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2D Simplification in SolidWorks 2011: Part 1

Question asked by Marlon Banta Employee on Aug 29, 2011
Latest reply on Sep 20, 2011 by Anthony Botting



I wanted to share with you a series of instructional videos, on the topic of 2D Simplification,  that were created by myself (Marlon Banta) and two other members of the SolidWorks Simulation Product Definition team:


  • Hari Padmanabhan, Senior Product Definition Engineer
  • Dr. Idris Traina, Director of Simulation Product Definition



These videos were originally created for an “Innovation Day” virtual seminar that was run in Asia last year. These videos cover the topic of 2D Simplification (introduced in SolidWorks 2011) which is a powerful tool allowing engineers to rapidly analyze models that fit within the two dimensional assumptions of the plane theory of elasticity.  It is important to note that to run 2D Simplification in SolidWorks 2011 you must have a license of SolidWorks Simulation Professional.  We support the three major types of two dimensional simulation which are plane stress, plane strain and axi-symmetric.  You can apply these two dimensional simulations to four types of studies in SolidWorks 2011.  They are Static Simulation, Nonlinear Simulation, Thermal Studies and Pressure Vessel Design. Also note that Design Studies can use parameters and sensors from 2D Simplification studies.


My video will first start out with a general overview of 2D Simplification and then provide an example of running a Plane Stress Static Study in SolidWorks 2011. My colleague, Hari Padmanabhan, will then create another forum post to present an example of Plane Strain 2D Simplification ( Hari's Plane Strain video can be found here: then my colleague, Dr. Idris Traina, will present, in a third post, an example of Axi-symmetric 2D Simplification ( Idris's Axi-symmetric video can be found here:


It is important to note that based on the plane theory of elasticity, the general assumption for plane stress analysis is that all loading and boundary conditions occur in two dimensions; in other words all forces and restraints act in a single plane.  This means that there can be no normal stress and no shear stress directed perpendicular to this plane.  Commonly the most appropriate types of geometry for Plane Stress 2D Simplification are thin geometry where one dimension is smaller than the others and also were all the loads are applied in the plane of the thin geometry.


Enjoy the video and I look forward to your comments.


Thank you,


-Marlon Banta