I've taken CAD college courses which included SolidWorks; however, although they teach you how to "perform" different types of studies, they never teach you how to verify that your simulation is consistent with reality. Furthermore, as a student, there are simply many things in which I don't have the technical experience to declare whether it is acceptable or otherwise.
I'm trying to perform a static analysis on the framework attached to this post. If memory serves, I can treat these as trusses. Each element is welded together. My intention is to gain a reliable understanding of the structure's current design with a typical load of 500 Pa per horizontal beam so that I can identify design points to improve. This is part of a medical air and vacuum system, so the structure is meant to carry heavy pumps and compressors.
- My current simulation results indicate a FOS of 69. Is this accurate? In my theoretical stress analysis courses, we rarely used a FOS greater than 3. Is my class consistent with industry? Could a fatigue analysis (due to vibrations from operating components, such as pumps and compressors) lead an engineer to increase the FOS by similar magnitude? After all, these systems are built to last decades.
- Could someone verify the fixtures I've chosen for the study? Are they proper? Do SolidWorks simulations not recognize weldments without having to label joints as "fixed geometry"? How would I model the ground as a supporting element?
- One clear indication that my simulation is wrong, I believe, is the fact that all those members experience 0 stresses. They should be experiencing torsion, moments, and buckling for the columns.
- I'd imagine that engineers perform hand calculations to verify consistency with results. If so, why simulate at all? Or is the purpose of simulation simply to act as a secondary confirmation of hand calculations? There are, however, many types of calculations which can't be performed by hand anymore. How do engineers verify those types of simulations?
Thank you for your time!