Simulation Studies

A model is usually subjected to different service environments and operational conditions during its life. It is, therefore, important to consider all possible scenarios of loads and boundary conditions and try different material properties in the analysis of a model.

A simulation study is defined by the following factors:

  • Model dimensions
  • Study type and related options to define analysis intent
  • Material properties
  • Loads and boundary conditions

To create a study, click New Study (Simulation CommandManager). Define a study by name, analysis type, and properties. The properties of the study set options related to a particular analysis type.

Design studies and fatigue studies use the mesh of the associated studies. Drop test studies use solid mesh only. Pressure vessel studies combine results and do not require a mesh.

Mesh Type Based on Geometric Features

The program automatically assigns the appropriate mesh type to bodies based on their geometry features.

Solid Mesh All solid models mesh with solid (tetrahedral) elements.
Shell Mesh Surface geometries and sheet metals with uniform thickness mesh with triangular shell elements.
For drop test studies only, sheet metal bodies are converted to solid bodies and mesh with solid elements.
Beam Mesh Structural members and weldments mesh with beam elements. You can treat an extrusion (meshes with solid elements by default) as a beam by right-clicking on the solid icon and selecting Treat as Beam.
Mixed Mesh When different geometries are present in the same model, a mixed mesh is generated.

Using Simulation Studies

You can use simulation studies to check the safety of existing products under working conditions or design new ones.

The SOLIDWORKS Simulation line of products offers other types of studies like nonlinear, dynamic response, fluid flow, and electromagnetics.

  • Checking an existing design. When checking an existing product, the geometry is already determined. The goal is to check the performance of the product under different working conditions and investigate the possibility of improving the performance or saving material.
  • Making a new design. When using design analysis to make a new design, you can try different geometric configurations and materials to test the response of the model in various working conditions.

Simulation Advisor

The Simulation Advisor helps you choose the study type, define loads, fixtures, and connections, and interpret the results.