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SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation at Chapin

Chapin is a designer and manufacturer of lawn and garden products based in Batavia, NY.  Since the company’s birth over 100 year ago, Chapin takes pride in the high quality, versatility, and innovation of their products. Products range from a variety of uses such as lawn and garden sprayers, pest control sprayers, hose-end sprayers, as well as devices for deck maintenance. Additionally, Chapin is the only manufacturer of metal compressed air sprayers that inhibit the possibility of corrosion and rust on the objects such as walls and crevices.


SOLIDWORKS Premium with Simulation Professional at Priority Design

Tom Foster has nearly 40 years of drafting experience across various 3D/2D CAD platforms and traditional mechanical engineering methods. A majority of his experience was in pencil and table drafting, spending a good portion of his career working as an engineer for Universal Instruments Corp. (“Universal”) in the Binghamton area. While at Universal, he served in various engineering and management capacities.


As this case study is about the benefits of using SOLIDWORKS, it’s ironic that a good majority of Tom’s 3D modeling experience was in PTC’s Creo platform, prior to his first exposure to SOLIDWORKS.


Update to Create Better Looking Simulation Plots

Back in April of 2015, I wrote a blog on how to overlay your SOLIDWORKS Simulation Plots onto a rendered image of your assembly. If you haven’t read that article, check it out here.

Now that you read it, forget it, and upgrade to SOLIDWORKS 2017. There is a new feature in 2017 named “Simulation Display”. This allows you to view your simulation results in the context of the overall assembly.


Cooling your room without Air Conditioning - Simulation

When Derek came up to me with the question “What will cool a hot room down faster, window fans that point in or out?” I had to think for a minute. It’s been a while since I lived without A/C, but I remember always pointing the fans OUT, to “push” out the warm air. But does this make sense? I know they sell window fans that spin in opposite directions, could this be the answer?

So I told Derek to model up his room and we could use Flow Simulation to run some scenarios and monitor the room temperature. We would have an answer once and for all!

See Derek’s Blog here on how he used SOLIDWORKS tools and other online resources to create a mockup of his room quickly and easily.


SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Why does red always have to be bad?

Eleven years ago (wow that makes me feel old), Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul Jr. took the stage at SOLIDWORKS World 2005 in Orlando. They discussed how SOLIDWORKS helped them in their custom design and fabrication of motorcycles (choppers). Unless you lived under a rock, I’m sure you have heard of their show American Chopper, or their company, Orange County Choppers.

While on stage, Paul Sr. exclaimed he had no idea what the stress plot meant, just, “Red is bad, blue is good.” This statement, while comical, isn’t completely wrong. But can be dangerous if it is not examined further. 

SOLIDWORKS Simulation post processing is extremely versatile and easy to set up. The default automatic settings will show you where stress hot spots are and give you “lots of pretty pictures.” Sometimes, though, these pictures can be misleading. In the next few paragraphs, I will show you some tools in Simulation that will allow you to better understand and explain your plot results.

Explaining Simulation results to non-technical customers (or managers) can often be challenging. Depending on your color and/or deformation scale, results can look REALLY bad or not as bad as they really are. Take the images below. Both are of the same study, I just changed the scale in the legend. From a quick glance, which one seems worse?


Important Information – Simulation Thermal

It has come to our attention that SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2016 SP4 has an issue which results in inaccurate Heat Power values.

This issue will be present when using “List Heat Power” values in 2016 SP4 ONLY.

If you are using 2016 SP4.0, you may simply manually convert this value by multiplying your Heat Power value by 4184 (the conversion factor from KCal/s to Watts).

Please note that in versions previous to SP4, the value will be correct, however, the units will display in Kcal/s regardless of the selected units. This is also being addressed.

This is reported as a critical issue and will be fixed as soon as possible.

This issue can be tracked as SPR 978380.

Thank you for your understanding and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.


Sometimes it’s better in 2D

Yes, you read that correctly. No, I did not change companies to work a for 2D CAD Company.

Sometimes, though, if the proper conditions apply, a 2D Simulation analysis can save huge amounts of time and processing power. SOLIDWORKS Simulation has the ability to simplify certain cases from large, complex meshes to lightweight 2D meshes for static, thermal and nonlinear studies.

Take this clip, for example. For the nonlinear study, I just want to engage the clip and verify the stresses on the tabs will not cause failure.



Assembly Motion tools you never knew about

One of my favorite parts of teaching SOLIDWORKS Essentials is the Assemblies lessons. From the first time I picked up SOLIDWORKS, assembly motion has always impressed me. The ease of use and intuitiveness of manipulating components and assemblies has always been a strong point for SOLIDWORKS. Just grab a component and move it. 

Lost in this ease of use is the “Move Component” tool. This handy tool has many tricks up its sleeve. 

Move Component


The Pendulum Wave

Have you ever wondered what it would look like to align 15 small pendulums with sequentially decreasing lengths and then release them all from the same initial starting angle? Of course you have! Here at CADimensions, I often look for novel, interesting ways to apply the tools and capabilities of SOLIDWORKS to these types of questions. It's a great way to learn and apply different tools and expand my knowledge of the software. I recently stumbled across a couple videos illustrating the previously mentioned scenario, often described as a "pendulum wave" and was rather entranced with the effect and decided to recreate it in SOLIDWORKS to share it with you all.


Stop Being Scared of Simulation

When I mention that I am part of the Simulation Team to my Essentials students or new customers, I inevitably get the same glazed-over look. “Simulation? Like, FEA? Yeah, I’m just a designer.” Or, “We send that sort of thing out.” The purpose of this post is to get you to stop saying things like that!

SOLIDWORKS has been a huge advocate for getting Simulation in the hands of every designer. That’s why it has been easier and more user-friendly with every release. A few years back, they introduced the "Simulation Advisor." Also known as the "Study Advisor," this tool is essentially a step-by-step wizard that sets up your simulation.

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