April 25, 2015

Weldments in SolidWorks Simulation

SolidWorks Simulation is a powerful tool to analyse and predict how a component will react under loading conditions.  It uses the finite element method to divide the subject model into smaller elements for analysis.  The method and classification of this division can determine the accuracy and speed at which your simulation will run.  

In the case of weldments similar to the sample beam as shown below, they are treated differently than a typical solid in solidworks simulation.

solidworks simulatio

Weldments are treated by default as beam elements which have joints at junctions and connection points.  In our example we have a simple cantilever beam therefore only two joints exist represented by the yellow spheres in the graphical area.

weldment joints- solidworks simulation

If you need to edit the joints groups, right click the “Joint Groups” and select edit.  This will allow you to edit joints in the properties box.

edit joint groups in weldment- SolidWorks Simulation

When applying the fixtures and loads we may do so normally, however keep in mind that point load and fixtures are to be applied on the joints.  To do so, select the joint icon before you select the location and apply the load to your model.

solidworks simulation- applying load

Our model is fixed on one end and the force is set to 100N downward on the other end.  When meshed the weldment will appear differently than most common tetrahedral mesh as shown below

solidworks simulation meshing

Running the simulation and superimposing the original model we find that the maximum deflection is given by 0.108mm.

Solidworks Simulation static analysis

Alternatively, you are also able to select a weldment and specify that the program treat the 3D model as a solid as with standard tetrahedral mesh.  To do so, right click the weldment body and select “Treat as Solid” from the menu.

solidworks simulation weldments

In doing so you will have to reapply your fixtures, forces and mesh to the model.  The equivalent study in solid mesh format is as shown below

weldments in solidworks simulation

You have the option to apply the applicable type of element that best suits your model.

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