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How to Use Solidworks Static Simulation in an Assembly

Tips and Tricks Naqibullah M 24 October 2019

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Solidworks Simulation uses FEA (Finite Element Analysis) methods to identify the behavior of parts or assemblies/parts when a load is applied. The load can be pressure, force, temperature, gravity, centrifugal or even loads imported from previous simulation studies. The final result can be shown in the form of stress, displacement or strain.

To use Solidworks Simulation, go to Tools > Add-ins

Locating Add-ins

After the Add-Ins window is open, check the boxes shown below to activate the Simulation and then click OK to apply.

Locating Solidworks Simulation

Once the simulation is active move to the Simulation tab and click on New Study.

clicking on New Study

Choose the Static simulation and then click OK (tick).

Choosing the Static simulation

Right-click on the part and apply the material of choice. A separate material could also be applied for the consisting parts by clicking the arrow next to the part, this expands to show every part.

Applying Materials

Next, right-click on the connections and choose the Contact set. Here surfaces of the parts in contact can be set manually or automatically.

Locating  Contact Set

Manually select contact allows the user to select the faces of the part which are in contact. Automatically Find Contacts option lets the user select only the components which are in contact with each other and the contacting faces are found by Solidworks.

Automatically Find Contacts

Next, as shown below, right-click on the connections and choose bolt. If you have a custom fastener then from the options choose the one which closest resembles yours.

Locating Boit

Choose the opposite hole edges where the fastener is in contact with. Bolt material as well as a pre-existing load (other than the applied load) onto the fastener using the options as you scroll down. Once done, click ok (Tick). It is worth to know adding a bolt works with holes having only round edges.

Choosing the opposite hole edges

Next, right-click on the Fixtures, and choose the required fixture type.


Simply select the fixed face of the model(s). In this case, two Fixed Geometries are added, as shown below.

Fixed Geometries

Next, right-click on the External Loads and choose the load type and in this case, Force is used.


Select the face to apply the force onto. Here a force of 100 N is applied. Click OK once done.

Selecting the face to apply

Lastly, right-click on Mesh and choose Create Mesh.

Creating Mesh

Adjust the slider to change the size of the triangle for the mesh, a coarse mesh is used here for the sake of quick calculation. To see the mesh dimension, expand the Mesh Parameters. Click ok once done.

Expanding the Mesh Parameters

After creating the mesh, right-click on the simulation study name and click on Run.

Selecting Run

The simulation result for Stress, Displacement and Strain can be shown by double-clicking on each item.

simulation result

A factor of safety can be added by right-clicking on the Results > Define Factor of Safety Plot.

Defining Factor of Safety Plot

Set the options on the prompt windows for all three the tab and click on OK (tick) once set.

Factor of Safety

To adjust the values for the factor of safety, right-click on the Factor of Safety and choose Chart Options.

Chart Options

Naqibullah M
Applications Engineer
Central Innovation, QLD

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