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Simulation ahead of prototyping

Oct 03, 2014

Whilst the software from the standard SolidWorks CAD package enables us to confirm gate positions, wall thicknesses and cosmetic implications long before a tool has been ordered or manufactured, it only allows very rudimentary structural analysis. 

As a result of numerous customer requests and the identification of projects where the ability to perform more complex structural analysis would have been really beneficial, we decided we needed to evaluate what the higher level simulation modules in SolidWorks could offer.

Starting off with structural and thermal analysis in assemblies, we quickly realised that the more we simulated a product’s behaviour, the more uses we found for the software and the results it was delivering.

Thermal analysis through CAD designWhilst absolute results are difficult to confirm when the product is purely a virtual creation, the ability to determine trends and establish design direction from several possibilities is invaluable. Consequently, during the summer we invested in SolidWorks Simulation Professional – and have been using it ever since.

Modules in the software now give us the ability to analyse parts and assemblies for static, thermal, frequency, buckling, fatigue and drop testing in the linear range. It is a powerful addition to our design support and development services – and so far we have only scratched the surface of its capabilities and potential applications.

Manufacturing parts that perform as intended, quickly and to specification has always been crucial to our customers. Producing a part that performs first time without the need for multiple iterations or physical testing is now becoming equally important.

There is no margin in development schedules to adjust part designs once they start being manufactured. As such our customers are always seeking ways to reduce risk by evaluating designs as fully as possible in the virtual environment before committing to prototypes or production.

Over the coming months we will show how individual projects have gained from this approach and how our customers have benefitted with better products.

If you have a project that you think would benefit from detailed analysis, please contact us.

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