Top Ten Enhancements in SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2024

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Mihir MP, Application Engineer - Simulation May 20th, 2024

Introduction –

Testing and validation is an essential part of the design and development phase of any product and SOLIDWORKS Simulation provides a user-centric and accurate way to calculate the performance of your designs. Carrying out testing in tandem with design iterations and understanding and improving failure criteria in real-time enables engineers to create more robust and reliable products at a faster pace with ease. In this blog we are going to look at some of the top enhancements in SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2024 which makes analysis faster, increases reliability and ultimately productivity.

  • Save files after meshing and solving automatically –
    This new option can be found under Simulation – System Options – General. Avoiding risks of data loss in terms of set-up and/or results when the simulation has completed due to unforeseen risks such as system crashes and power outages. Thus, you can pick up exactly where you left off in case of an inadvertent issue.

  • More resilient Interactions –
    Bonded contact formulation algorithm between bodies meshed with shell elements has been improved to provide better accuracy in dealing with gaps between shell elements. Gaps defined by users ensure that many similar values are not diverged from even with coarse meshes.

  • Convergence Diagnostics for Contacts –
    A new option in the results enables users to check and diagnose if and when any issues arise in convergence of the solution, for contact areas of the model. Regions that are detected when solver encounters a contact convergence issue are plotted clearly with this feature.

  • Save Mesh settings for Re-use without Meshing –
    This feature in the Create Mesh property manager enables us to specify the mesh settings once and save it to be re-used in duplicate studies later without having to mesh the model every time. A preview of the mesh on surfaces can be displayed to check if it meets requirements before creating the solid mesh. When you run a study, the mesh settings are applied automatically to generate the mesh.

  • Copying studies without Mesh or Result details –
    In Simulation 2024, now we can copy studies without including mesh information and results generated in the original study if we know the analysis is going to be re-run in subsequent studies. This enables us to save crucial disk/memory space, especially for large simulations and set up multiple studies with more efficient workflows and resource management.

    This can be done at a global level or for individual studies. Global settings can be applied in Simulation – Options – Default Options – Solver and Results – Copy Study options. For each individual study, users can edit the settings to include or exclude mesh and results in the Copy study property manager.

  • Enhanced Bearing Connector Features –
    Improved options for bearings in SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2024 enable users to simulate this virtual connector more realistically than before. The new Distributed connection type allows connected faces to deform, with greater realistic deformation behaviour than before. Additionally, there is a new Tilt stiffness option that accounts for the bending stiffness of the shaft and a custom torsional stiffness can also be specified to stabilize the shaft’s rotation.

    Keep in mind that to set up the allow self-alignment feature, available in previous releases, you can just set the Tilt stiffness to Zero.

  • Mesh Performance Improvements –
    An improved algorithm for the Blended Curvature Based mesher has made it the default mesh option in Simulation 2024. SOLIDWORKS now has the capability to reuse the same mesh for identical parts instead of meshing each of them independently thereby saving time during analysis set-up. To activate, users can go to, Default Options > Mesh dialog box, select Reuse mesh for identical parts in an assembly.

  • Accuracy and Performance Enhancements –
    Study results with distributed type remote displacements/rotations on large faces are more accurate and solving time is lesser with the Intel Direct Sparse solver. In previous versions, for a very large number of coupling nodes, only a subset of the nodes participated in the distributed coupling constraints. In Simulation 2024, for distributed remote displacements or rotations all involved coupling nodes are included.

    Running stress calculations of larger linear dynamic studies is optimized because of improved memory allocation by the solver. Additionally, enhanced estimation, allocation, and management of memory by the solver allows the completion of large surface-to-surface bonded interaction sets that previously failed because of insufficient memory. Also, the total time for most static and thermal studies solved with the Intel Direct Sparse solver is reduced by more than 10%.

  • Enhanced Batch Manager in SOLIDWORKS Plastics Simulation –
    The batch manager with improved usability provides a streamlined workflow for users allowing them to queue up simulations and run all of them in 1 click. Now, we can specify the maximum number of CPUs for an analysis task along with enhanced visibility for the simulation type assigned to a task with controls to add, run, and pause a task.

  • Enhanced Compare Results in SOLIDWORKS Plastics –
    Users can now display four different results plots from one study using split view panes thus enabling more efficient comparison in post-processing. Users can also save a .jpeg or .png image of the split view with multiple result plots conveniently and quickly.

  • Optimization of Multiple Gates –
    Multiple gates can now be automatically optimised in SOLIDWORKS Plastics 2024. The enhanced Injection Location Advisor iteratively determines an optimal number of locations to fill a cavity with a maximum of 10 sites. Users can also preview the fill pattern, gain early insight, and save time by streamlining the distribution of injection locations.

  • Enhanced Material Database and Pressure-Dependent Viscosity –
    The material database for SOLIDWORKS Plastics 2024 has been improved with the addition of 417 new material grades, upgradation of 40 material grades with latest values and deletion of 292 obsolete material grades. Moreover, Fill and Pack simulations in 2024 now support materials with pressure dependent viscosity. This is especially important in parts composing of long flow lengths, very thin walls or in cases where high injection pressures are utilised.

Conclusion –
The ability to simulate, visualize and post-process a model’s behavioural characteristics and engineer solutions for possible causes of failure phenomena without the need to produce multiple physical prototypes is the epitome of the design and development process. Thus, we can see how SOLIDWORKS, a globally renowned engineering software takes product development a notch higher by empowering its users with a host of advanced new capabilities to test and validate their designs in its latest 2024 version.

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AUTHOR: Mihir MP, Application Engineer - Simulation

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