I'd say there may be a stress concentration at the fixture, since a layer of nodes that cannot move is connected to a layer of nodes that has to move. Refine the mesh, and you should see the large stress get larger and larger, but become packed into a smaller and smaller area. If you extract the stress from the spot closest to the fixture where it is converged (where it stops getting higher when you change the mesh size), then it ought to be closer.
In general, you are not going to be able to get an accurate stress at the boundary of your model, because the boundary conditions are so phony. You have to take your model out past the area you are analyzing.
BTW, if you run this as a beam mesh, I'll bet it agrees with you hand calcs to about 5 decimal places.
Thanks guys...I tried the problem again using the 'Treat as Beam' setting and it worked out exactly as my hand calculations did. I've been trying to understand SolidWorks Simulation by reading 'Finite Element Concepts via SolidWorks' by J.Ed Akin but it seems difficult to follow. Maybe it's because I'm a beginner. I previously read 'Building Better Products with Finite Element Analysis' by Adams and Askenazi and that helped a lot with the theory behind FEA.
Do any of you by chance have any recommendations for good books on FEA using Solidworks? I see that Dassault Systems themselves don't have any at the online SW book store.
I'm glad we could help.
I recommend you keep poking at this problem until you can see why the solids got a different answer and understand the convergence issues I mentioned. Beams are not a panacea. The reason they get the same answer as your hand calcs is because they literally make exactly the same assumptions and use the same equations. In other words, they are basically automated hand calcs.
Here is a book on FEA with SW:
this or simply supported beams comes up about once every 3 months
i would recommend taking a look at the displacement first and then the stress
and then also compare beams and solids like mike suggested
the displacements will be great and stress will be great in locations where there aren't stress concentrations/singularities
something else to note, solidworks has many of these in the help and also the afnor document