2 Replies Latest reply on May 11, 2013 10:07 AM by Bill McEachern

    Can SolidWorks simulation perform FEA analysis to building code for structures?

    Michael Harbove

      The company I currently work for specializes in designing material handling systems and structures for plants.  We are looking for move forward a bit into 3D for design verification and checking purposes.  When comparing to Autodesk Revit, the FEA program associated with that is able to perform FEA analysis to building code for structures as a part of its package. Can SolidWorks perform the simulation at the same level?  As a company we are interested in the program and its modeling capabilities and are looking to potentially update/replace our current FEA program for structural analysis.  Any information on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

        • Re: Can SolidWorks simulation perform FEA analysis to building code for structures?
          Jared Conway

          can you elaborate on exactly what type of analysis you need to perform? customers that i've worked with on structures generally need to perform static and dynamic analyses. both of which can be done with solidworks simulation premium.


          or are you looking for a push button solution? meaning that the definition of the simulation is already setup and you just need to drop in the model? if so, you could do this by setting up the template yourself based on the analysis definition but there are no specific templates for it by default. i could see this becoming kind of hairy to manage from year to year as codes change.

          • Re: Can SolidWorks simulation perform FEA analysis to building code for structures?
            Bill McEachern

            FEA codes that state some sort of building code capability are just providing some guidance on how the computed results compare to the selected buiding code standard. The assumption of "the same level"assumes that doing a structural calc on a building is some pinnacle of computation. Nothing could be further from the truth. The most advanced codes on the planet offer no such capabilty. Typically, these structural codes aimed at analyzing buildings are a vastly reduced subset of capailites and analysis procedures that are typical of  or mimic conventional calculations done on buildings. Solidworks simulation is a general purpose code that leaves the interpretation of results to the user. Users that use SWX SIM for strucural calcs typically construct a spreadsheet that will do the comparision of beam outputs to building code requirements. It typically isn't a big deal. While beam analysis is quite typical in most building calcs, as soons as you require a more complex analysis that say may use shell, solid elements, mixed mesh problems or dealing with contact and other non-linearities the benefits of code checks compared to the lack of capability in dealing with modeling complexities or the lack of rapid model construction abilities is quickly out weighed. Code checking capabilities should be viewed in the right light for the type of work that you plan on doing and the prospects of actually getting it done efficiently in the considered program. The above remarks are made with no knowledge of the specific code your are considering with respect to Revit but they are typical of the dominant codes used for the analysis of buildings such as STAAD pro, S-Frame and similar programs. SWX Sim is a good general purpose code where FEA model construction for a wide class of problems is very fast in terms of effort hours and computation is efficient. The post processing of results is also quite good. Hope that helps.