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Manually modelling bearings in Large Displacement Simulation

Question asked by Nicholas Arthur on Apr 13, 2017
Latest reply on Apr 19, 2017 by Ryan Navarro

I'm currently trying to figure out a way to manually recreate the Solidworks Bearing Connector functionality for use in a Large Displacement Simulation, in Solidworks 2015. In general terms, the assembly comprises a number of beams of rectangular section, which are joined with pins and bearings, one at the top and one at the bottom, at each end. Unfortunately I cannot give any more specific details due to confidentiality issues.


With regards to meshing, I eventually plan to use a mixed mesh comprising a beam element in the centre, and solid mesh at ends to mesh more complex solid features. For the time being I can get useable results using a solid mesh throughout for simplicity.


The bearings in question are spherical rollers. In particular I wish to allow free axial movement of the upper bearing (by using 0 axial stiffness in the bearing connector dialog) such that the lower bearing takes all the axial load. I have tried using 'on cylindrical face' constraints with a bonded shell to solid mesh, in order to constrain translations and allow the appropriate number of rotations about each axis. The problem is that 'on cylindrical face' or 'on spherical face' seem to constrain faces relative to the global coordinate system. What I would really like to do is constrain two surfaces relative to each other, as with a 'real life' bearing, but allow the whole bearing itself to move globally as the beam(s) deform.


I have read the kb article on the actual formulation used for bearing connectors, but I don't see how I can practically recreate this using the available tools in simulation. Am I asking too much of Solidworks?