October 11, 2017, NMSUG Meeting

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    The October 11th, 2017 meeting of the New Mexico SolidWorks User Group was held at The BioScience Center in Albuquerque, 5901 Indian School Road NE, Albuquerque, NM. Food this time around was awesome New Mexico green chile stew with tortillas, and biscochitos for desert.



    5:30 – 6:00 Arrive, Get Some Food, Meet Someone New

    6:00 – 6:05 Announcement and General Business

    6:05 – 6:50 DriveWorks Express

                            Heather Hasz (DriveWorks)

    7:00 – 8:15 SOLIDWORKS Simulation – When to use What?

                            Reza Tabatabai (SOLIDWORKS Corp.)

    8:20 – 8:30 Wrap Up / Prizes / Giveaways

    Networking and socializing thereafter.


    We will hear from Heather Hasz of DriveWorks and Reza Tabatabai of SOLIDWORKS.  Both promise to be excellent presentations, filled with information that will make you faster and more efficient in your daily workflows.  Also, you already have access to the basic functionality (DriveWorks Express and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Express), so come learn how to take advantage of these excellent tools and see how they can make your life just a little bit easier.



    NMSUG shirts like the ones Randy and William wore at the meeting can be procured. Email Randy Lynn, lynntech@comcast.net if interested. It involves getting together a small order. They are around $25-$30.


    November 15 is next meeting. SLUGME (SolidWorks Largest User Group Meeting Ever), 5:30 to 6:30 PM MDT, hosted by Todd Blacksher (from Lincoln, NE), CSWE. Topics include tips and tricks that people may or may not know about, Keyboard Shortcuts, User Interface, Sheet Metal, Weldments, Templates, and Custom Properties are just a few of the things on the menu.


    February meeting will be GD&T, presented by our very own Robert Goodwin, Sandia Labs.


    DriveWorks Express, Heather Hasz (DriveWorks)

    Heather Hasz is a member of the DriveWorks Business Development team and plays a key part in the DriveWorks SWUGN Sponsorship Program.  She will be presenting on DriveWorksXpress, the free design automation tool that sits inside every seat of SOLIDWORKS.  Heather will also announce the DriveWorksXpress Training and Certification program.


    Heather is here all the way from Waltham, MA. She is United States DriveWorks employee number one. She has been with the company one and a half years. Prior to this, she worked for SOLIDWORKS for ten years with the partner certification team. DriveWorks is a SWUGN sponsor and has been an active NMSUG sponsor for several years. Heather focused her presentation on DriveWorks Express since it is included in all seats of SolidWorks. DriveWorks Solo (30 days free) and DriveWorks Pro are full featured versions of DriveWorks. Moogue (online) uses DriveWorks Pro to allow users who log on to design their own iPhone case.


    Beginning with SolidWorks 2015 you must activate DriveWorks Express through MySolidWorks. Follow these steps:


    1. Open SOLIDWORKS
    2. Go to Tools>Xpress Products>DriveWorksXpress
    3. Click on the link and login to MySolidWorks
    4. Copy the activation code
    5. Paste into the product code box, click OK
    6. Start automating


    DriveWorksXpress Certification-there is full downloadable curriculum and online tutorials (~3 hours). www.driveworksxpresscertification.com (choose the industry or educational path).


    Three steps to creating a DriveWorks model


    1. Capture Dimensions, Features, etc.
    2. Create Form
    3. Create Rules

    Start making similar parts!


    Not just for complete products. You can use DriveWorksXpress for a single part that is within an assembly.


    Heather created a simple bracket project in real-time for the group. She went through the three steps above. The form had six user inputs. She set minimum and maximum allowable values for dimensions. She showed how to create rules with absolute values or Excel-like formulas. Heather very quickly knocked out a half dozen different brackets and saved each in their own file.


    The interface is very user friendly. It resembles SOLIDWORKS property manager wizards. DriveWorks is design tables on steroids.


    Heather’s end of presentation demo was a brief video of a Pizza Configurator from DriveWorks Pro. The graphics were stellar. Note: the result was a quote for a pizza order and did not (but could have) resulted in a SolidWorks file.


    Moogue (online) uses DriveWorks Pro to allow users who log on to design their own iPhone case. www.3dprinttelefoonhoesje.nl/


    Visit www.driveworksxpress.com and look at some videos and samples. They also have a DriveWorks live version where you can configure a swing set with a ladder and climbing wall.


    DriveWorks integrates with PDM Professional at the Solo and Pro levels. PDM Standard? TBD.


    SOLIDWORKS Simulation – When to use What?

    Reza Tabatabai (SOLIDWORKS Corp.)

    Reza Tabatabai is the Senior Technical Manager for the Simulation products at DS SOLIDWORKS. Reza has worked with many companies in different industries using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for their diverse simulation needs. He did his PhD at the ETH Zurich in Switzerland and was a researcher and lecturer at UC Berkeley. The presentation discusses the application of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) in Mechanical Simulation of parts and assemblies. With practical applications, you will see when you have to switch from one analysis to another, such as linear vs. nonlinear and statics vs. dynamics, the underlying assumptions, and pros and cons of using each. Brief references to other analysis types within SOLIDWORKS simulation, such as thermal, frequency, buckling and drop test are also made. After the presentation, you will have a better understanding of what type of simulations to look into in the future based on your specific designs and areas of interest.


    Reza is visiting from the San Francisco Bay Area. He works mostly in North America although on this trip he was just wrapping up a stint in Columbia.


    From the group, several attendees use SOLIDWORKS static simulation with a few members using SOLIDWORKS Simulation to find normal modes.


    SOLIDWORKS has several levels of Simulation

    Mainstream: SW Premium, Sim Professional

    Intermediate: Sim Professional, Sim Premium, FloW Simulation, Plastics

    Dassault Systemes SIMULA (Abacus)

    Cloud-based solutions on the 3D Experience Platform


    A design engineer can benefit from simulation or virtual prototyping.


    Solutions types:


    Analytical-simple cases, use known formulas from textbooks

    Experimental-time consuming and expensive

    Numerical-discretization, FEA and simulation.


    Meshing: Solid, Shell, Beam elements, can have a mixed mesh-different meshes in the same model.



    Studying vibration experimentally is difficult! Reza showed a video of vibrating resonance phenomena on a plate. As the frequency varies (increases in this case) different areas of the plate vibrate and white powder on the plate moves to areas that remain still. www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf0t4qIVWF4


    This frequency study can be setup in SolidWorks in minutes. Reza showed simulation plots of a plate like the one in the video. The plots on his model almost exactly mimicked the images from the video.


    Question from the group: “Simulation makes a pretty picture but what is the accuracy?”

    Answer: First, the FEA methodology is well established. Second, it is prevalent in industry. For a seasoned user or knowledgeable engineer we use mesh control, proper boundary conditions, and even error checking to arrive at the best answer. It is a powerful tool but requires a knowledgeable operator. When compared to other solutions, there is not much else out there. Validate your FEA with physical tests. Initial simulation helps you to do more intelligent physical tests.


    The quote of the evening might have been:

    "Structural engineering is the art of molding materials we don't wholly understand, into shapes we can't fully analyze, so as to withstand forces we can't really assess, in such a way that the community at large has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance." ...James E. Amrhein

    Why did Tacoma Narrows suspension bridge collapse in six months and the Golden Gate suspension bridge is still standing? The Golden Gate road deck has a truss structure under it whereas the Tacoma Narrows road deck was very thin but “state of the art."



    Static Analysis-determines the loads and deflections and defines a safety factor.

    Fatigue-designing for life/durability. Determine total life and damage. SolidWorks only does high-cycle fatigue (no low-cycle fatigue).

    Trend Tracker-(within static analysis) see consequences of design changes immediately, what-if scenarios.

    Optimization-automates iterations after you specify parameters (dimensions), constraints (max stress, max displacement), Goal (minimum weight or higher maximum frequency) then it uses a DOX (design of experiments) algorithm to arrive at an optimum design.

    Singularity Analysis-New in SolidWorks 2018

    Topology Optimization (SolidWorks 2018, licensed from Abacus)-especially suited for additive manufacturing and 3D printing.

    Motion-time based, rigid body kinematics, find forces, accelerations, size motors.

    Motion-event based

    Frequency Analysis-any object has the potential to vibrate. An excitation resonating with the natural frequency can lead to failure.

    Linear Buckling Analysis-slender member under compression, slenderness (length to thickness ratio), long beams, thin shells.

    Non Linear Buckling Analysis-Large displacement. Soda Can

    Virtual Connectors-complex behavior in an easy set-up, different types of connectors are available in assemblies. Models rigid, spring, bolt and many other connectors without the geometry.

    Material Web Portal-Materiality is a huge data base available to users on subscription.

    2D Simplification-2D representation of a slice of a 3D model, great for plane stress, plane stain or axis-symmetric stress.

    Sub-Modeling-analyze large structures, first run an analysis on the full model and then run analysis in a submodel that resides in a larger assembly

    Loadcase manager-

    Drop Test-subset of nonlinear dynamic analysis, calculate impact results, deformation, and stress. Can specify drop height, impact velocity, angle of impact, coarse mesh only, limited functionality.

    Pressure Vessel Design-

    Thermal Analysis-conduction, convection, radiation, steady-state and transient (time dependent) analysis.



    Composites-low weight, high strength, layered material, symmetric, non-symmetric

    Static vs. Dynamic analysis-static loading is time Independent, Dynamic loading is time dependent. What is the effect of time, steady state performance vs. transient.

    Linear Dynamic-time History, pulse, time varying force, transient response, damping

    Linear Dynamic-harmonic analysis

    Linear Dynamic-random vibration

    Linear Dynamic-response spectra

    Linear Systems vs. Non-Linear Systems-

    Load Carrying Capacity and Failure-

    Material Models-

    SolidWorks Flow Simulation-

    SolidWorks Plastics-injection mold simulation

    Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) package-

    SIMULA used for non-linear dynamic analysis-soda can smashing, automobile collisions.



    Lots of good DriveWorks schwag form Heather Hasz
    Amazon echodot

    Stem E VEX Robot