AnsweredAssumed Answered

SolidWorks Simulation for Assembly Jack Stand

Question asked by Aaron Ferguson on Apr 20, 2011
Latest reply on Apr 26, 2011 by Jeremiah Feist

I have been using SolidWorks now for almost 6 months and recently started focusing more on the Simulation aspect. My background is in Mechanical Engineering/FEA Analysis and most of my training so far has been with Alignex and online courses, tutorials, and reading books. Recently I got a project from a client, mostly as a training tool for my company, where I have to do a test on a jack stand. This jack stand will be used to support a mining vehicle of some sort. I have attached a picture of my assembly model.


Basically, it consists of a rectangular base plate, a larger rectangle attached on top of the base plate with an X pattern inside for support, two structural tubes ASTM A500 Grade B about halfway up for support and a fork lift to move the jack stand, and a cradle top curved with a 63" radius where an 85 ton load will be applied.


This will all be welded together with ASTM A36 Steel, which is to be determined on weld size. It will be resting on concrete or a gravel floor, which might not always be even like the 85 ton load. What we want to determine is if the structure will be able to support the 85 ton loaded on the cradle top both as a distributed load and if say the vehicle was putting all that weight on one edge of the jack stand. Also, what happens if the floor is uneven?


I guess my main concern, is just how to run a test correctly and where to even begin? Other things I have questions on is:


Since this an assembly, will there be concerns with meshing?

How do the welds affect the test? Should they be used such as an edge weld connector?

With this being symmetric, could I just model ¼ of assembly and make it one part to simplify the test. Would that be an accurate enough?

If I do it a ¼ model using two different types of materials (structural steel and the tubing), can that be modeled in just one part?

I don’t see ASTM A500 Grade B in the material database. I know you can create custom materials. How do I got about that or is there a way to download more materials from the internet, such as using 3D Content Central?

Is there a way to determine what weld sizes need to be used during or after the test?


The more I use SolidWorks, the more I love it. Not only for what it has done for me, but for what it can do for my company in the future. But, it can be overwhelming. I know where I want to end up when the test is over, but just don’t know how to get there and being the most accurate possible to real world conditions. I have been in contact with Alignex and figure these forums, being fairly new to them myself, are a great resource to help with this and further my knowledge. I appreciate any advice given.


Note: I am using SolidWorks Professional 2011 SP2 with the full Simulation Package