                                                            Step 2. Create a Steady State Flow Simulation of the Smoker:

                                                            With Flow I used parametric studies to estimate inlet flow rate and temperature to create a steady state ambient temperature of 325F.  I will use the ambient temperature and convection heat transfer coefficients from Flow rather than estimating them as boundary conditions in thermal.

                                                            SOLIDWORKS Simulation
                                                            Cut Plot of Ambient Temperature in Flow

                                                             

                                                            SOLIDWORKS Simulation
                                                            Heat Transfer Coefficient on Surface Note it is NOT uniform

                                                            Step 3.  Run transient thermal simulation:

                                                            The transient study was run in thermal analysis to reduce tun times.  Running the full smoker model in Flow as a transient would take much longer to run. However we did use Flow to capture the non uniform convection which would be more difficult to apply in thermal.

                                                             

                                                            SOLIDWORKS Simulation
                                                            Transient Thermal Simulation Using Flow Convection

                                                            Now you not may be able to tell from the picture but I was in the holiday "spirit" and forgot to save my temperature probe data from the Turkey.....

                                                            SOLIDWORKS Simulation
                                                            author trying not to cut off a finger
                                                            This gave me a good excuse to smoke some more fowl.  In this case I had fewer guests to feed so I did a slightly more controlled experiment with Cornish hens. Through the beauty of CAD embedded simulation I just scaled down my turkey and then created a new configuration and re-ran with the Hens.
                                                            SOLIDWORKS Simulation
                                                            Calibrating my model
                                                            SOLIDWORKS Simulation
                                                            Smoking
                                                            SOLIDWORKS Simulation
                                                            Finshed!
                                                            Step 4:  Conclusion/Comparison:  Time versus temperature calculations 

                                                            SOLIDWORKS Simulation
                                                            Analysis Compared to Thermal Probe Temperatures over Time

                                                             

                                                            Here is a comparison of multiple probe points in the vicinity of the probe on both hens versus time. The actual probe data is in the middle which is a good thing and gives me confidence in my model.  If I was using this turkey to optimize Flow in the smoker this would be good enough to stop here.  If I needed more accuracy I would take into account the following:- Bone thermal mass
                                                            - Variation in ambient with time
                                                            - Possible variation of conductivity and specific heat with temperature
                                                            - Take into account rotating the Hens halfway the smoke.

                                                            I hope this give you some insight into the synergy between Flow and Sim Pro thermal and a basic understanding of the assumption that go into a thermal analysis.

                                                            Here's a link to some video of the simulations: https://youtu.be/rs7C9d6q6zM

                                                            Happy New Year!

                                                            -Dave

                                                             


                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                            Plastics Tech Tip: Is the Plastics Solver Able to Use Multiple Cores?

                                                            David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on October 19, 2015
                                                            I often get asked for hardware recommendations for our simulation products and if  the solvers are able to utilize multiple cores.  One great value with our solvers like Plastics and Flow is that you do not get charged for using multiple cores and both solvers show great scalability when adding cores.  I wanted to quantify that scalability with a quick test today.My general recommendation and rule of thumb is that clock speed/number of cores affect solve times and memory affects the size of the model we can handle.  As we saw in our Flow benchmark you can have all the cores in the world but if you start to choke the problem without enough memory all the cores and clockspeed in the world won't help.

                                                            Plastics simulation is no different with respect to memory needs so I chose a modest sized model to insure memory would not be an issue. For the Plastics simulation benchmark I ran a solid mesh model through fill, pack and warp using a tool cooling profile already run ahead of time. This particular machine is using SOLIDWORKS v2015 sp2 on Windows 7.

                                                            Plastics
                                                            Model Used for Benchmark

                                                            This model had 1.9M elements and during solve I did not see more than 6 Gb of system memory being used. The machine I used for comparison is a 6 core xeon with 32Gb of memory and hyperthreading left on.  I ran studies with 1 , 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 threads by setting the solver process affinity in the task manager. Taking a look at the results we can see substantial speed improvements at 4  and incremental improvements all the way up to 12.

                                                            Plastics

                                                             

                                                            If we look at the raw data we can see most of the speed improvements come from the fill and pack phases.  The warp solution is much less computationally intensive and did not benefit from the added cores. I'm assuming this is because the warp phase is not computing fluid dynamics it's basically a thermal stress/deflection problem.

                                                            Plastics

                                                            In summary as a Plastics end user I would make sure I have at least a quad core machine and 32Gb of RAM to start with and if I'm running large models (2M or more elements) on a regular basis it would make sense to have a dual quad or 6 core processor.  It's worth keeping an eye on the memory usage during the solve to make sure we aren't maxing out.

                                                            I hope this sheds some light on how well the Plastics solver uses multiple threads.

                                                            Cheers,

                                                            -Dave


                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                            SIMULATION TECH TIP: Transferring Flow Loads to Shell Elements

                                                            Corey Gulley by Corey Gulley on May 26, 2015
                                                            In SOLIDWORKS, we have the ability to take advantage of an integrated interface where we can use multiple simulation tools. If you are using Flow Simulation and Simulation (FEA), you can export Flow Simulation loads to FEA studies. In the following example, I ran flow over a truck body and exported the pressure loads to SOLIDWORKS Simulation. The goal of this particular problem is to identify the displacement of a truck cap as a function of the aerodynamic pressures.

                                                            In this example, there is 90mph airflow over the truck body. To start this problem, I ran through the Flow Simulation Wizard tool and set the problem as an external flow analysis. I gave the moving fluid (air) an initial velocity of 90 mph normal to the truck body and ran the study. If I want to see how aerodynamic my model is, I can view flow trajectories over my model. Figure 1 shows a cut plot of the velocities over the body with flow trajectories modeled as streamlines.

                                                            Transferring Flow Loads to Shell Elements
                                                            Figure 1: Velocity Cut Plot with Streamlines
                                                            Due to pressure being derived as an output variable in Flow Simulation, I can export that information over to a Finite Element Analysis in SOLIDWORKS Simulation. If you are using SOLIDWORKS 2015, you do this by going to the toolbar: Tools > Flow Simulation > Tools > Export Results to Simulation. Once in Simulation, I need to import the flow loads into my study. I do this by going to Study Properties > Flow/Thermal Effects > Fluid Pressure Option > Include fluid pressure effects from SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation (Browse to .fld file).

                                                            When this operation is completed, SOLIDWORKS Simulation will map the flow results over the mesh. It is CRITICAL that you mesh prior to importing the flow results. This is because Flow needs to identify the pressure loads at the node locations on the mesh. For the truck cap analysis, I used Shell Elements in SOLIDWORKS Simulation by right-clicking on the body and selecting "Define Shells by Selected Faces." After the shell has been defined, I can import my pressures, and run the study. Figure 2 shows the displacement plot as a function of the pressure loads in Flow.
                                                            Transferring Flow Loads to Shell Elements
                                                            Figure 2: Displacement Due to Aerodynamic Pressure
                                                             

                                                            Like this example, one main application where the combination of these tools is handy is flow over a body to identify lift. Lift is a force that acts on the body perpendicular to the direction of the airflow and is in contrast with drag. In this example, I was able to successfully run a fluid simulation over the truck and import those pressure gradients into Finite Element Analysis. The FEA gave me the displacements of the model as a function of the lift force on the model, as shown in Figure 2.

                                                            Being able to work with a diverse toolset in SOLIDWORKS gives me the ability to analyze multiple conditions in one single interface. If my model isn't as aerodynamic or as stiff as it needs to be, I have the ability in SOLIDWORKS to run analytical studies concurrent to my design process. If I were to use a third party program, I would be constantly importing and exporting between the software packages to ensure an optimum design. In SOLIDWORKS, I can do all of this in one easy interface.

                                                            For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SolidWorks family of products and add-ons, register for an upcoming Event or look into our SOLIDWORKS training.


                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                            SOLIDWORKS TECH TIP: Meshing Tips and Tools for Better Results (Part 1)

                                                            Ken LaVictor by Ken LaVictor on October 9, 2014
                                                            Since I am always being asked "what makes a good mesh?" I decided once again to blog about a list I put together a while ago. This was a general list, in no particular order, of things you can do, things you can use, and things you can look for, in creating a mesh.  And knowing you have a good mesh, you can feel better about the results you are getting. This is part 1 in the series, and will discuss spotty results and number of elements.
                                                            Spotty Results

                                                            The first thing you can do, and definitely the easiest, is to do a visual inspection of the results and ask yourself “Do they look spotty?” In the simple L-Bracket below, you can see how inconsistent the results are in the area of the fillet where we are seeing our high stresses. This erratic behavior across the length of the fillet is a good indication that your mesh is too coarse. Simply refine (make your mesh smaller) and rerun.

                                                            Below, you will see the same L-Bracket with a better mesh showing more uniform results across the length of the fillet.
                                                            With just this simple observation and change, we can feel a little better about the accuracy of our results.  Notice here how the results increase from 101 MPa to 103 MPa.
                                                            SOLIDWORKS
                                                            SOLIDWORKS


                                                            Number of Elements
                                                            For your thinner parts, another thing you can look for - even before you run the analysis - is to see if you have a good number of elements across the thickness of your parts. Take a look at the simple plate with a hole below. As you look closely at the area of the hole, where we can expect to see some high stresses, we only have one layer of elements.  Generally we would like to see two (2) elements across the thickness.  Three (3) elements would be ideal; however, feel free to use one (1) if a particular component/feature is not of importance, or shows very little stress values.
                                                            SOLIDWORKSSOLIDWORKS
                                                            One way to assure you have at least two (2) elements across the thickness of your parts is simply to measure that thickness and divide by 2 (or 3 if you are trying to get at least three elements). Notice the same plate below with a much better mesh.
                                                            SOLIDWORKSSOLIDWORKS



                                                            For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SolidWorks family of products and add-ons, register for an upcoming Event or look into our SOLIDWORKS training.


                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                            SOLIDWORKS PLASTICS TECH TIP: Counter Deformed Geometry Export to Counteract Warpage

                                                            David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on May 6, 2014
                                                            The primary goals of any plastics part designer and molder are to manage costs and hit critical tolerances. SolidWorks Plastics can help us predict part warpage and therefore optimize our design and process to minimize its occurrence.
                                                            There are many factors that affect part warpage. Here are just a handful:
                                                            - Part Geometry
                                                            - Material
                                                            - Fill time
                                                            - Cool Time
                                                            - Pack Time
                                                            - Ambient Temperature
                                                            - Gate Locations
                                                            When we have done everything in our control to minimize warpage, we still may have to massage our geometry a bit to get the desired net part shape. SolidWorks Plastics can help you make these slight adjustments using the export counter deformed option to use as a template to make cavity design adjustments.

                                                            Here's how you do it.

                                                            1. Run a fill, pack warp study
                                                            2. Export the STL from plastics; use a value of "-1" to create a counter deformed part.
                                                            SOLIDWORKS PLASTICS
                                                            SOLIDWORKS PLASTICS
                                                            3. Create a new configuration in your part to keep the geometric "tweaks."
                                                            4. Turn on the ScanTo3D add-in for mesh import.
                                                            SOLIDWORKS PLASTICS
                                                            5. To overlay the STL on your part, go to File > Open > Mesh choose the import to same part option.
                                                            NOTE: ScanTo3D has options for moving, cleaning up, and creating surfaces from the STL if needed.
                                                            SOLIDWORKS PLASTICS
                                                            6. Use the mesh as a template to make subtle changes using features such as "Flex," "Scale," and "Deform" to match the geometry to the STL.
                                                            SOLIDWORKS PLASTICS
                                                            Now you can copy the plastics study to the modified part and re-run to see how close we came to negating the warpage effects.
                                                            You can also take a look at this video where I walk through the process:

                                                             

                                                             

                                                             

                                                            For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SolidWorks family of products and add-ons, register for an upcoming Event or look into our SOLIDWORKS training.


                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

                                                            SolidWorks Simulation: What's New in 2014 (with video)

                                                            David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on April 7, 2014
                                                            It's time to start taking advantage of the new features in the 2014 release of SolidWorks Simulation that will make our lives easier. For 2014, I've compiled a quick video highlighting the what's new features that simulation users will find exciting. I've grouped them into three main categories. Performance, Post Processing and Efficiency enhancements.

                                                            Performance:

                                                            • Loading of Simulation Studies
                                                            • Solver Enhancements (non linear, iterative solver speed, new large problem direct sparse solver)



                                                            Post Processing Results:

                                                            • Contact Pressure Plots in 2D Simplification
                                                            • User interface enhancements
                                                            • Listing Connector Output Forces
                                                            • Results Comparison Across Configurations
                                                            • Mirrored Results About Planes of Symmetry



                                                            Efficiency:

                                                            • Extended material database is provided through a partnership with Matereality LLC.
                                                            • Automatic Conversion of Toolbox Fasteners to Bolts
                                                            • Contact Visualization Plots

                                                            Take a look here for a few examples in this 11-minute video:

                                                            You can also read up on the updates by going to the SolidWorks help menu and selecting "What's New."

                                                            Happy Simulating!


                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                            SIMULATION TECH TIP: Visualizing Results on Full Model of Analysis Using Symmetry (Sim 2014)

                                                            Ken LaVictor by Ken LaVictor on March 19, 2014
                                                            SolidWorks Simulation 2014 will let you visualize results on the full model of an analysis using symmetry.
                                                            In an analysis, you can use symmetry to create a portion of the model instead of using the full model. You just need to cut the model in half and apply Symmetry restraints on all the cut faces. Also, when appropriate, taking advantage of symmetry can help you reduce the size of the problem and obtain more accurate results.
                                                            Up until now, results could only be shown on half the model (the model half that was analyzed), as seen in the image below.
                                                            Visualizing Results on Full Model of Analysis Using Symmetry
                                                            Well, you'll be happy to know that we can now view these same results on a 'Full Model.' Simply Right-Click on the plot, Edit Definition, and choose Display Symmetric Results from the Advanced Options window. The results on the un-modeled portions are then deducted from the modeled portion, as seen in the image below.
                                                            Visualizing Results on Full Model of Analysis Using Symmetry



                                                            For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SolidWorks family of products and add-ons, register for an upcoming Event or look into our SOLIDWORKS training.


                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                            SIMULATION TECH TIP: Contact Visualization Plot (Sim 2014)

                                                            Ken LaVictor by Ken LaVictor on March 11, 2014
                                                            If you haven't already heard, SolidWorks Simulation 2014 helps you visualize the applied contacts within your assembly analysis.

                                                            With the new contact visualization plot, you can view how bodies are connected in multibody parts and assemblies. Before you run the analysis, you can detect the areas of contact applied by the global contact settings and any local contact sets. Not only does this ensure that you have created all the contacts that you need, but also confirms that you have added the proper contacts for each component.

                                                            To open the Contact Visualization Plot PropertyManager, Right-click on Connections and click on Contact Visualization Plot. Select either the assembly or components (two or more) to view the regions of contact.

                                                            Contact Visualization
                                                            Below are the options included in the Contact Visualization Plot property manager.
                                                            Calculate: Calculates all areas of contact between the selected components and renders them with a unique color according to the contact type. Lists all detected contact pairs under Results.
                                                            Contact Visualization
                                                            Contact Visualization
                                                            Include Solver Generated Contacts (Mesh Required):  Active after meshing the model. Select to view at the mesh level the areas of the model detected by the solver (before starting the analysis) with an assigned contact definition. Using a course, draft quality mesh setting, you can see how the solver detects the contacts. Compare this with the Geometry-Based contact plot shown above.

                                                            Contact Visualization
                                                            Contact Visualization
                                                            So once again, we now have a tool that will not only ensure that we have created all the contacts that we need, but also confirms that we have added the proper contacts for each component.

                                                            For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SolidWorks family of products and add-ons, register for an upcoming Event or look into our SOLIDWORKS training.


                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                            SIMULATION TECH TIP: Automatic Conversion of Toolbox Fasteners to Bolts

                                                            Ken LaVictor by Ken LaVictor on February 25, 2014
                                                            If you haven't already heard, SolidWorks Simulation 2014 allows you to automatically convert your toolbox fasteners to Bolt Connectors.
                                                            To run the automatic detection tool, simply right-click on the Connections icon in the Study PropertyManager and select Toolbox Fasteners to Bolts. This is found in the shortcut window, as shown in the picture below.

                                                            SOLIDWORKS Tech Tip

                                                            During the conversion process, all information related to the location, geometric features, and material of the Toolbox fasteners is mapped internally to the formulation of the corresponding bolt connectors.You will then get the following message: "X Simulation bolt connectors were successfully Created.  Elapsed time: X s"

                                                            SOLIDWORKS Tech Tip

                                                            Upon visiting the Simulation tree, you will then find those Bolt Connectors inside their respective Bolt Connector folders.

                                                             

                                                            SOLIDWORKS Tech Tip

                                                            And it is as simple as that!

                                                            NOTE: This functionality is only available in SolidWorks Simulation Professional and above and works only in a linear static, nonlinear static, and nonlinear dynamic study.




                                                            For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SolidWorks family of products and add-ons, register for an upcoming Event or look into our SOLIDWORKS training.


                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                            SIMULATION TECH TIP: Flexibility in Non-linear Fixtures

                                                            David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on February 21, 2014
                                                            There's a feature I always suspected was in COSMOS/SolidWorks Simulation Premium, but I never needed it badly enough to do more than a web search to a dead end and give up. Well, I finally had the need: it was an analysis of a clip/pin system.The goal: Determine plastic deformation and insertion/retention forces during the pin installation/removal process solved in sequence.

                                                            1. The "C" clip is first installed on the housing.
                                                            2. Then then pin is inserted into the housing deforming the clip.
                                                            Flexibility in Non-linear Fixtures
                                                            There was one problem: with the clip in the As Installed position, the shrink fit wouldn't solve due to the large amount of interference. How could I accurately model this sequence of events?
                                                            One option: Thermally expand the clip at time = 0 and then reduce the temperature. That can involve a fair amount of trial and error.
                                                            Another option: I could use an advanced fixture to move my clip into place with relative computational efficiency. However, my fixtures would then be artificially constraining the clip when the pin is installed.
                                                            After a little bit of research and some great support from SolidWorks, I learned that you can actually release constraints in Simulation Premium. In this particular case, after I move the clip into position using an advanced fixture, I then give that fixture a value of "1e8" and the constraint will be removed.
                                                            Flexibility in Non-linear Fixtures
                                                            Now, when the pin is inserted into the clip, it is not being artificially held by the fixture anymore. So far I have only used this with a dynamic simulation, since the "upset" to the stiffness matrix will make it very difficult for the static solver to converge. I have been very pleased with the results so far!
                                                            Take a look at a couple examples here:

                                                            Do you have any use cases that you think this feature would help you solve more easily or accurately? Let us know in the comments!

                                                            For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SolidWorks family of products and add-ons, register for an upcoming Event or look into our SOLIDWORKS training.


                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

                                                            SolidWorks Simulation: Where Can I Learn?

                                                            David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on January 10, 2014
                                                            There are multiple places to get help with Simulation. Whether you have years of FEA experience or none at all, it pays to start slowly when learning a new program and then tackle more complex problems later. SolidWorks Simulation has one of the nicest simulation interfaces I have ever used, but it still takes some adjustment for new users. There are multiple places to get help in different ways; I'll go into them in some detail.

                                                            1. Tutorials
                                                            2. Knowledge Base
                                                            3. Context-Sensitive Help Inside Simulation/User Forums
                                                            4. FISHER/UNITECH Support Hour Webcasts
                                                            5. Official Training
                                                              1. Installed Tutorials
                                                            a.       Load Simulation Add-In
                                                            b.      Open a part file or create a new part or you won't see the Simulation Help.
                                                            c.       Go to Help Menu > SolidWorks Simulation >Tutorials

                                                            SolidWorks Simulation
                                                            d.     Crawl/Walk and then Run: Start with the part-only simulations to get used to loading and fixturing your part. Then go to assembly-based tutorials to learn about contact conditions and connectors available in SolidWorks Simulation.
                                                            SolidWorks Simulation

                                                             

                                                              1. Knowledge Base
                                                            If you want to read articles on different aspects of simulation, or if you see strange behavior with the software, you can search here to see if a service request has been created. You can access the "KB" from the upper right-hand search window in SolidWorks or from the Customer Portal.
                                                            SolidWorks Simulation
                                                            Search in upper right corner (Help > KB > Forums). Pretty cool!
                                                            SolidWorks Simulation
                                                            KB example

                                                             

                                                              1. Context Sensitive Help / User Forums
                                                            I never search the Help anymore; I just click the context-sensitive help from the dialog box. It takes you right where you need to go.Note: if you are using the web help, it will search the Forums and the "KB" as well, killing three birds with one click.

                                                            SolidWorks Simulation
                                                            Look for the "?" in the upper right hand corner
                                                              1. Fisher Unitech Support Hours
                                                            Every other month or so, we offer our Support Customers a complimentary webcast on a very specific Simulation topic. The topics are relatively deep dives into things such as simulation study property settings, bolt and pin connectors, what is going on behind the scenes, etc.
                                                            a.       Log in to www.fisherunitech.com
                                                            SolidWorks Simulation
                                                            b.      Look to the left of the user screen; you will see past Support Hour webcasts.
                                                            SolidWorks Simulation
                                                            Archived Support Hours
                                                            c. Some Sim-specific topics cover things like:
                                                            - Static study properties
                                                            - What is behind the scenes with pins and bolts
                                                            - How to get accurate motion loads - Contact sets versus component contact
                                                             
                                                            1. Funtech Simulation Training:
                                                            The links to our standard classes are here. If you see a class you want to take but it's not currently being offered, let us know you're interested! Contact your FISHER/UNITECH Account Manager if you already have one, or contact our sales department by filling out the form here if you don't.
                                                            SolidWorks Simulation
                                                            Standard Simulation Classes Offered Online or Onsite
                                                            Other training options:
                                                            -  Standard classes onsite at your facility, which may be more cost-effective if you are training 3 or more.
                                                            -  Mentoring. Work directly with one of our engineers on an hourly basis to help solve your analysis project.
                                                            -  Custom support. Buy a bundle of consulting hours ahead of time to use on an as needed basis.
                                                            I hope this helps everyone get a jumpstart on learning some very powerful tools.
                                                            Happy Simulating!

                                                          • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                            SOLIDWORKS FLOW SIMULATION: Animating Transient Flow Runs and Solver Iterations

                                                            David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on September 24, 2013

                                                            In this simulation tech tip, I am going to cover using animations to display the auto mesh refinement splitting cells, since it is useful for watching steady state flow solutions develop, as well as viewing multiple time steps in a transient solution.

                                                            1. Make sure we are saving the steps during the Flow solution. Open the "Calculation Control" dialog. This is accessible from the flow feature manager, command manager, and the solver menu window:

                                                            SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
                                                            SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
                                                            SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

                                                             

                                                            1a. Choose the saving tab and enter how often you want to save results.
                                                            SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
                                                            1b. The individual iteration results will be saved in your Flow folder for each iteration as  "r_XXXX.fld"
                                                            These are individual result sets which will be referenced to create your animation. Be careful: this is a good way to fill up your hard drive for larger models with small times steps.CONTINUE READING:

                                                            2. Solve the flow model.

                                                            3. Load the results (last iteration is default) and create a plot that you want to animate, such as a cut plot or surface plot.

                                                            4. To begin creating the animation, either right click "Animation" in the feature manager and choose Insert or right-click the desired result set to animate such as a cut plot and choose Animation.

                                                            SOLIDWORKS Flow SimulationSOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

                                                            5. Once the animation pane appears, you will want to drag the study "control point" all the way until the start of the animation (to the left).

                                                            SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
                                                            6. To bring the individual time frames/iteration in, you will then click the "Movie" icon.
                                                            SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
                                                            6a. Enter the desired duration of the animation, and click "Next."
                                                            SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
                                                            6b. Choose rotation or not; you can still rotate the model using control points and views later if you choose "no" here. The rotation will add key frames for a simple rotation about the global axis. Click "Next."
                                                            6c. Select "Scenario" to animate multiple timesteps. Click "Next."
                                                            SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
                                                            6d. Choose "Uniform" or "Proportional" and select the start and finish from the sliders if you don't want to include all the timesteps/iterations results.
                                                            SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

                                                             

                                                            6e. Now you will see a "control point" for each iteration brought into the animation.
                                                            SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
                                                            7.  To determine when the features are displayed in the timeline, you can insert and drag the "control points" for that feature.
                                                            SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
                                                            SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
                                                            7a.  To choreograph different plots, you can adjust "control points" for the individual features to begin and end at different times or overlap etc... (see the video we phase out the mesh cutplot then phase in the flow stream cutplot.)
                                                            7b. To change the view during the animation, you can place "control points" in the animation pane to move from one view to another. First, you must right click the project name and unselect "Lock Orientation." Each control point is a specific view orientation, and when they are connected, the model moves from one view to the next dynamically. To adjust the orientation at a "control point," drag the slider bar to the point and adjust the model view. (See the video below).
                                                            SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
                                                            8. Now you can hit the play button and the view orientation will change based on your view "control points." In addition, your feature plots with "control points" will update based on the solver iterations. You can also save the animation as an .avi file by clicking the record button. This can be useful since the frames can take some time to load.
                                                            Watch the video below a couple times and you will see that it's a pretty quick process.


                                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

                                                              Tractor Trailer Aerodynamics in SolidWorks Flow Simulation

                                                              David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on August 6, 2013
                                                              As time progresses and fuel prices increase, you might have noticed some changes to the tractor trailers you see on the highway. Fairings on tractors have been common for quite a while; however, side skirts and extended "tails" on the trailers are relatively new additions.

                                                              SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
                                                              SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
                                                              To satisfy my curiosity on the effectiveness of these devices, I've performed a virtual experiment using Flow Simulation. Watch the quick video below to see the results of the test.

                                                              For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SolidWorks family of products and add-ons, register for an upcoming Event or look into our SOLIDWORKS training.


                                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                              SolidWorks Tech Tip: Isolate Simulation Results in an Assembly

                                                              Ken LaVictor by Ken LaVictor on July 11, 2013
                                                              Recently, I have been asked on a couple of occasions how to 'isolate' the Simulation results in an assembly. After running an analysis, we can certainly visualize the results on the entire assembly, but what if we wanted to localize those results on a single component for reporting purposes? The first thing people try to use is the Isolate command. The problem is that once you isolate the component, as soon as you select the study tab at the bottom, Isolate is turned off.
                                                              The actual process to get this to work is simple. In the first picture below, you will see the final results on the entire assembly. Now in order to view results on the upper arm of the pliers, you will need to follow these 4 simple steps:

                                                              1. Select the Model tab at the bottom
                                                              2. Right click on the upper arm and choose Invert Selection from the shortcut menu
                                                                SOLIDWORKS"
                                                              3. Right click on any highlighted component and Hide
                                                              4. Return to the study and show your result plots (Double Click)

                                                              Another option would be to create an exploded view. Again, you will need to click on the Model tab, activate the exploded view, return to the study tab, and re-show your result plots. It's that simple. You now have results on isolated components for your reports.

                                                              SOLIDWORKS

                                                               

                                                               

                                                              SOLIDWORKS




                                                              For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SolidWorks family of products and add-ons, register for an upcoming Event or look into our SOLIDWORKS training.


                                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                              Simulation Tip: SolidWorks Simulation Verification Problems

                                                              Ken LaVictor by Ken LaVictor on June 4, 2013
                                                              Have you ever wondered, after running a SolidWorks Simulation study, whether or not your results are correct? A few people I have talked to have questioned the validity of their results and sometimes wonder if the software is reporting what they actually see in the field or in a 'test.'Well, I typically find that the problem is not with the results, but in the set-up of the analysis. For example, loads may not be accurate, or may be applied incorrectly; people apply incorrect boundary conditions like fixtures; and in some cases, the user/analyst may be looking at a stress concentration.

                                                               

                                                              So, to prove that the software is working correctly, SolidWorks presents you with SolidWorks Simulation Verification Problems and NAFEMS (National Agency for Finite Element Methods and Standards) Benchmarks. These verification problems compare the results of SolidWorks Simulation studies to known analytical solutions. You can find these problems from the Help menu within SolidWorks. With the Simulation Add-In checked, simply go to the Help menu > SolidWorks Simulation > Validation. Here you will find two options: Verification Problems and NAFEMS Benchmarks.

                                                               

                                                              SolidWorks Simulation Verification Problems

                                                               

                                                              Selections marked with a (Professional) are available with SolidWorks Simulation Professional and above.

                                                               

                                                              Within each group shown above, there are many examples. Below is a listing of what you will find under the Static selection, as well as one of the examples from this list: Deflection of a Cantilever Beam.

                                                               

                                                              So if you get a chance, please take a look through all these great problems to see that SolidWorks is definitely verifying their Simulation software. And those incorrect results? They might actually be due to an incorrect setup of your analysis. Just remember: in any event, Fisher/Unitech is here to support you! Give us a call.

                                                               

                                                              Static Verification Problems:
                                                              SolidWorks Simulation Verification Problems
                                                              Cantilever Beam Example:
                                                              SolidWorks Simulation Verification Problems


                                                              For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SolidWorks family of products and add-ons, register for an upcoming Event or look into our SOLIDWORKS training.


                                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

                                                              Factor of Safety Plots on Selected Bodies in SolidWorks Simulation

                                                              Ken LaVictor by Ken LaVictor on April 1, 2013
                                                              In SolidWorks Simulation 2013, you can now view your factor of safety information on any given part/body in your assembly. Prior to 2013, you had to view the factor of safety information on the entire assembly.In the Factor of Safety Property-Manager, click Selected Bodies (as shown below). Select one or multiple bodies to view plots of factor of safety distribution, or regions below the factor of safety. Results are shown only for the selected bodies.

                                                              SOLIDWORKS Simulation

                                                              Selected Body = Arm

                                                              SOLIDWORKS Simulation

                                                              Selected Body = Pin

                                                              SOLIDWORKS Simulation

                                                              For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SolidWorks family of products and add-ons, register for an upcoming Event or look into our SOLIDWORKS training.


                                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                              Thermal Loads for Other Purposes: Solid Bolt Models and Shrink Fits

                                                              David Roccaforte by David Roccaforte on March 11, 2013
                                                              There are simulation cases that come up where one can use a thermal load to manipulate the model. I have even known of simulations where thermal shrinkage and expansion has been used to drive complex non-linear models to emulate muscle-like behavior. However, I have two specific non-exotic use cases in mind.

                                                              First is for creating a bolt pre-load when you actually want to analyze the whole bolt and not use an idealized beam element representation that is used in the bolt connector. There is a great video in the SolidWorks KB S-011370 about pins that also applies to bolts and why you might actually want to model the bolt in 3D.

                                                              The second use case is for a large press fit that might fail. If you have non-linear analysis you can shrink the female part at time =0 and then gently expand by coming to room temperature during the final time step. The value here is that a typical shrink fit contact is solved in one intital time step even in a non linear solution. By using no penetration contacts and thermal shrink and then expansion you can often solve a large shrink fit problem that might not have converged before.

                                                              Stay tuned to this blog post for a step by step process on how to estimate temperatures and implement bolt pre-load and shrink fits using thermal boundary conditions and no penetration contacts.

                                                              For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SolidWorks family of products and add-ons, register for an upcoming Event or look into our SOLIDWORKS training.


                                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                              SolidWorks 2013: Materials in Design Studies

                                                              Ken LaVictor by Ken LaVictor on March 7, 2013
                                                              In the past, many people have asked me if you could optimize a part by using material as a variable.  Well, in SolidWorks 2013, you can. With SolidWorks Simulation 2013, you can use the material of a part or body component in a Design Study using the new Design Study Materials parameter. This functionality allows you to evaluate a wide range of design choices or optimize a current design by defining a parameter that sets bodies to use different materials as a design study variable.To define a material as a variable in a Design study:

                                                              1. Create a Design study.
                                                              2. Click Insert > Design Study > Parameters or click the Design study tab and under Variables, select Add Parameter.
                                                              3. In the Parameters dialog box, under Name, type a name for the parameter.
                                                              4. Under Category, select Material.
                                                              5. Under References, select the bodies for which the material is set as a variable in a design study. Rows highlighted in green contain bodies assigned to the material parameter.
                                                              6. Click Apply and OK. An asterisk appears under Linked to show that the selected bodies are linked to the material parameter.
                                                              7. Switch to the Table View tab to define the design scenarios.
                                                              8. For each scenario, click the Select Material cell on the material parameter row.
                                                              9. Select a material from the SolidWorks or custom materials library and click Apply. The selected material is applied to the bodies linked to the material parameter.

                                                               

                                                              SolidWorks 2013

                                                              For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SolidWorks family of products and add-ons, register for an upcoming Event or look into our SOLIDWORKS training.


                                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

                                                              Defining Non-uniform Load Distributions on Beams

                                                              Ken LaVictor by Ken LaVictor on March 4, 2013
                                                              In SolidWorks Simulation 2013, you will find some great options for defining a non-uniform load distribution across a beam. These include the Total Load Distribution, Centered Load Distribution, and Table Driven Load Distribution options, and for the Total and Centered load options we also have some pre-set distribution "shapes." Here in this post, I've included descriptions of all of these great Non-Uniform Load Distribution options, and a couple of examples.

                                                              Total Load Distribution Distributes the total force or moment along the length of the beam. No loads are applied at the ends of the beam. The shape of the distribution can be parabolic, triangular, or elliptical.
                                                              Centered Load Distribution Applies the force or moment at the center of the beam. Loads decrease on either side of the center according to the selected distribution, and are defined per unit length. No loads are applied at the ends of the beam.

                                                              The total applied load is a function of the beam's length.

                                                              Triangular distribution
                                                              Triangular
                                                              Distributes the total or centered load along the length of the beam in a triangular distribution.
                                                              Parabolic distribution
                                                              Parabolic
                                                              Distributes the total or centered load along the length of the beam in a parabolic distribution.
                                                              Elliptical distribution
                                                              Ellipitical
                                                              Distributes the total or centered load along the length of the beam in an elliptical distribution.
                                                              Table Driven Load Distribution Distributes the force values at specific locations along the length of the beam. You specify the locations either as percentages or distances from one end of the beam.
                                                              Percentage Lets you enter the locations of the specified force values along the length of the beam as percentage values of the total beam length. For each percentage entry in the table, type the associated force per unit length.
                                                              Distance Lets you enter the distances from the origin of the intermediate beam locations. View the selected beam's length under the table in the PropertyManager. For each distance entry in the table, type the associated force per unit length.
                                                              Flip origin
                                                              Flip
                                                              Reverses the starting point of the force distribution to the opposite joint of the beam. The starting point is highlighted with an icon of a red sphere. An arrow indicates the direction of the force distribution in the graphics area.
                                                              Linear Selects a linear interpolation scheme for intermediate beam locations not specified in the table.
                                                              Cubic Selects a cubic interpolation scheme for intermediate beam locations not specified in the table.
                                                              Save to file Saves the table driven load distribution data to a comma-separated values *.csv or *.txt file format. Use a text editor or Microsoft Excel to view this file.
                                                              Save to file Loads a *.csv or *.txt file with table driven load distribution data.
                                                              Example

                                                              Total Load Distribution

                                                               

                                                              Table Driven Load Distribution

                                                              For more training and tutorials on the many 3D CAD Modeling solutions in the SolidWorks family of products and add-ons, register for an upcoming Event or look into our SOLIDWORKS training.


                                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION

                                                              The Simulation Advisor Tool in SolidWorks

                                                              Ken LaVictor by Ken LaVictor on August 22, 2012

                                                              Using Simulation Advisor to Perform SolidWorks Simulation Analysis

                                                              Recently, someone asked me if they
                                                              could perform a Simulation analysis simply by using the Simulation Advisor, and
                                                              without having taken a class. Now, being
                                                              a proponent of training, I certainly recommended our Simulation Training
                                                              class. There, not only do you learn how
                                                              to use the commands, but you also learn about all the options, and all the tips
                                                              and tricks in performing an analysis. One can sign up for either our in house class or our 3DU online class by
                                                              going to www.fisherunitech.com. Now as far as the Simulation Advisor, if you
                                                              have taken our training class, you probably won’t have a need for this tool. However, if you are new to Simulation / SolidWorks,
                                                              the Simulation Advisor could be a good place to start. Below is some information about the different
                                                              Advisors available.

                                                              Simulation Advisor
                                                              is a set of tools that guide you through the analysis process. By asking you to answer a
                                                              series of questions, these tools collect the necessary data to help you perform
                                                              your analysis. Simulation Advisor includes:

                                                               

                                                              ·
                                                              Study
                                                              Advisor
                                                              . Recommends study types and outputs
                                                              to expect. Helps you define sensors and creates studies automatically.

                                                               

                                                              ·
                                                              Bodies and
                                                              Materials Advisor
                                                              . Lets you specify how to treat
                                                              bodies within a part or an assembly and apply materials to components.

                                                               

                                                              ·
                                                              Interactions
                                                              Advisor
                                                              . Defines internal interactions
                                                              between bodies in the model as well as external interactions between the model
                                                              and the environment. Interactions can include loads, fixtures, connectors, and
                                                              contacts.

                                                               

                                                              ·
                                                              Mesh and
                                                              Run Advisor
                                                              . Helps you specify the mesh and run
                                                              the study.

                                                               

                                                              ·
                                                              Results
                                                              Advisor
                                                              . Provides tips for interpreting and
                                                              viewing the output of the simulation. Also, helps determine if frequency or
                                                              buckling might be areas of concern.

                                                               

                                                              Simulation Advisor
                                                              works with the SolidWorks Simulation interface by starting the appropriate
                                                              PropertyManagers and linking to online help topics for additional information. Simulation
                                                              Advisor
                                                              leads you through the analysis workflow from determining the study
                                                              type through analyzing the simulation output. By following the workflow, you
                                                              use, depending on your requirements, each of the individual Advisors.

                                                               

                                                              To start the Simulation Advisor,
                                                              click Study(Simulation CommandManager). The Simulation Advisor tab
                                                              appears in the Task Pane.

                                                              To access individual
                                                              advisors:

                                                              ·
                                                              Click Study (Simulation CommandManager) to access the Study Advisor.

                                                               

                                                              ·
                                                              Click Fixtures (Simulation CommandManager) to access the Fixtures
                                                              section of the Interactions Advisor.

                                                               

                                                              ·
                                                              Click External Loads (Simulation CommandManager) to access the Loads section
                                                              of the Interactions Advisor.

                                                               

                                                              ·
                                                              Click Connections (Simulation CommandManager) to access the Connections
                                                              section of the Interactions Advisor.

                                                               

                                                              ·
                                                              Click Results (Simulation CommandManager) to access the Results Advisor.

                                                            • POSTED IN SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION, SOLIDWORKS TIPS & TRICKS

                                                              Defining Fluids in SolidWorks Flow Simulation

                                                              Ken LaVictor by Ken LaVictor on July 9, 2012

                                                              Flow Simulation allows you to analyze the flow of up to ten fluids of different types (Liquids, Gases/Steam, Non-Newtonian Liquids and Compressible Liquids) in the same project. Fluids mixing can be analyzed as well, but mixing fluids must be of the same type (All gases, for example). In the Default Fluid dialog box, you can specify the default fluids and default fluid type to be assigned for all fluid regions. After the project is created, you can specify different fluid types for specific fluid regions using the Fluid Subdomain feature. Fluid regions with different types of fluids must be separated from each other by solid region(s).  If there is no appropriate fluid listed in the Fluids list, you can define a new substance in the Engineering Database.

                                                              To specify fluids required for an analysis:
                                                              1.     In the Fluids list, click ‘+’ at the left of the fluid type name to display the
                                                              list of fluids of this type available in the Engineering Database. The fluid
                                                              types are: Gases, Liquids (Newtonian viscous incompressible
                                                              liquids), Non-Newtonian liquids, Compressible liquids, Real
                                                              Gases
                                                              and Steam.  If you discover
                                                              that the required fluid is not available, click New and add the new
                                                              fluid to the Engineering Database.
                                                              2.     Double-click the desired fluid in the Fluids list.
                                                              - OR -
                                                              Select a fluid from the Fluids list and click Add.
                                                              ·      If you have added fluids of DIFFERENT types to
                                                              the Project fluids list, you must select the Default Fluid Type.
                                                              Only fluids of this type will be available to be assigned as default project
                                                              fluids. The selected fluid type is assigned by default for all fluid regions in
                                                              the analysis. After the project is created, you can then specify another fluid type
                                                              for a specific fluid region using the Fluid Subdomain feature.
                                                              ·       If you have added more than one fluid of the SAME
                                                              type to the Project fluids list, you again can select which of them will
                                                              be assigned as the default fluid for all fluid regions. After the project is
                                                              created, you then have two options: You
                                                              can assign other fluids for a specific fluid region using the Fluid Subdomain feature OR you can define the fluids' different Substance
                                                              Concentrations (For when you have a gas that is 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, and
                                                              1% Argon for example).  For these multiple
                                                              fluids, the relative concentrations can be specified either by Mass
                                                              fractions
                                                              or Volume fractions of the different fluids.
                                                              ·      Default fluids’ concentrations are specified in
                                                              the Initial Conditions section of the Wizard, or the Boundary Condition
                                                              Property Manager
                                                              near the bottom.
                                                              3.     Specify which Flow Characteristics are required for the analysis.
                                                              ·     By default, the flow can be either laminar or
                                                              turbulent or with transition (depending on the flow characteristics). Under Flow
                                                              type
                                                              , you can consider the flow as laminar only in the entire Computational
                                                              Domain by selecting Laminar Only.  You can also consider the Flow as Turbulent
                                                              Only
                                                              . If you have specified Non-Newtonian liquids or Compressible
                                                              liquids
                                                              as the project's fluid type, the Laminar Only flow type will
                                                              be selected automatically to consider the flow in all fluid regions as laminar.
                                                              After the project is created, you can specify another fluid type and,
                                                              therefore, another flow type for a specific fluid region using the Fluid
                                                              Subdomain
                                                              feature.
                                                              ·      Select the High Mach number flow check
                                                              box if you want to analyze high-velocity gas flows (flow Mach number is greater
                                                              than about 3 for steady-state and 1 for transient analyses). The High mach
                                                              number option is applied for the entire computational domain and cannot be
                                                              changed for an individual fluid region. You cannot select the High Mach
                                                              number flow
                                                              option if some Real Gas is selected as one of the Project
                                                              fluids
                                                              or the calculation of relative Humidity is enabled.
                                                              ·      Select the Humidity check box if you want
                                                              to analyze a flow of gas, or mixture of gases, taking into account its relative
                                                              humidity.
                                                              ·      If you want to consider cavitation in your
                                                              analysis, select the Cavitation check box. Two cavitation models are
                                                              available in Flow Simulation: engineering model for pre-defined water and
                                                              simplified isothermal cavitation model for user-defined liquids with the Cavitation
                                                              effects
                                                              enabled in the Engineering Database. Both cavitation models
                                                              consider fluids with a single liquid component only, so Cavitation is
                                                              unavailable if more than one liquid is selected as Default fluid. If
                                                              you select Cavitation for a user-defined liquid, the flow will be
                                                              considered as isothermal and all thermal conditions specified in the project
                                                              will be ignored. You cannot select Cavitation for a user-defined liquid
                                                              when Heat conduction in solids is enabled.
                                                              4.     Click Next or click a button on the Navigator pane to switch to the
                                                              corresponding dialog box of the Wizard.

                                                              After the project is created, you can change the
                                                              default project fluids as well as the default fluid type and flow
                                                              characteristics under Fluids in the
                                                              General Settings dialogue box.  Simply
                                                              right click on the Input Data folder in the Flow tree.

                                                            1-50 of 52