One of the best aspects of SOLIDWORKS is that it’s not just a 3D CAD tool, but that it's a complete engineering solution. Tools like SOLIDWORKS Simulation help us analyze our designs and test them for critical attributes such as strength and fatigue. In SOLIDWORKS 2017 and previous versions, Simulation Professional even included a tool that would allow us to optimize our design for a set goal while varying many of our design parameters. This took a lot of the guesswork out of creating the best possible design and reduced the number of iterations that were required in the design cycle. SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional now includes Topology studies.
Watch the Topology Study section from our SOLIDWORKS 2018 Launch Video:
What is Topology Study?
Topology Study allows SOLIDWORKS to guide the shape of your optimal design, while you focus on its function. It includes a goal based optimization algorithm allowing you to specify multiple load cases. You can simulate the real-world conditions to which your design will be subjected and optimize the geometry to meet those conditions while minimizing weight and material usage.
SOLIDWORKS Topology will also consider your manufacturing methods, such as casting or machining, and remove material in a manner that is conducive to the process. Additional controls will allow you to fine tune the optimized shape to preserve critical regions or maintain a minimum wall thickness. You can also opt for a smooth mesh, which will create geometry that is perfect for additive manufacturing.
The optimized results can be saved to a new configuration, or to a new part. The result of the stress calculation is also immediately available, allowing you to see exactly how close your new design is to the yield strength of your material.
How Does Topology Study Improve Your Workflow?
Simulation display also allows you to overlay the optimized result over the original shape. This gives you the ability to create traditional features guided by the optimized result so you can fine tune the final shape of your design.
SOLIDWORKS Topology studies revolutionize the design process. Now, rather than designing the shape of a part, and simulating the loads to determine if it will meet your criteria, Topology Study allows the simulation results to drive your form. This merges the design and analysis of the part into one seamless process and allows you to create innovative designs more quickly than what was previously possible.
Want to see more of our engineers' top 11 SOLIDWORKS 2018 features? Stay tuned to our blog, or download the infographic below!