Step by step example of linear static analysis

The Assumptions for this study are:

• We are only interested in the shelf and brace, no other items in the assembly will be studied.
• The shelf top has been bonded to the brace.
• All welds are perfect.
• Material has no imperfections.

Goals of study:

• Shelf must withstand 500N of force being applied directly downwards.
• Maximum displacement for each shelf must be under 1mm.
• Peak stress locations must be under 30MPA.
• Factor of safety must be above 4.

Here’s our model, we are only interested in one shelf.

I’ve got two configurations of this model.

So I’m going to double click on the other configuration, the second configuration is just isolated one shelf and one brace. We will limit our study to one shelf and brace.

To add the option of simulation menu in solidworks, go to add-ins and ensure that solidworks simulation is checked.

Now what we are doing here is study of linear static analysis. This is only available in solidworks premium.

Then I’ll go to simulation menu-> click on ‘study’.

Give the study a name and click ok.

As we are doing static study right now, make sure that static study is selected.

and when I do that I’ll have simulation study tree below configurations tree.

Next, we will set the study out. Giving our model mathematical inputs.

Right click on part and click on apply material to all.

Then options to select material will pop up.

Select the required material here plain carbon steel.

Next we will apply restraints to our part. Right click on fixtures and click on fixed geometry.

Menu to select geometry will open up.

Select the face on our geometry which we know will remain fixed i.e. have zero displacement. This face assumed to be of high strength i.e. no effect will take place regardless of load applied.

Here we will select the inside face of brace where support will be present.

Click on the selection menu shown by red arrow.

Select the face.

Click ok.

The inside face of brace is selected as fixed geometry.

Go to external loads and click on force to apply loads on our model.

Again select the face option and click on the face in our geometry where load should be applied.

The downward violet arrows represent the force applied. Set the numerical of applied load as 500N.

Now connect the rigs to the face in our geometry by right clicking on connections and selecting contact set.

Select the inner face of rig and lower face of shelf.

These will be bonded together.

Click ok.

Mathematical model is finished.

Next step is to mesh the model.

Right click on mesh click on create mesh.

Maximum and minimum element sizes are range of sizes of elements, where complex geometry is present solidworks takes the minimum size of element for a better study.

Created mesh.

Now we will run the study.

Right click on top load and select run.

Wait for the progress bar to reach 100 percent.

By default, 3 results will be shown.

Stress displacement and strain.

We can add other results like safety factor but more on that later.

Change the unit of stress by right clicking on stress study and selecting definition.

Select the unit to MPa.

This is the displacement graph.

We can see that displacement is maximum on the outermost part.

The displacement shown looks huge but in reality this is the magnified image of actual displacement.

To remove this displacement go back to edit the model and increase the no. of supports provided to the shelf to 3.

Let’s perform the study again.

Now after providing more support we can see that displacement is decreased.

The above shown displacement is still magnified to 20-30 times of actual displacement.