8 Replies Latest reply on Apr 16, 2018 6:44 AM by Chase Evans

    Custom Spider Connectors / Rigid Links - are they possible in Solidworks Simulation?

    Chase Evans

      Is there the capability in Solidworks linear or nonlinear static analysis to create custom spider connectors/rigid links in solidworks simulation? I believe that the "bolt connector" is essentially a spider/rigid link connector however I am wondering if it is possible to create a customized connector of this sort - I have not seen any option to create this. Thanks in advance for your help!!

        • Re: Custom Spider Connectors / Rigid Links - are they possible in Solidworks Simulation?
          Chase Evans

          Okay so I found the link and rigid connectors under the connectors tab (I apologize for the simple question as the answer was under my nose the whole time) however the amount of documentation on the topic is almost zero and I am having a bit of difficulty getting a simulation to run with link connectors. I get the error message "Associated element is not found for Link Connector Link Connector-1. Finer mesh is recommended" no matter what mesh size and the addition of mesh control. If anyone has (a) some tips for how to use both rigid and link connectors that would be extremely helpful and/or (b) some documentation on how to properly use link and rigid connectors that would be EXTREMELY helpful. Thanks!

            • Re: Custom Spider Connectors / Rigid Links - are they possible in Solidworks Simulation?
              Bill McEachern

              Link connectors are not what u want to model a bolt. U could use a bolt cut into two normal to axis in grip area And then use a bolt connector on the cylindrical faces or u could use the temperature contraction mentioned previously.

                • Re: Custom Spider Connectors / Rigid Links - are they possible in Solidworks Simulation?
                  Chase Evans

                  Understood - I actually was asking this question for a separate model, not the model we were discussing in the previous post about two plates clamped together with a bolt. I just wanted to know more about link connectors as I am having trouble finding documentation on it and getting them to behave properly in the model.

                   

                  That being said, from what I understand the built in default "bolt connector" in the solidworks connectors is just a parametric and specialized group of spider link connectors coupled with a temperature differential to simulate the preload.

                   

                    • Re: Custom Spider Connectors / Rigid Links - are they possible in Solidworks Simulation?
                      Bill McEachern

                      Hi Chase,

                      Sorry I was on holiday and was responding through my phone - I thought this was under the bolt thread. To use a link you need two vertexes - one at each end. It is a geometric constraint in the the distance between the two vertices will not change. As there are no rotational degrees of freedom in solid elements there is no ability to hold a moment at either end. I do not think there is an option for moment control when connecting to element types with rotational degrees of freedom. I found them handy for modeling cables but not a lot else. What would be handy, and I think they have accepted it as an enhancement request recently, is for generalized couplings to be available. They would be very handy and could have numerous options for supporting moments and load distributions other than kinematic (rigid).

                        • Re: Custom Spider Connectors / Rigid Links - are they possible in Solidworks Simulation?
                          Chase Evans

                          Bill,

                           

                          I think I see what you are talking about as I have done a little experimenting with the links and found them a bit troublesome and create extremely high concentrations of stress and unrealistic deformation.

                           

                          That being said, I am really looking to simulate "spider" connections that I have seen widely used in other FEA solvers like ANSYS or ABAQUS. See below for a link about what I am talking about, I believe in those software packages they are called Rigid Bode Elements or "RBE" - the most common of which seems to be RBE2 and RBE3.

                           

                          RBE2 VS RBE3 - FEA for All

                           

                          In addition, from what I understand - as I noted before about bolt connections - solidworks inherently utilizes these spider connectors/rigid links for many of its built-in connectors like bolts, pins, etc... so it seems that they do have many uses. My main question is can I use the "rigid link" connector to create my own custom connector/linkage that provides a similar result or is there something that I am missing? I think the main issue is that when I specify a pin/bolt connector the links attach directly to mesh nodes whereas when I create a "rigid link" connector I have to select a point contained within the model, and I'm not sure whether this creates a mesh node at that point - is there a way to link to mesh nodes?

                           

                           

                          • Re: Custom Spider Connectors / Rigid Links - are they possible in Solidworks Simulation?
                            Chase Evans

                            Bill,

                             

                            My original reply is in limbo for moderator approval due to, I believe, my including an external link. I have reformatted it below.

                             

                            I think I see what you are talking about as I have done a little experimenting with the links and found them a bit troublesome and create extremely high concentrations of stress and unrealistic deformation.

                             

                            That being said, I am really looking to simulate "spider" connections that I have seen widely used in other FEA solvers like ANSYS or ABAQUS. See below for a link about what I am talking about, I believe in those software packages they are called Rigid Bode Elements or "RBE" - the most common of which seems to be RBE2 and RBE3.

                             

                            Remove the quotes for link:

                            "feaforall.com/rbe2-vs-rbe3/"

                             

                            In addition, from what I understand - as I noted before about bolt connections - solidworks inherently utilizes these spider connectors/rigid links for many of its built-in connectors like bolts, pins, etc... so it seems that they do have many uses. My main question is can I use the "rigid link" connector to create my own custom connector/linkage that provides a similar result or is there something that I am missing? I think the main issue is that when I specify a pin/bolt connector the links attach directly to mesh nodes whereas when I create a "rigid link" connector I have to select a point contained within the model, and I'm not sure whether this creates a mesh node at that point - is there a way to link to mesh nodes?

                             

                             

                              • Re: Custom Spider Connectors / Rigid Links - are they possible in Solidworks Simulation?
                                Bill McEachern

                                HI Chase,

                                in my experience the general term for what u r calling a spider is a coupling. I have used Nastran and I currently use  Abaqus and Swx sim. I have put in an enhancement request to add generalized couplings for both kinematic and distributing types. The closest thing in Swx sim is the remote load functionality, however you can not connect them and they are ambiguous with respect to load extraction at the control node. While it would be nice to have the generalized connector builder that is available in Abaqus I doubt something like that would end up in Swx. Sim. I would be happy with couplings but they don't get things into this code with any speed anymore.

                                if u have a specific situation u want to model the code can usually do it, though sometimes u have to use contact to get there.