Welcome to Solidworks Simulation! Now that you've had a look around, you'll feel right at home in no time! :-)
I have been doing FEA with Simulation pretty much exclusively for the last month or so. I'm doing analysis on a big Agricultural implement. In order to get anywhere, I've developed a strategy of starting small, then progressing to bigger and bigger configurations after I get the simulation playing nicely.
I have found that almost EVERY TIME I set up a new study and mesh it for the first time, the mesh pops up, then disappears, and SW is just left hanging. Then I kill SW, re-open, re-open my assembly, and usually it meshes fine. Because of this, I make sure to save my settings right before I click MESH.
It just has to get that one crash out of its system. It could also be that after it crashes, I verify my mesh settings, and the tweaking that I do there helps it to not crash. I'm not 100% certain. But I do know that Simulation works very well when it works.
So get ready to be patient. A LOT. Simulation works very well and has a decent user interface. There are lots of cool things that can be done with it that you'd never be able to do in your engineering logbook. There are also lots of weird things that it does that may throw you for a loop. Feel free to post questions and specific queries here and you'll usually get a decent response from the people who know. Try to make your questions more specific than this post, though. Seriously. :-)
Welcome to Simulation! I think you'll fit right in!
1. Any chance of posting the model?
2. How big and complex?
3. No. of dof's?
4. Have you contacted your VAR? What did they say?
5. What hardware are you running? eg. RAM, graphics card, CPU
6. What operating system and version of SolidWorks are you using.
I've had this happen in the past on occasions similar to what David, describes but not continuously.
1 - I can't post the model due to various proprietary/other regulations
2 - Sometimes single thin models that I need to use >= 2 elements through the thickness. Sometimes 2-3 part assemblies that need to have a decent mesh
3 - Usually somewhere in the neighborhood of 500k-1m d.o.f.
4 - I might try that, but I don't think that will resolve the issue unless there's a hidden setting somewhere I don't know about
5 - Right now it's a Dell T7400 with 24GB of RAM, 8 core 2ghz 64bit xeon processor.
6 - The OS is XP Pro 64 bit with SW 2009 SP4.1
I've also noticed that if I kill the results deliberately (for instance, if I toggle a setting like large/small displacements, change a BC or contact), I can pull up the create mesh menu fine. When I have existing results that aren't flagged as unresolved is when I have the problem.
Could be lots of reason, have you tried running with a coarse draft mesh first? Does it run?
I have found recently that a mesh would hold at 99%, if I left it too long I would have to close SWx, if I hit cancel when it got to 99% I would get an error message but my mesh would be fine.
Could be your OS, we had trouble with XP 64, now on W7 64 and has been good. With your memory the DOF shouldn't be a problem at all. I have an i7 with 8GB and do about the same DOF, it isn't instant but I wouldn't have to wait more than 20mins. Also depends on contacts, mixed meshing, etc.
Could do some bench mark tests on sample parts if anyone is interested?..
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