Joe Galliera

Hidden Gems in Simulation 2010

Blog Post created by Joe Galliera Employee on Nov 2, 2009

Have you been to a roll-out by your local reseller where they covered what's new in the 2010 SolidWorks release?  There's a lot more than they can share in that short amount of time.  In the new 2010 release of Simulation, there are a lot of great hidden gems that are not immediately obvious.  Here is a short list of some of those gems:

1) A great anhancement has been the handling of bonded contacts for a mixed meshing with beams and shells (I assume the same is true with beams and solids too but I haven't really checked yet, maybe a later update on this).  Someone had sent me a model with about 400 beams making up a large rectangular building and then he had the walls done as shells.  He didn't create any contact definitions besides the global bonded contact, meshed and ran it... AND IT WORKED!  The compatible meshing between beams and shells works like a charm.  To me, I think this shows how the Simulation product team is working to make analysis easier for all to use!

(2) I also like the fact now that you can Edit the definition of results plots without first having to show the plot.  Definitely makes it much faster to make changes.
(2a)- Also in the graphics window for results, you can get rid of the plot details and the legend in the Chart Options.  I don't think you were able to do this before.

(3) Defining shell elements by selecting faces of a solid body is welcomed back.  Thanks Simulation team!  Remember though that the shell definition still assumes that it's defined at its mid-plane.  With composite shells though that is not the case for 2010, you can now define the direction of the stack up or also by setting a positive or negative ratio 0±0.5.

(4) Defining bodies as either Rigid or Fixed in Nonlinear, like in the example of an O-Ring, helps to speed up the analysis.  We're only interested in the rubber gasket so one can make the bottom fixed and the top rigid; then simply move that rigid part down a specified amount to just touch the bottom fixture.  Model and videos: (342 kB)

5) NAFEMS Benchmarks... Help > SolidWorks Simulation > Validation > NAFEMS Benchmarks.  NAFEMS is an international organization who promotes the proper usage of computational analysis for engineering.  Models are here: <install directory>\SolidWorks\Simulation\Examples\Verification

6) An geometric entity can be both be used as a selection and a reference when defining a load or restraint.  There are countless number of times that have I wanted to do this in the past.  This enhancement is along the same lines as not having to select a face before selecting the hole wizard tool.

7) Backup after both meshing and solved a study to be able to recover the settings and data should there be a problem during this critical phase of a study.  This can be handy in those crucial times when you just can't lose your work!
Click Options (in the Standard SW toolbar) or Tools > Options.  On the System Options tab, click Backup/Recover and select Save auto-recover info after meshing and after running a simulation study.

8) I've found automatic contact definition works much faster than in the past, especially when you have a gap between bodies.  Another enhancement to contacts is that you can drag contact definitions from static studies to nonlinear studies and vice versa. Note: Make sure that these contact definitions are available to both study types.

9) The units available for displacement plots match the units provided in the SolidWorks application. The units are am, nm, micron, mm, cm, m, micron, mil, in, and ft.