Design Analysis Software

How do you know you have the best design? Test It!

Test and verify your designs quickly reducing the need for expensive physical prototypes. SOLIDWORKS Simulation is available in a number of versions of design validation software, each offering an increasing range of analysis tools, such as finite element analysis, structural analysis and design analysis to enable you to quickly and easily check your products.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Standard

 An intuitive virtual testing environment for linear static, motion and fatigue simulation, suitable to answer common engineering challenges embedded within SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD.

  • Linear Static Analysis for Assembly
  • Time-based Motion Simulation
  • Fatigue Analysis - to test product durability
  • Trend Tracker Productivity Tool, which provides visual feedback on the impact of a design change on performance criteria such as maximum stress level.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional

 Goes beyond core simulation and expands the virtual test environment to product durability and natural frequencies, heat transfer and buckling, and pressure analysis and complex loading.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium

Provides a full range of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) simulation capabilities to ensure product robustness. Additional tools for simulating nonlinear and dynamic response and dynamic loading.

See also:
SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation - takes the complexity out of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to simulate design-critical fluid flow, heat transfer, and fluid forces quickly and easily.

Key Benefits

  • Included within the SOLIDWORKS Premium 3D CAD design package
  • Core design analysis simulation tools test for strength and safety, analyse assembly kinematics, and simulate product performance.
  • Full integration with SOLIDWORKS creates a short learning curve
  • Redundant tasks often required with traditional analysis tools are eliminated
  • Component materials, connection, and relationships defined during the design process are carried through to simulation.
  • Wide range of geometry types are supported, enabling simulation of real-world performance of solid, thin-walled and structural features.


World-Leading Prosthetics in SOLIDWORKS

steeper banner pic

Steeper is a leading manufacturer of innovative prosthetic, orthotic and assistive technology. Based in Leeds, its prosthetic development team has developed some of the world's best upper extremity prosthetics including their bebionic range and natural Skinergy coverings. The company also works in partnership with the NHS in the UK as well as the London Prosthetics Centre to provide cutting-edge prosthetic services.

The Challenge

To build the world's most lifelike bebionic hand for the female, adolescent and Asian market. Steeper's flagship bebionic prosthetic range currently features two hand sizes, large (measuring 200mm from middle finger tip to hand base) and medium (190mm). Market research revealed there was no hi-tech, multi-articulated prosthetics available for the smaller frame.
The challenge for Steeper would be in retaining all the functionality of the medium hand - including strength, robustness, ease-of-use and control - but with a 30 per cent reduction in size.

The Solution

A design team of seven electrical and mechanical engineers worked collaboratively in SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD for all their conceptual and prototype designs of the bebionic small.
The prosthetics team used the full range of the SOLIDWORKS modelling functionality including lofting, surface profiles and splines to produce drawings quickly and easily. The Interference Detection and Mass Properties tools allowed them to set dimensions and work confidently within the confines of the small package spaces.
The key thing was that the team designed the shell of the hand first, and then designed the mechanisms to fit inside and not the other way around. This approach meant they could focus on both functionality and aesthetics equally but to do so they required an integrated workflow between mechanical and electrical.

SOLIDWORKS let them integrate their electronics hardware design in 3D to investigate and solve any component clashes or areas of concern, so with a lot of interactive, collaborative design between the electrical and mechanical teams, some give and take around designing a component around a circuit board or a circuit board needing a bit more space and reducing the chassis to make room, they finally had a solution.

Steeper used SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional to share assemblies work on certain models and crucially to keep all the drawings up to date when a part was changed.

Design validation was handled using SOLIDWORKS Simulation, allowing them to check and investigate any gaps and clearances to make sure there weren't any clashes in the assemblies.

The Results

The bebionic small was launched onto the market two years later. The device uses myoelectrical signals collected from the surface of the user's skin to control movement and individual motors in each finger means the hand can move in a natural, coordinated way.

In 2015 the bebionic small was awarded a British Engineering Excellence award for mechanical product of the year.

  • Enabled Electrical and mechanical integration
  • 30 per cent reduction of complex mechanisms
  • Fluid processes with SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional
  • 80 per cent of design concept in SOLIDWORKS
"80 per cent of our design concept for the bebionic small is done in SOLIDWORKS. The software lets us get knee deep into designing without worrying about the tools we are using."

Ted Varley,
Technical Director, Steeper

"It encouraged a more efficient design and even more integration between the two disciplines of mechanical and electronics, which can only be a good thing."

Martin Wallace,
Senior Mechanical Design Engineer, Steeper