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Can I use Simulation to solve a statically indeterminate problem?

Question asked by Tom Nuessen on Apr 7, 2010
Latest reply on Apr 8, 2010 by Roland Schwarz

I currently have a 4 bar linkage with the hinges connected via pin joints:

a fixed base

two unequal length arms

a fixture that rotates between level and ~65* ccw


The two arms each have one end attached to the base, and the other end attached to the stand.  They are unequal in length, like a standard 4-bar linkage.  There is also a hydraulic cylinder that moves one of the arms and causes the mechanism to rotate, but that is not being considered in this instance.  I have the center of gravity of the object that is held in the stand, and I need to perform a static analysis on this mechanism to find/verify the forces that are transmitted to the pin joints so I can then load those forces into Simulation and perform an FEA study on each respective member of the mechanism.  I've searched all over, even using different programs such as Pro-Mechanica and Algor, but I haven't found anything that will show me how the forces are distributed to the pin joints (think elementary beam loading problem with a free body diagram--- i.e. a beam is fixed at point A with a pin on one end, and a roller support at point B on the other end and loaded with a force of x-newtons at a location y-inches from point A.  What are the reaction forces at points A and B?)  Currently, I have more variables than equations and even with assumptions to simplify the model, my values still indicate the model is statically indeterminate.  Is there a feature in SolidWorks that will give reaction forces to a simple 2D or 3D model? 


Thank you for your time and help,