Watch and learn how you can flatten any surface using SOLIDWORKS 2016!
Summer may be over but it is never too early to get ready for next year. So here is a quick folding chair project to build over the winter, so you can be ready for the good weather to be back again. This simple folding chair design is from my 8th grade wood shop class, and aside from needing to replace the seat because of a moving accident, it is still as good a chair today as it was 20 years ago when I built it.
A full set of the files can be downloaded here: Download Chair
By: Marty Bucholz, Technical Service Representative
If you haven't yet read, Meshing in Flow Simulation and Part 2, I would recommend doing so before reading this. I'm building off the basic mesh discussed in Part 2. In this post, I'm going to talk about the initial mesh.
The initial mesh of a Flow Simulation is the first mesh that is used for performing actual calculations. The software starts with the basic mesh, then refines area with certain geometrical features based on the different settings in the software. This post will be a discussion of those settings.
Before we discuss the actual settings here, let's talk about what all the level settings are since we see it multiple times in Small solid features refinement level, Curvature refinement level, and Tolerance refinement level.
The refinement level is the maximum amount of times a cube that represents a cell can be split. Each cube splitting into 8 equal cubes represents one level. The image below shows multiple refinement levels. If all the cells combine to make 1 starting cell, then the following is a table to put the different refinement levels in the image in perspective:
You can imagine how many cells would be created if every cell was refined 8 times. The actual amount would be 8^8 or 16,777,216. That means that a single cell that would normally take about 10 kB of RAM to store would now produce about 16GB of RAM needed if all cells created by refinements were continually refined up to the max as well. And that's just from 1 cell out of the basic mesh! There can be thousands or millions in the basic mesh! This is why the settings exist. So that the software can sort out what needs refinement and what doesn't - otherwise you would never finish an analysis in any reasonable time frame.
One of my favorite enhancements to SOLIDWORKS 2016 is the new Intersect tool. The additional controls for the preview in this tool make it much easier to work with. In 2015, we always saw both included and excluded regions in the preview. Now, we can switch previews to show just included regions. Consider the two images below to see what I mean.
Watch the video for a rundown of using the tool to make the bowl (and the contents it holds).
As a bonus, I decided to make a quick rendering of the bowl holding some lightly rippling water. One of the things you run into when working with bodies that have transparent appearances is adjacent faces on separate bodies give the renderer some grief.
A simple fix for this is to make the two bodies not quite touch each other exactly. In this case, I used the Scale feature (Insert, Features, Scale) to scale the "liquid" body down just 1%. Easy fix!
To finish up, I used PhotoView 360 and the another new feature in SOLIDWORKS 2016, the Scene Illumination Proof Sheet, to select an image I liked without having to go back to the model and adjust lighting with trial and error.
In the end, I got a pretty decent image without lot of work to show off my plastic bowl!
By: John Setzer, Training Coordinator
“You were right, Sol!” sighed Sal.
Sol succumbed to his slothful sidekick Sal’s succinct statement. “I was? About what?”
“It was really easy! So I went ahead and did it. Several times, in fact!”
Sol started to…
“And online, too!”
“Um, Sal…just what exactly did you do…online?”
“Why, I submitted several ideas for the SOLIDWORKS World Top Ten List!”
“Whew!” sighed Sol, serenely solaced.
“Well, what did you think I was talking about? Hey, waiddaminute…”
“Oh! Nothing!” Sol said. “So, say, Sal, just what ideas did you submit?”
“Well, Sol, I’m not going to tell you that. Intellectual property, you know? But I will tell you how I did it.”
“Was it easy, Sal?”
“Easy as using SOLIDWORKS, Sol! All I had to do was log in through the SOLIDWORKS World Top Ten List page of the SOLIDWORKS forums. From there I picked the Content link. When I was ready, I clicked on the “Create An Idea” link. There’s even a link there with tips on submitting an idea! It’s a very well designed site.”
“How would I know that, Sal?”
“Why, you could just look down at Figure 1, Sol!”
“Nice. How do you know if your idea is selected?”
“Why, they only read it from the main stage at SOLIDWORKS World in front of five, six thousand of your closest friends!”
“Hey, you really are becoming more active in the user community. Where’s the place I always tell you is the first place to look for SOLIDWORKS information?”
“Why, Graphics Systems’ SolidNotes blog, Sol. Graphics Systems’ SolidNotes.”
By: Sam Hochberg, CSWE, Applications Engineer
In keeping with the theme of new features in 2016 SOLIDWORKS, I wanted to highlight one of my favorites within Flow Simulation; it's called Equidistant Refinement. If you're familiar at all with CFD or fluid mechanics for that matter you know that the boundary layers flowing around an object are the most complex, especially when the flow becomes turbulent. In CFD, the best way to capture these complex flow patterns is by making sure that your mesh is refined enough around your model to capture these turbulent effects. Previous to 2016, this was a little bit of an involved process to achieve. It required you to create a local mesh control around the body that you were analyzing. This was done either by placing a large "block" around your model to serve as the mesh control. Or if you wanted to get a little bit more detailed, there was a technique that involved offsetting the "skin" of your model and then using the surface tool called Thicken in order to get the solid body to use as a mesh control.
In 2016 Flow Simulation though these involve processes are reduced down to a simple check box! Let's take a look...
Let's say we want to analyze the flow over a baseball. Pretty simple sphere except for the laces; those add a little complexity into the model.
When we analyze this we would like to capture the turbulent effects involved so we want to have a refined mesh at the surface and little bit offset from the surface. Let's see how this is done in 2016 Flow Simulation....
We go ahead and apply a local mesh control as always, but we no longer have to apply it to a dummy body. We select the body that we want the mesh control around and there is now this handy dandy section called Equidistant Refinement!
We simply turn this section on, select the number of offset "shells" that we want (this is used if we want to reduce the mesh the farther we move away from the offset surface), define the refinement level we would like, and finally how far of an offset we need...that's all there is to it! We go ahead and mesh our model and we get a beautiful mesh like this
Depending on the complexity of your model this feature alone will save you tons of time!
On a side note, you may have noticed that the dialog boxes in 2016 look much different. I'd encourage you to play around with the new features in 2016 Flow Simulation. There are many other enhancements to this product that I think you will enjoy, particularly in the area of meshing!
By: Chris Olson, Simulation Applications Engineer
Well, it's that time of year again. With the change of seasons comes the release of SOLIDWORKS 2016. I love the change in seasons, but more importantly, I always get excited to see the changes in SOLIDWORKS.
This was a great year for SOLIDWORKS Inspection, and today I'm going to talk about my picks for the top new features.
Zoom to Selection/Go To
With the ability to Right Click >> Go To, it is no longer necessary to zoom in and out constantly while trying to focus on a single dimension.
Export to SOLIDWORKS Inspection Standalone
Okay, I'm cheating here a little bit. This feature was actually introduced in 2015 SP4.0, but it's so great I have to talk about it! It was common problem we were seeing from our customers, and within a few service packs we had an answer.
When exporting to a SOLIDWORKS Inspection project file (functionality added in SOLIDWORKS Inspection 2015), the capture regions were not carried through. This meant that it was a great feature for quick projects started in the add-in, but not for long-term projects. That has now changed. Capture regions are carried through much more accurately, and will now be available for revisions and image exports.
Horizontal Template Support
With the support for horizontal excel templates, there is much greater support for customizing your existing reports to work with the software. The most common template problem pre-2015 is no longer an issue with this enhancement!
OCR for all Project Properties
With SOLIDWORKS Inspection 2016 we are now able to use OCR to fill in all project properties, not just name, number, and revision. This is a big time saver on project setup.
With the new OCR Editor, we can create custom font libraries suited to our drawings, making SOLIDWORKS Inspection more versatile than ever for PDF and TIFF files. SOLIDWORKS Inspection doesn't support your Comic Sans drawing? Create your own OCR library!
Net Inspect and Quality Expert Export Capabilities
With the new direct link between SOLIDWORKS Inspection and Net Inspect/Quality Expert, it is very easy to quickly export data to these applications to perform capability studies and statistical analysis.
Now that you've learned all about the 2016 enhancements in SOLIDWORKS Inspection, put them to use! All of these enhancements were customer driven, stemming from enhancement requests and customer input. Do you have an idea that would make SOLIDWORKS Inspection better? Submit an enhancement request! We even have some good tips to quality control your enhancement requests and get them implemented faster than normal!
We are always excited to hear your thoughts on the new release, so feel free to let us know what you think!
It is one thing to have an idea in your head, but it is a completely different experience to hold it in your hands. With its advanced technology and ease of use, it is no secret why businesses are implementing 3D printing into their processes. 3D printing has recently exploded as a disruptive technology, especially in the manufacturing industry. By creating a computer-aided-design (CAD) model and sending it to the 3D printer, a part is built layer-by-layer from the bottom up.
Beyond Vision, a provider of manufacturing and business services, is committed to providing employment to the visually impaired. While 3D printing has proven to be successful in the manufacturing aspect of the business, Beyond Vision has also found a unique way to utilize their 3D printer.
Watch their real reactions:
Beyond Vision is giving their blind employees the opportunity to "see" through 3D printing. “With 3D printing, you are essentially representing a 3D image in a physical form, and we thought this is a way that we can actually allow blind people to see things that they can’t normally see,” explains Jim Kerlin, president and CEO of Beyond Vision.
GSC (Graphics Systems Corp.), a provider of 3D engineering technology, worked with Beyond Vision to evaluate various 3D printers and technologies based on their manufacturing needs. “Their initial objective was to make fixtures and jigs to improve their product assembly process for the blind employees. Once they received the 3D printer, they started finding even more unique ways to utilize the printer to benefit their employees,” said Mike Krause, 3D printing consultant at GSC.
People who are visually impaired use their sense of touch to "see". By printing a snowflake, butterfly, and sailboat, visually impaired employees at Beyond Vision were able to visualize objects that were previously only imaginable. “A person who is blind has never had an opportunity, especially if they have been blind since birth, to know what a snowflake looks like and that every snowflake is different,” explains Kerlin. By printing several snowflakes in different shapes and sizes, employees were able understand the difference in the unique patterns.
With something as delicate as a butterfly, a blind individual must rely on descriptions and may not fully have the opportunity to appreciate the beauty in the detail. By 3D printing a butterfly with detailed wings that articulate, a person who is blind can understand the movement as well as the pattern on the wings.
Several employees had previously been sailing, but found it difficult to fully imagine what the boat looked like from back to front. The 3D printed model enabled them to understand the layout of the sails as well as where they would sit.
When employees were asked what other objects they would like to see printed, some ideas included a basketball court, baseball diamond, and a neighborhood map of one’s home.
“We thought this was a really unique way for us to use 3D printing and allow a person who is blind to see things that they can’t normally see,” says Kerlin. Beyond Vision is continuing to use 3D printing in the manufacturing aspect of the business as well as for ideas on how to enrich the lives of their blind employees.
See original story at gxsc.com
“Get a load of this, Sol!”
Sol arched an eyebrow and glanced toward his sidekick Sal with the usual dose of trepidation. “Yes?”
“I did see that, Sal! His methods for offsetting surfaces are powerful techniques that everyone using a hybrid modeler like SOLIDWORKS should know. But his method for moving faces to create a chamfer not otherwise calculable just blew me away!”
“That’s not easy to do, Sol!” said Sal.
“What, using the Move Face command? Why, it’s not that….”
“No, Sol, for someone to teach you something you don’t already know about SOLIDWORKS!”
“We can always learn something new, can’t we? In fact, I’d like to show you how I modeled that very same part!”
Sal pulled up a chair.
“Well the approach I took was to shell the part out, but I knew it might be a little trial and error deciding on the right faces to remove. So, to avoid repetition, I saved a selection set out of the topmost faces and the earphone and USB jack faces.”
“Ooh! How do you do that, Sol?”
“Well, it’s exceedingly simple, Sal. After windowing the surfaces, I right-clicked and selected ‘Save Selection’ like you see below.”
“Down below, Sol?”
“Yes, in Figure 1, Sal.”
“I see,” said Sol.
“And then, from here on out, I simply select the entire set from the Feature Manager, like you see below. And by that I mean, Figure 2, Sal.”
“Wow, that is a major PROTIP, Sol!”
“Glad you think so, little buddy.”
“I still haven’t quite figured out how you’re going to do this with a Shell command, Sol.”
“Here’s the secret, Sal. You can create outward shells in SOLIDWORKS. You can see the option in Figure 3.”
“GET OUT!” squealed Sal. “And so your result would be a lot like Cody’s approach of offsetting and then thickening a surface!”
“And what would you do next, Sal?”
“Um, look down at Figure 4?”
“Well, I was thinking you’d finish up the model kind of like Cody did.”
“Oh, yeah. Remind me again, Sol, where you learn all these great tips and ideas?”
“Why, Graphics Systems’ SolidNotes blog, Sal. Graphics Systems’ SolidNotes.”
By: Sam Hochberg, CSWE, Applications Engineer