Use Your Own Materials in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

Virtually testing designs is an integral part of the design and innovation process. With a 3D model in SOLIDWORKS it’s easy to find out how strong or durable your design is using Simulation. But for a Simulation to be accurate, the  virtual test needs to reflect its real world, physical counter part. This is why the material properties is the foundation of a Simulation’s accuracy. When setting up a Simulation it’s crucial to use the right material properties to ensure the results are as accurate as possible. However, when  scrolling through the predefined library of 260 materials you might not find what you’re looking for. Here’s how to use your own, custom material in SOLIDWORKS Simulation.

The biggest difference between the material library in SOLIDWORKS CAD and in SOLIDWORKS Simulation is the color code. In the side by side comparison below you’ll notice that they are identical except for properties highlighted in red and blue in Simulation. This is your way of knowing which properties you’ll need to know. Red is absolutely required, blue might be required.

The example shown here is for a linear static simulation. The colors, or required material properties, is unique to each study type.

So how do you go about modifying the default material properties or even add your own completely custom material? You need to make sure you are in the custom material database at the very bottom of the material library. If you are going to be creating your own material that is similar to one already defined in the default library it’s a good idea to start by copying and pasting one from the default library to your custom library. If you wanted to start from scratch just right click on the folder and click new material. Remember to make sure to follow the format of red is required when adding your own materials.

Stephen Petrock
Since 1998, TriMech has helped our clients design better products by partnering with them and offering, not only CAD, CAE, PDM, FEA, CAM software products, but also by engineering solutions involving full-time and temporary staffing, contract design, analysis and drafting services, rapid prototyping, custom programming and implementation services. TriMech is a value-added reseller of SOLIDWORKS and Stratasys 3D Printers in the Mid-Atlantic and South-East including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Stephen Petrock