SOLIDWORKS, Simulation, 3D CAD

Offloading Complex Simulations

By Joe McDonough on January 5, 2022

SOLIDWORKS Simulation is an incredibly capable tool to help you and your company validate your designs. This can be anything from being able to do basic checks of a metal bracket's thickness to doing nonlinear analysis of a rubber o-ring being pressed into a channel. Having the capability to run a simulation test is certainly beneficial, but depending on your computer’s hardware specifications, your simulations may tie up your computer for a good portion of the day.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium provides the capability to do Offloaded Simulations, which allows users to push the actual solving of a simulation over to another computer and view results on their own computer. Let's see how this works. 

Offloaded Simulations

How it Works

Three things are required to set up the capability to do offloaded simulations:

  • A license of SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium on active subscription loaded on a local computer to act as our coordinator
  • A computer that we can specify as a SOLIDWORKS Simulation Worker Agent
  • A network connection between the coordinator and the worker agent

Once this process is complete, we can set up either a static, or nonlinear study, on the local computer, which is the coordinator computer. We will then set up our simulation including the loads, fixtures, contacts, and mesh. When finished with the set-up of the simulation, we will select Offloaded Simulation and select the worker agent machine that we would like to run the test.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Worker Agent

Some special considerations while setting up your systems for doing Offloaded Simulation are listed below:

  • You do not need to install SOLIDWORKS or SOLIDWORKS Simulation on the worker agent computer to run the offloaded simulation.
  • You do not need to install the SOLIDWORKS Simulation Worker Agent client on the coordinator computer unless you plan to use the coordinator computer as a worker agent.
  • To check that both the coordinator and worker agent computers are on the same subnetwork domain, open a Windows Command Processor window and run the command net view. This command returns a list of computers on the same subnetwork as the one being used to run the command. Both the coordinator computer and worker agent computer should appear on the list to run an offloaded simulation.
  • Make sure that the Windows firewall does not block the executables of offloaded Simulation: mpiexec.hydra.exe, hydra_service.exe, and pmi_proxy.exe located in drive letter:\Program Files\Common Files\SOLIDWORKS Shared\Simulation Worker Agent. If you are still unable to run an offloaded simulation, consider turning off the Windows firewall for the network domain.

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Benefits to Offloading Your Simulation

  • The ability to use the local computer to either set up new simulations or dedicate to other resource-intensive tasks while the worker agent is solving the simulation
  • Multiple users can leverage the “simulation machine” so more users can benefit from the faster run times associated with the worker agent computer

Taking advantage of the capability to offload simulations will enable your team to have a higher throughput of designs that are simulated. If you have any more questions on the benefits or how to set up offloaded simulations please reach out to your local TriMech resource!

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