Every new release of SolidWorks features many enhancements and improvements, most in direct response to customer requests. SolidWorks 2013 continues the trend, with over 200 enhancements implemented to improve performance and enhance productivity.
With so many new features and enhancements, it is difficult to cover them all. However, I wanted to quickly highlight several great enhancements that I feel could save users valuable time and effort when post-processing or viewing results in Simulation.
Post-processing is an integral part of the analysis procedure. Analyzing results and interpreting the assumptions and simplifications that were made are important for any engineer. Understanding this, SolidWorks has implemented several enhancements to make viewing results easier and more intuitive. Improvements in viewing results include a new transient sensor, the option to display result and factor of safety plots for selected bodies/entities, more realistic representation of results on shell bodies, and options for selecting which results to store.
First, let’s start off with the new Transient Sensor. Available in Simulation Professional and above, this new sensor tracks results from transient studies. After running a transient study, users can graph the stored sensor values versus the range of time or frequency solution steps.
For example, in a transient thermal analysis, you can determine the min or max temperature across all steps without having to identify the specific node where the min or max temperature occurs. In previous versions we had to plot temperature for a single step, identify the node with the min or max temperature, and then use the probe tool on the node to plot the response graph.
The second enhancement provides users with a new option when creating result plots. “Show plot only on selected entities” lets you display results on selected faces or bodies. In the result plot PropertyManager, under Advanced Options, you can find “Show plot only on selected entities”.
This new plot option will save users valuable time and effort when reviewing and especially comparing results. Instead of hiding or isolating parts and reloading existing result plots, users can define unique plots for individual bodies. This allows users to quickly and easily change between result plots of the individual bodies or the entire assembly. This enhancement is definitely one of my favorites this year for Simulation and has already proved to be a valuable time saver.
The third enhancement to post-processing involves shell results. “Render Shell Thickness in 3D” lets users display the mesh and results of shells using a 3D representation of shell bodies. For stress/strain plots, results for the Top and Bottom shell faces are shown, and are linearly interpolated across the shell thickness. Users no longer have to switch between Top and Bottom plots to compare values. When probing stress plots, both the Top and Bottom shell values are displayed. Rendering shell thickness will help users better visualize their shell models and make post-processing faster and more intuitive.
The last enhancement that I wanted to highlight lets users control the amount of results data stored in the simulation results file, reducing the file size and improving the loading speed, especially for transient analysis.
For static studies, users have the option not to store the stress and strain results in the result file (*.CWR). For users only concerned with deflection, this option will allow studies to complete at a fraction of the run time since the stresses/strains will not be calculated.
In transient analysis, the default option for the solver is to calculate and store all the results. Now users have the option to save results only for selected solution steps for transient studies. Note that this option is very similar to the result options that were once only available to users in Simulation Premium.
The enhancements for SolidWorks Simulation Post-Processing are just one way Simulation 2013 helps you do your job a little bit faster. There are a myriad of other new features and enhancements not covered in this article which we will detail in later posts. Be sure to check out our What’s New 2013 webinars, and keep an eye on this page for new articles on our ever expanding capabilities.