As more and more users are beginning to install and use SolidWorks 2013, I think there’s no better time to revisit what was presented during the launch events… as it has probably been long forgotten! Starting with SOLIDWORKS Simulation, this blog is to act as a reminder for a sampling of our favorite new enhancements. Other articles are already in the works to present these and other enhancements in more detail, so stay tuned!
In Simulation there were three enhancements that really caught my eye, and many more to make your day-to-day experience easier. Let’s start with my top 3, beginning with a change to shell elements.
We all know (or should know) that using shell elements to represent thin members is extremely handy in keeping your solutions manageable and inexpensive. Where I felt these fell short in the past, however, was properly defining the thickness and also in post-processing the results. No longer is that the case!
Carrying forward from the ability to render beam thickness from SolidWorks 2012, comes the latest visualization tool; render shell thickness. Now you can visibly check if your shells adequately represent your geometry, and when post-processing, you no longer need to understand the difference between top and bottom. Hawk Ridge Systems Applications Engineer Dae Kim is going to be looking at this in more detail in a future post.
If you’re like me and work with assemblies in Simulation often, you probably use an incredibly coarse mesh when first defining a study. This is a method I’ve adopted to enable me to run through numerous iterations to ensure the setup is juuuust right. Once I’m pleased with the setup, only then do I start to care what my results are telling me, and it’s at that time it becomes imperative to define a proper mesh. This could be quite the arduous process in the past, because as you alter the mesh settings (using mesh controls) you were forced to remesh the entire assembly to see those changes. I used to curse the inefficiency induced while meshing parts that had absolutely no change! Oy vey! In 2013, you can now incrementally mesh individual parts in assemblies, without unnecessarily meshing every…single…other…part! Refining meshes just got about 50X easier!
Using this is simple as well! All that is required is that you RMB on a body in the analysis tree. From there you should find the ability to remesh, as illustrated below:
Lastly, there’s a completely new way of using assemblies and multibody parts in 2013 to compliment the above. With this new tool, available in SolidWorks Simulation Professional and above, you’ll be able to transfer complex loads from larger structure to localized regions to obtain accurate stresses in localized regions. This type of analysis is referred to as a submodeling study, and it’s induced similarly to how we increment the mesh. In this case, you RMB the top level analysis name and select the “Create Submodeling Study” option.
From there you select the bodies you want to focus on. What the software will do is transfer complex global loads from the overall system, enabling you to center your efforts on a simpler localized region. This will enable more design iterations while still considering the effects from the entire system.
In addition to these three, there were some small, but welcomed changes to contacts, the organization of the simulation tree, and design studies have also been improved to allow materials to be added as a parameter. Using materials in a design study in conjunction to our expanded costing abilities makes obtaining a clear cost/benefit analysis easy to produce than ever before.