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Rigidity testing a chassis

Question asked by Dylan Agius on Jan 13, 2012
Latest reply on Mar 2, 2012 by Dylan Agius

Hey guys, I’m having some trouble in solidworks simulation.  I’m trying to test the rigidity of a chassis for Formula SAE.  The process that I have applied is as follows:


Firstly, I created offset surfaces for each member according to the shell thickness because it kept giving me an error when I tried make offset surfaces all at once.  Therefore, each the offset surfaces are grouped according the thickness of the member eg 1.2mm members are all together, 1.6mm members all together and so on.


Second step is I defined each shell according to the member thickness.


I then applied fixed geometry to the rear hard points and a remote load the front hardpoints.


It meshes fine but when it tries to solve, it gives me an error saying: “Preconditioner-fails- to-factor may not have sufficient restraints”.  I looked up the error and it apparently means one of my members is ‘floating’ and it’s not attached to the chassis.

Is the process I have outlined fairly accurate? Does anyone know what I’ve done wrong?


The reason I have had to create the surface offsets is because I need to apply a remote load to simulate a moment but remote loads can't be applied to beams.


Any help would be much appreciated.