Posted by: Mecad Systems | January 16, 2013

Simulation 2013 part 2



For studies with a large number of bodies, the new submodelling feature allows you to improve the results at critical areas without having to rerun the analysis for the whole model. Refining the mesh for a selected portion of the model and rerunning the analysis only for the submodel saves computation time.

After you run your problem with a relatively coarse mesh, you may define a group of bodies in a submodel where stresses may not have been calculated accurately due to sharp corners, or geometric and load non-uniformities.

The mesh of the bodies inside the submodel is refined, and you can rerun the problem to improve results for the submodel only, without recalculating results for the rest of the model.

A submodelling study is derived from an eligible parent study. The parent study should meet these conditions to be eligible for a submodelling study:

• The study type must be Static or Nonlinear static with more than one body and not be a submodelling study itself. The parent study cannot be a 2D Simplification Study.

• The selected bodies that compose the submodel may not have No penetration contact with unselected bodies that result in contact pressure across the cut boundary.

• The selected bodies that compose the submodel may not share connectors with unselected bodies.

Submodelling Principles


Submodelling is based on the St. Venant’s principle which states that the stresses reasonably distant from an applied load on a boundary are not significantly altered if this load is changed to a statically equivalent load. The distribution of stress and strain is altered only near the regions of load application.

You may cut a portion of the model and run analysis only for the selected portion provided that displacements are properly prescribed at the boundaries of the cut. If displacements at the boundaries of the cut are calculated accurately at the first run, then these displacements may be considered as boundary conditions for the submodel run.

The cut boundary of the submodel cannot cut through a bonded contact defined by either beam-to-beam joints or shell edge-to-shell edge joints. The boundaries of the submodel must also be adequately far from stress concentration areas.

Feel free to also have a look at the video below, for a quick summary on these new features and improvements.


Posted by: Mecad Systems | December 13, 2012

Simulation 2013

What’s New in SolidWorks Simulation 2013?

SolidWorks’ Simulation offering for 2013 has been treated with a number of useful new functions that should make life a lot easier when the deadline for that all important project creeps closer. In this installment we will have a brief look at some of the improvements and new features in SolidWorks Premium’s simulation capabilities


You can list the reaction forces and reaction moments at beam joints that have fixed translations or rotations. In the Result Force PropertyManager, under Selection, select the beam joint to list the reaction forces (typically as shown below).













Improvements in contact definitions include the removal of the limit on the number of contact sets in static, nonlinear, and drop test studies, improved detection of contact pairs between surface splines and touching faces, detection of interfering faces, and the bonding of shell edges to beams.

Automatic Contact Set Detection

The automatic detection tool for contact sets is improved to detect surface splines touching planar or cylindrical faces. The option Find shell edge – solid/shell face pairs (automatic detection tool for contact sets) is enhanced to detect contact sets between solid and shell bodies that intersect at spline surfaces.










Detecting Interfering Faces

The Find Contact Sets dialog box lists the interfering pairs of shell and solid faces making it easier to detect them.

1. In the Contact Sets PropertyManager, under Contact, select Automatically find contact sets.

2. Under Options, select Find shell edge – solid/shell face pairs.

3. Under Components, select the bodies for which you want to detect the contact sets.

4. Click Find contact sets.

If interference is detected, the interfering pairs are listed under Interfering Faces. Select an interfering set to highlight the interfering faces in the graphics area.










Shell Edges to Beam Bonding

The bonding of shell edges that belong to surface or sheet metal bodies to beams, commonly used to simulate gusset plates connecting beams, is supported through manual contact set definitions.

This functionality is available for linear static, frequency, buckling, and linear dynamic studies.


Posted by: Mecad Systems | November 8, 2012

Mirror sub assemblies in 2013

Here is a great example SolidWorks making life easier when doing a mirror.

The Mirror Component(s) tool in the Assembly environment was completely redesigned in the 2010 version of SolidWorks. At that time, the improvements were considered spectacular and the benefits huge in comparison to how the mirror command worked in the previous versions.

Starting with SolidWorks 2010 mirrored components are uniquely located in the universe of the main assembly, based on the position of their parent and of the reference plane used for mirroring. The user has full control on deciding which components need opposite-hand versions and which ones need just re-locating in a symmetrical position in regards to the selected plane

There was only one thing that SolidWorks 2010, 2011 and 2012 did not do when mirroring sub-assemblies and that was carrying over any mates referring to the origin or the default planes of the original sub-assembly. At best, after mirroring, the user had to spend extra time to edit the new sub-assembly and manually add those mates. At worst, the user did not even know that this potentially dangerous situation existed.

SolidWorks 2013 solves this problem.

Posted by: Mecad Systems | November 2, 2012

PhotoView 360 with a KICK!

All users with Subscription on SW 2013 can now access the MODO material library, this is huge!

What is means is that lighting, materials, scene’s are all there for the taking!

Quick steps are:

– Login to the customer portal.

– Click the “PhotoView 360 Appearances” link in the Download section

– Click the “SolidWorks Asset Sharing” site link

– Download a material asset

– Unzip to a folder

– Make sure said folder is a “custom” folder in the list of appearances (click add custom location if not)

– Drag, Drop, have fun!!

Posted by: Andries Koorzen | October 25, 2012

Sheetmetal Dimensions

Okay so if you’ve ever played around with the bounding box sizes of a sheetmetal part, you’ll know that it’s not that easy to get these dimensions into a BOM. I was recently asked by a client if this is possible, so I made a project out of it!

At the bottom of this post is the macro that will automagically add a ‘DIMENSIONS’ property to your existing cutlist (note however, that the cutlist must contain a ‘Cut-List-Item1’ item -> This mean you must have clicked Update at least once on the cutlist). You should be able to easily modify this code to select additional cutlist items, in case some of you do some multi body sheetmetal parts.

Read More…

Posted by: Andries Koorzen | October 17, 2012

Windows 8 and Enterprise PDM 2013

So this didn’t really come as a surprise when I was going over the release notes for 2013, I guess it had to happen at some point, but it seems that 32bit clients are finallly out of the boxing ring. At least on Windows 8 machines attempting to run EPDM will no longer be supported as of 2013! But let’s face it, if you’re still on 32 bit, and you’re using the EPDM editor license (READ: You’re using a CAD program)… give yourself a slap, and perhaps your CAD office manager as well.

I mean, 32bit is so like…early 2000’s, and 90’s, heck even 80’s….You were warned here first!



Posted by: Andries Koorzen | October 15, 2012

2013 / Windows 8 is on the books

And so SolidWorks 2013 was finally released last week… what was interesting was that it is available for Windows 8…only on 64 bit though…  now go get it!

Posted by: Andries Koorzen | October 8, 2012

Eish…daai threads

As some of you might know, it is not currently possible to export directly from a sldprt file AND have your cosmetic threads too. Kinda like wanting to have your bread buttered on both sides. Well, enter the MACRO (to our rescue again…yeay!)

What it does in the background is to :

  • create a new drawing (blank)
  • place the part on the drawing
  • save it out, in the same location as the original part file
  • close the current drawing (seeing as we don’t need it anymore)
  • Place control back at the original part

Find the code below. To use it:

  • Create a new macro by going to tools -> Macro -> New
  • copy and paste the text in the attached file to the new macro in SolidWorks
  • customize a new macro button on any of the toolbars by clicking tools -> customize -> commands -> Macro -> New macro button
  • Drag and drop the button on any toolbar, then when the new dialog pops up point it to the macro
  • When done, open a new SolidWorks sheetmetal part with holes that have cosmetic threads.
  • Click the button and you’re done…of course this will work for any sheetmetal parts
Posted by: Andries Koorzen | October 3, 2012

We need this!

Okay…so this is probably the kitchen sink…

I have come across some weird things in my life, especially in programming. But this is probably in the top 1 category for funny options in a program

While writing an application to automatically insert and sort a bill of materials for a SolidWorks drawing file, I came across…a sanity check?

I have yet to find documentation on this, as the API help file is (surprisingly :P) vague on this method. Anyone else have a sanity check out there that has been documented?

Posted by: Mecad Systems | October 3, 2012

Quick filter button

Here is another gem in the 2013 SolidWorks, something small that i know ALL of you are going to find helpful and use daily!

When opening a part , drawing or assembly you 9 times out of 10 go the files of type at the bottom and scroll to the type of file you’re after.

OR like me sometimes you forget to scroll all the way tot the top and you think Windows has eaten up all of your assembly files! Then you will like this feature.

Click Quick Filter buttons in any combination to see the desired file type. For example,click Filter Parts to see only parts. To see parts and assemblies, click Filter Parts
and then Filter Assemblies .


If you have a folder containing assemblies and sub-assemblies, you can use a quick filter button to see only top-level assemblies.
Click Filter Top-Level Assemblies to see only top-level assemblies


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