Posts Tagged ‘3DVision Technologies’

Quick Tip: Linear Pattern-Up to Reference

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

In SOLIDWORKS 2015, Up to reference was added as an option in Linear Patterns.  Typically you set the distance between the instances and the number of instances.  Now you can specify the distance up to some piece of geometry allowing the software to figure out either the distance or instance count.

Up to reference

You still choose an edge for the pattern direction.  You now choose Up to reference and something to reference to.  You are building a much more intelligent model while capturing the design intent.

You can also tell it how far you want the last instance to be offset from the end.  When you do this, you need to tell SOLIDWORKS where to measure from.  The Centroid calculates from the center of the patterned feature.  The Selected reference allows you to choose where it is measured from.

End and offset

Now you can either choose the Spacing or Number of instances for the pattern to follow.  These are just simple toggle buttons.

Spacing or Number

If you go with Spacing then it will determine the number of instances that are needed.  Click on the image below to see the option.

Pattern Spacing

 

If you tell it the number of instances then it will calculate the spacing needed.  Click on the image below to see the option.

Pattern Instance

It’s a really powerful option.  To do this before, you needed to use equations and variables.  Now it can all be done as an option.  This makes it so much easier and faster for the user to get your design done.  It should also be faster for the software to solve since it doesn’t need to calculate as much information as it would with equations.

Do you remember this from the 2015 What’s New manual?  Have you used it on any designs yet?  Let me know in the comments if this is something you can use.

Josh Spencer

Elite Application Engineer, CSWE 3DVision Technologies

Nominal Wall Thickness Inside Plastics Simulation

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Wall Thickness – a major concern when designing a plastic part.

During the injection of the mold the melted plastic flow front will always move in the direction of least resistance. You can think of this similar to water flowing through a pipe.  The larger the pipe the easier the volume of water will flow.  If the wall is too thick in comparison to other sections of the part the plastic flow will “Race Track” or move ahead of the rest of the flow front.  This causes issues such as air traps, weld/knit lines, and possible cosmetic problems.  If the walls are too thin this can cause issues such as “Short Shot”. Short shots occur when the flow front becomes to hard to push by the machine (typically reaching the maximum injection pressure), or the flow front cools too fast due to the lack of volume.  Short shots do not fully fill the cavity and create an incomplete plastic part.  Ideally a part will have a uniform wall thickness.  In real life this is hard to accomplish but being able to predict areas that may be a problem before running an injection analysis helps an engineer find a good balance.

SolidWorks has always had the ability to check the thickness of a part through the evaluate tab of the command manager.  The command is “Thickness Analysis” and it has been the go to command to determine different thickness within a part.

Thickness Analysis

Nominal Wall Thickness Command

Now SolidWorks offers a “Nominal Wall Thickness” tool under the Advisor category of the Plastics Tree.  The “Nominal Wall Thickness” command allows a user to compare thickness in the model based on a value or percentage.  This addition gives the user a quick thickness analysis right inside the Plastics Interface.

Nominal Wall Thickness

 

Property Manager

The results are a quick and easy to understand plot that facilitates the reduction in sink, short shot, and warping.

 

 

Nominal Wall

 

 

Have you used this command before? want to learn about a different command in SOLIDWORKS? Let me know in the comment section below!

Robert Warren

Elite Application Engineer CAE Technical Specialist 3DVision Technologies

What is the Vary Sketch Option in a Pattern?

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

I have an option that you might have overlooked or just didn’t know what it does.  It’s the Vary Sketch option.

Vary Sketch

The definition from the Help File says, “Select the Vary Sketch option to let the pattern instances change dimensions as they repeat.”  Let’s take a look at what you have to do and how it might help you.

So what I’m going to do is create a triangular part first.

Base Image

Now we need to have a feature added to it.  It can either be a Boss or Cut.  As we pattern the feature, we want it to follow the top angled edge.  The sketch that is used for the feature is important.  First off you want it be fully defined.  This is important so we know which dimension changes.  Next we want the top of our feature sketch to be dimensioned to the angled edge.  This will allow the feature to follow this angle.  If you would add a height dimension, your pattern would not work.

Feature Sketch

Here comes the unique part.  Start the linear pattern tool.  Choose the feature you want to pattern and set the spacing & instance count.  For the direction, choose the sketch dimension that is in the direction you want to pattern too.  You can always choose a sketch dimension to use it as the direction.  Fun trick isn’t it?

Sketch Dimension Direction

You should have the ability to choose Vary Sketch under the Pattern Options.  If you don’t then it would be a normal pattern that you would expect.

Without Vary

But if you would select Vary Sketch in the options, look at what happens.  It changes the overall height to maintain all the dimension in all the instances.

With Vary

You might wonder when this option was added to SOLIDWORKS.  I think it was added in the 1997 Plus release.

Hopefully this will help you get your desired model created.  Have you ever used this option? Have questions about another feature in SOLIDWORKS?  Let me know in the comments below.

Josh Spencer

Elite Application Engineer, CSWE 3DVision Technologies

ABS Snap Fit Non-Linear Static Study

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

I recently acquired a dehumidifying rod from a family member and it was missing the mounting components.  After looking everywhere in my family members basement we could not locate the missing items.  So what is some one who has access to SOLIDWORKS and a 3D Printer to do?  That’s right lets make our own.

A dehumidifying rod is an electric heater that facilitates natural convection in enclosed areas like safes, vehicles, small rooms etc.  The first place to start is thermal side of things and material selection.  The Uprint Plus uses an ABS like material for the printer with a melting temperature of 600 degrees F.  The rod runs at a constant 100 degrees F with a maximum of 125 degrees F.  The wide temperature factor of safety lead me to proceed with a 3D printed design.

The dehumidifying rod mounts had two requirements.  One that they could be screwed down to secure the rod, and that the rod can be easily removed for maintenance if needed.  This lead to a snap fit design.  The original design was stout and bulky and left me wondering if it was overkill.  This is where SOLIDWORKS Simulation is introduced into the design phase.  I wanted to verify that the rod could be removed and “snapped” back into place easily. Because the material is an ABS and the snap fit is a sliding contact this requires a Non-Linear analysis.


DriRod

The Simulation  setup was straight forward.  The rod will remain stationary and the the Clip will be moved a prescribed displacement until it “snaps” onto the rod.  To simplify the model and speed up the run time the analysis will be completed using symmetry.  A no penetration contact was specified on the contacting faces of the rod and the clip.  A mesh control was specified in these contact areas as well.

Steel was the material choice for the rod and an modified default ABS was used for the clip.  The ABS was copied to a custom material folder and changed to be a Plasticity- von Mises material model.  The true Stress-Strain curve of the ABS material was unknown so a representation of the curve known as a Bilinear stress-strain curve was used.  This curve uses the Tangent modulus roughly 1/10th of the Elastic modulus, as the second portion of the curve beyond yield.

Material Properties ABS

 

DRiRod2

 

The results from the first design did indeed show that it was too stout and required a large force to push the clip onto the rod.  The contact plot clearly shows a force requirement of 45 lbs. to spread the clip at the widest point.  This force value lead to a redesign of the clips upper arm.

Design 1 Stress

Contact 1

 

Design Two narrowed the upper arm and reduced the force required by 30 lbs.  The force however was still too high and required another design change.

Design 2 Stress

Contact 2

 

The Third and final design change reduced the arm thickness as well as changed the lower fillet size.  The changes reduced the force required to “snap” the rod in place to a reasonable 3.5 lbs.

Design 3 Stress

Contact 3

 

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium Non-Lienar analysis allowed me to design a mounting clip that holds the dehumidifying rod firm and in place without over design.  Quickly and easily I was able to walk through multiple design iterations and Simulations verifying a reasonable “snap” force.  I am happy to report the dehumidifying rod is in place and has been working for a couple of weeks without issue. Have you used a Non-Linear analysis before or have questions? Let me know in the comment section below!

Robert Warren

Elite Application Engineer CAE Technical Specialist 3DVision Technologies

Pack and Go Now Available for Flow Results

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Pack and Go Now Available in SolidWorks Flow Simulation

Pack and Go has been a staple in SolidWorks functionality for years. It allows a SolidWorks user to package SolidWorks  files such as Assemblies, Parts, and Drawings into a new folder location, or a Zipped file.  Pack and Go can keep the current file structure of folders and sub folders, or flatten to one folder.  This allows a user to make back ups of their work, or transfer files to others easily.  You can rename the new saved files individually or globally with a suffix or prefix creating a new file set.  The user does not loose custom appearances decals or scenes saving time and work when copying the files.  Toolbox components can also be included in the Pack and Go.

SolidWorks Simulation files have always been able to be included with the Pack and Go, However New for 2015 SolidWorks Flow Simulation can now add results files (.fld) to a Pack and Go.  This added functionality allows a user to quickly roundup all the important files needed to transfer, or store their design.  Simply select the Pack and Go option from the file menu. Choose the “Include Simulation Results” check box, and proceed like normal.  Please note that with the Flow Results included the Pack and Go .zip file will be large in size.

Pack and Go

Pack and Go has always made it easy to accumulate all the important files to transfer or store.  Now in 2015 Flow results are added to this great functionality. Lets us know through the blog comments how this functionality has helped you in your daily engineering tasks.  Pack and Go will continue to improve and add functionality as it matures.  Users like you help shape how the product behaves and what new functionality is added.  keep up the good work.  It has been requested for a while and we finally have Flow Results included with Pack and Go.

 

Robert Warren

Elite Application Engineer CAE Technical Specialist 3DVision Technologies

3D ContentCentral: Get Those Models for Free

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Most companies I work with use purchased components and want to add them into their assemblies.  So how do you get the solid models?  You might contact the company for the model or just model it yourself.  Well you could download the models for free without contacting anyone by using 3DContent Central.

3D ContentCentral Logo

3D ContentCentral (3DCC) is a free service for users to download solid models.  How is this different than other similar sites?  This is a Dassault Systemes site and the models are not just from users.  You have the ability to download models that other users have modeled but you also have the option to download from certified suppliers.

Suppliers can upload their models from their catalog to allow consumers to download them for free.  This way you can add it to your assemblies and have the BOM show the true items to be assembled.

3D ContentCentral BOM

There is also integration into your SOLIDWORKS interface.  If you open the Design Library, you will see it on the right side.  When you click on it, it will take you to the website allowing you to download the files.

3D ContentCentral  Integration

Many of the files allow you to configure them before you download.  So you can choose a different color, different size, etc.  You can also choose what format you want to download the file in.

3D ContentCentral Configure

How many suppliers are on 3D ContentCentral?  I just counted 840 which are from all over the world.  You can search for a specific supplier or find them in the global list.

So what if you want a model from a supplier but they aren’t on 3DCC?  You have the ability to request the content.  You can make the request to have a member of the 3D ContentCentral community model it.  Or you can request that a supplier be added to 3DCC.

3D ContentCentral Request

3D ContentCentral is going through a website redesign.  They are changing the interface, adding a new eDrawings viewer which will be available in many browsers/mobile, and an improved searching tool.  The viewer will allow you to rotate, section, and shade the models so you know what you are downloading.

3D ContentCentral preview

Check it out here: Beta 3D ContentCentral

3D ContentCentral Interface

I have used this site many times and have suggested users check it out.  There are over 1.3 million members who have used 3DCC.  Are you one of them?

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve used it and what you think.

Josh Spencer

Elite Application Engineer, CSWE 3DVision Technologies

Plastics Symmetry Analysis Saves Time

Monday, May 11th, 2015

SolidWorks Plastics has joined the other Solidworks Simulation Products (Simulation, and Flow)in offering a Symmetry Option.   What is Symmetry you ask?

According to Merriam- Webster Symmetry noun sym·me·try \?si-m?-tr?\ is: the quality of something that has two sides or halves that are the same or very close in size, shape, and position : the quality of having symmetrical parts.

With regards to analysis not only does the geometry need to be symmetric but the analysis boundary conditions need to be as well.

For SolidWorks Plastics Symmetry two rules need to apply.

  1. The model needs to be symmetric about a plane, two planes, or an axis.
  2. The injection location is also split by the symmetry condition.  This allows a user to take a fraction of a cavity and analyze it better, faster, and smarter.

Plastics Symmetry

 

 

Symmetry is accessed through the mesh settings with a solid mesh type.

Symmetry

 

Symmetry is an excellent option to save processing time.  The results are fast, efficient, and reliable getting the user answers like never before.

 

Robert Warren

Elite Application Engineer CAE Technical Specialist 3DVision Technologies

DimXpert Tips

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

With SOLIDWORKS MBD being released, you might be trying out DimXpert for the first time.  If you want to learn more about SOLIDWORKS MBD, check out my previous blog entry.  Here are some quick tips that might help.

Change Annotation Plane

When you have an annotation, you might need it to be placed on a different plane.  An example would be the dimension is on the TOP plane and you need it on the FRONT plane.  If you select the annotation, click the Single Quote button on your keyboard.  It’s the button with the ~ & `.

SingleQuote

This will bring up the annotation plane box allowing you to choose where to place it.

Annotation Plane

Combine Dimensions

If you have multiple DimXpert dimensions and they are the same, you can combine them.  Just select them and RMB; it will give you the option to Combine Dimension.

Combine Dimension

Dimension Names

In the DimXpert Manager, the dimensions are just listed out with a generic name (i.e. Diameter1, Diameter2, etc).  You have the ability to rename them to whatever you want.  This can help with finding specific dimensions later.

DimXpert

Basic Dimensions

When you have a Geometric Tolerance, you might want to display the basic dimensions (the ones with a box around them).  If you select the GT in the tree, RMB and choose to Recreate basic dim.

Basic Dimension

Imported Models

DimXpert isn’t only for SOLIDWORKS files.  You can import other 3D models and apply dimensions to it.  The dimensions do not look at features but rather geometry.

Josh Spencer

Elite Application Engineer, CSWE 3DVision Technologies

You Need to Use SOLIDWORKS Shortcuts

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Life is full of shortcuts but those typically don’t work out well for anyone.  Well that’s not the case with SOLIDWORKS shortcuts.  There are many places to use shortcuts in parts and sketches.

Think about how you create a model in SOLIDWORKS.  You choose a sketch plane, start a sketch, find a sketch entity to use, add some dimensions, then extrude that sketch into a feature. You do this over and over again until the model is created.  But during that process are you being as efficient as you can be?  Are you using any SOLIDWORKS shortcuts?  Well I hope you are.

When I’m teaching, I emphasis SOLIDWORKS shortcuts.  I say they really will help get your design done quicker but I never really had any data to put behind it.  So I figured that I would model the same part 2 different ways.  One way I would model using my typical shortcuts and the other would be with none.  I timed myself modeling both ways to see which one was faster.  I also downloaded 2 tools to help track my mouse movements.  One shows where my mouse has been with a black line and the other tracks the distance in feet that my mouse has traveled.

Here’s the model that I choose.  It’s a part that has 3 extruded bosses, 3 cuts, 3 fillets, 19 sketch entities and 19 dimensions.

Ratchet Screen

The first model I used my typical, everyday SOLIDWORKS shortcuts.  These are some hot-keys (i.e. “L” for line & “D” for dimension), mouse gestures, and the shortcut tool bar (“S” key).

It took me 226 seconds to model it and my mouse traveled 28 feet.  That isn’t too bad as a good base value.  Here is what the mouse path graphic looks like.

Ratchet Screen_Shortcuts

You can see that my mouse really stayed in the middle of my screen right where my model is.  I didn’t need to move to the command manager for anything.

Now let’s look at the one where I didn’t use any SOLIDWORKS shortcuts.  I knew that this one would be slower and I would have a lot more mouse movement.

It took me 421 seconds to model it and my mouse moved 103 feet.  Here is the mouse path graphic.

Ratchet Screen_Manual

I can say that I modeled this as fast as I think I can.  I had to really try to not use any shortcuts.  This was harder than I thought it would be.  As you can see, my mouse spent more time on the property manager and command manager than in the graphics area.

Let’s take a look at the numbers.  I can see that I had a savings of 46% in time and 73% in mouse movement by using SOLIDWORKS shortcuts.

Savings

I don’t know of a reason not to use SOLIDWORKS shortcuts.  I just proved out the reason for them with sketches and parts.  You need to customize your environment to match what you do.  So if you do a lot of sheet metal then add the sheet metal tools to the shortcuts or whatever features you use the most.

I thought you might be wondering what my “S” key has on it.  Here it is for sketches and parts.

SOLIDWORKS Shortcuts SketchSOLIDWORKS Shortcuts Parts

I also have shortcut keys that I use and mouse gestures.  Here are 2 PDFs that have my tools.

SOLIDWORKS Shortcut keys document

SOLIDWORKS mouse gestures document

Again, you need to customize yours to match what you do.

Josh Spencer

Elite Application Engineer, CSWE 3DVision Technologies

Material Models for Simulation Premium

Friday, March 20th, 2015

What Material Model should be used for a specific

Non-Linear Study?

A commonly asked question is what material model should be used for a specific Non-Linear Study?  The answer is divided into three parts.

1. What is the material in the design(Steel, Rubber, Plastic, etc.)?

2. What is happening to the material(remain elastic, plastically deform etc.)?

3. What material property data is available for the material?

Material Choice in Design

Lets discuss material choice first.  Typically metals are characterized as a linear material and act as such.  Linear materials are simplified to behave predictably under specific loading criteria.  For Linear materials the Elastic Modulus, Poisons Ratio, and Yield Strength are all assumed to be constants.  Rubber, Plastics and Composites are accepted as Non-Linear materials and immediately require more than fixed material values.  As a rule of thumb the fore mentioned grouping holds true as long as the loading conditions dictate as such.

What is Happening to the Material?

What happens to the material under load?  What happens to the material during loading is as much a factor as the original material choice when specifying a material model.  Metals typically operate with a portion of the stress strain curve known as the elastic region.  The elastic region is typically from zero stress/strain to the yield point.  The slope of this line is the Elastic Modulus. When a load is applied and then removed the geometry will return to a zero state of stress and strain.  However what happens when the model moves beyond yield.  The once Linear Material is now Non-Linear and requires a defined Stress Strain Curve.  The Stress Strain Curve dictates how the material behaves under load beyond yield. Plastics, Rubbers, and composites are already Non-Linear and require a Stress Strain curve for their definition as the linear region of their curves either does not exist or is very small.

Stress Strain

The information assumed about the material helps determine what material model can be utilized within simulation.  For some materials a simple stress strain curve is not enough and one or more of the simple tension, bi-axial tension and shear test curves is required.

 What material property data is available for the material?

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium contains several different material mathematical models to choose from, and covers a wide range of options to best suite the analysis being ran. Please consult the Simulation technical reference guide and help file for more information on the models and their uses.

Simulation Material Choices

A general list of materials models and its use is below.

Elastic Models: Geometry Returns To It’s Original Position After Loading

Linear Elastic Isotropic –        Linear Material with properties the same in all directions x,y,and z

Linear Elastic Orthotropic-   Linear Material with properties different in the x,y, and z directions

Non-Linear Elastic-                Non-Linear Material with elastic properties (require a stress/strain curve)

Elasto- Plastic Models: Geometry Can Plasticity Deform When Loaded and Unloaded

Plasticity von Mises-              Studies von Mises Stress values, Goes Beyond Yield

Plasticity Tresca-                    Uses Shear Criteria and more conservative than von Mises formalization

Plasticty Drucker Prager-      Approximates Granular soil

Hyper Elastic Elastomers: Large Capacity To Take Strain With Relatively Low Stress Require a combination of the three curves mentioned above.

Mooney-Rivlin(M-R)-            In-compressible Strain up to 150% derived from 3 curves

Ogden(OHE)-                          In-compressible Strain up to 500-600%

Blatz-Ko-                                   Compressible Poisson’s Ratio is assumed to be 0.25

Simulation Premium also offers a Nitinol Model and a Viscoelastic for specific applications.

The above is meant to be a general guide as to what material model to choose for specific applications.  Three main factors are involved when choosing a material model, the material itself, loading conditions/application, and the material properties.

Click Here to learn more about SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium. 

Robert Warren

Elite Application Engineer CAE Technical Specialist 3DVision Technologies

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