Getting Started with Simulation Tutorials in SolidWorks Premium
A recent sales promotion has helped many new customers obtain a license of SolidWorks Premium, which includes lots of great Add-in functionality beyond SolidWorks Standard and SolidWorks Professional. Perhaps the most popular is SolidWorks Simulation, which provides full finite element analysis (FEA) capabilities for linear static (“stress/strain”) simulation. Also, those of you on a “floating” Network License may have access to a Simulation license. But many of you might not know how or where to get started with Simulation.
Where are the SolidWorks Tutorials? Where is the Help?
Well, Step 0 is you need to make sure SolidWorks Premium is installed! If it is not, then you won’t be able to do Step 1. If you need help installing (or modifying your current installation), then contact your CAD Administrator, or CAPINC customers on subscription can of course contact our Technical Support staff.
Step 1: Turn on the “SolidWorks Simulation” Add-in. Launch SolidWorks and navigate to the Tools > Add-Ins… menu:
Check the left-hand box to turn on Simulation in this session. Checking the right-hand box will turn it on in every session from now on, which if you’re using a Network License may anger your coworkers who might want access to the license that you’ll keep grabbing!
Step 2: Open a Part or Assembly file. You will not see any Simulation user interface (icons or toolbars) unless a model file is open. It can be a new empty file, as long as you have one open.
Step 3: Browse the pull-down menus (usually hidden beneath the SolidWorks logo) to Simulation > Help > Tutorials. You could also browse instead to Help > SolidWorks Simulation > Tutorials. As long as the Add-In is on, and a model file is open, you will be able to see both of these menu options.
(You’ll also see in this sub-menu the link to the Help Topics, as well as a link to Verification Problems and NAFEMS Benchmarks. The Verification Problems and Benchmarks provide examples where you can validate Simulation results against theory to prove to yourself and others what we have known for years: Our solvers are excellent and accurate.)
I recommend getting started with the Tutorials. Similar to SolidWorks CAD Tutorials, they divide the screen into two regions and give you easy click-by-click instructions for opening files and going through some steps to acquaint yourself with basic Simulation functionality. SolidWorks Premium includes Simulation Statics. Incidentally, SolidWorks Premium also includes Motion Simulation, but that’s for another post on another day…
After completing a few Tutorials, your next step is to try some of your own simple examples. Then if you decide you want to start using Simulation for your design work, you should attend a Simulation course at CAPINC. We offer a 3-day class for designers to become productive with SolidWorks Simulation. We begin with the essentials of FEA and end with the nonlinearities of large-displacement solutions! (It sounds complicated, but it’s just a check-box option!) The 3rd day of class covers the additional study types available with Simulation Professional (Thermal, Frequency, Buckling, Fatigue, and Drop Test).
Take a look at the upcoming class schedule and register today!