SOLIDWORKS, Top 11 Features in SOLIDWORKS 2020

Top 11 Features in SOLIDWORKS 2020: Mixed Mesh Quality

By Stephen Petrock on January 31, 2020

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Mixed mesh quality could be the most impactful addition to the Simulation toolset in many years. It enables you to specify areas of your model where you need accuracy and areas where you can save time. In other words, you can have accuracy and time savings all in one simulation. This is possible because you can use both high-quality and draft-quality elements in the same model. This is a game changer for simulation, you no longer have to decide between what you want to draft or high-quality elements because you can have both. 
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What are High-Quality and Draft-Quality Elements?

Draft Quality elements are linear elements that solve quicker; they have fewer nodes, which means there’s less math to calculate. But this also means that the solution won’t be extremely accurate – it will be accurate enough. We typically recommend you use these elements as a first pass simulation where you want to verify your model set up.

High-quality elements are parabolic elements which are most accurate. The accuracy comes from the addition of midsize nodes, which allow the elements to bend or map the geometry better. They are also more flexible, meaning they better represent the way materials behave, allowing you to get a much more accurate answer.

Specifying Element Types

You specify the element type in two ways. You can either right-click on the component in the simulation tree or more the components to the appropriate box from within the meshing interface. Both of these methods are shown here.

Selecting elements in SOLIDWORKS

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You can visually identify which elements types were used for each component in two ways. You can look at the new indication symbol in the tree. The curvy one is high-quality elements, while the straighter symbol represents draft-quality elements. You can also visually inspect the mesh to tell. High-quality elements are colored blue while draft quality elements are colored orange. Both are indicated in the images below.

Choosing element types in SOLIDWORKSPerformance and accuracy are no longer opposed. Now, with SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2020, you can use high-quality elements for components you care about while saving time in other areas where you can use draft quality elements. It’s a game changer for anyone doing FEA with SOLIDWORKS Simulation.

Watch our video below to learn more about mixed mesh quality.

 

Do you want to learn more about the SOLIDWORKS 2020 enhancements and updates? See our entire blog series for complete details and videos.

See all of our Top Features in SOLIDWORKS 2020