SOLIDWORKS Simulation Quick Tip: Prescribed Displacements

When setting up an analysis in SOLIDWORKS Simulation, we typically think of applying forces or other loads and calculating the resulting stresses and displacements as our outputs. However, in situations where the forces may not be known, an expected displacement can effectively be used as the “load” input to the analysis.

This is known as a Prescribed Displacement and is available under the External Loads drop-down.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Quick Tip: Prescribed Displacements - Part 1image001
Note that launching the Prescribed Displacement command actually brings the user to a type of advanced fixture, where a direction for the displacement must be specified. Then, the amount and direction of the prescribed translation or rotation are specified.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Quick Tip: Prescribed Displacements - Part 1image003
As a result, the force required to achieve the prescribed displacement can be backed out by using the option List Result Force and of course the resulting stresses can be calculated.

If it is ever necessary to apply both a translation and rotation, then an alternate method is to use the Remote Load/Mass feature under the External Loads pulldown. Within the Remote Load/Mass is the option to apply a Displacement.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Quick Tip: Prescribed Displacements - Part 2image001
This requires slightly more setup work since it is typically recommended to create a Coordinate System at the location where the displacement will be applied, as can be seen below. Once setup, however, it provides an easy way to prescribe both Translations and Rotations about this point in space.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Quick Tip: Prescribed Displacements - Part 2image003
It’s also worth noting that the Remote Load/Mass can effectively be used as a type of advanced fixture when used with this “Displacement” option. In fact, an important consideration whenever using a Prescribed Displacement is that it is placing additional constraints on the system.  If a displacement is applied, then that displacement will never be exceeded no matter how much force is applied elsewhere in the model.

For additional details on how this process can be performed, please check out our YouTube channel or contact Hawk Ridge Systems today. Thanks for reading!

Hawk Ridge Systems
From engineering design to manufacturing production, Hawk Ridge Systems has the team and the expertise to deliver the solutions you need. Hawk Ridge Systems provides SOLIDWORKS 3D software, CAMWorks CAM software and 3D printers from HP and Markforged to over 25,000 customers in North America. We have the largest, most dedicated technical support team, with a 2:1 ratio of engineers to sales and over 20 years of experience with engineering design and manufacturing software systems.
Hawk Ridge Systems