Simulation and visualisation in SOLIDWORKS 2016

For a designer or engineer, it has never been easier to rapidly prototype a component or product before manufacturing, thanks to the proliferation and development of 3D modelling.

Computer-aided design (CAD) software has certainly come a long way in a very short space of time, with each new release of systems such as SOLIDWORKS packing in new and more powerful features. Now, thanks to continued development and refinement, SOLIDWORKS users can now take advantage of additional standalone features that make visualisation and simulation easy to carry out.

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Here, we'll take a look at SOLIDWORKS Visualisation and Simulation packages.

SOLIDWORKS Visualisation

Every designer and engineer will understand the difficulties inherent in showcasing a work in progress or even a completed 3D model. The task would often require exporting the model to a third-party program to prepare it for demonstration. With SOLIDWORKS Visualisation, however, this is now a thing of the past.

Instead, users can take advantage of a suite of standalone tools that make it easy to take a model and essentially use the data to prepare photo-realistic marketing content that can be put on the web within a matter of minutes. This isn't just static imagery, either. Users can animate robotic models and other components, at the same time applying colouring and lights to showcase the finished product. This makes demonstration to stakeholders or other parties an easy undertaking.

Powerful visualisation can prove especially useful in reducing manufacturing costs.

Such powerful visualisation can also prove especially useful in reducing manufacturing costs. Instead of having to manufacture a number of different concepts for demonstration, users can visualise them using software. A design can then be finalised and sent for manufacturing.


As with visualisation, simulation is another critical facet of the design process that can often lead to unnecessary expenses and delayed manufacturing. Take for example an aileron on an aircraft. Engineers prototype the model using CAD software, and then send the model to be manufactured, only to discover that it warps when exposed to high temperatures.

This is where simulation directly in the 3D modelling stage could prove particularly useful.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation packages are the best option here, allowing users to ensure that their products meet required levels of robustness. What's more, the packages can help to ensure a product will function as intended once it has actually been manufactured.

Take flow simulation, for example. Using this package, designers and engineers can simulate fluid flow, heat transfer and fluid forces with ease. Taking the aileron example above, these packages could help to identify the flaws inherent in the design from the earliest possible stage.

The ability to take a product or component from a paper drawing through to the eventual manufacturing stage has never been easier thanks to the development of CAD software. Instead of using difficult computer tools or entirely manual design processes, CAD software like SOLIDWORKS allows designers and engineers to instead focus on creating capable products.

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Now is certainly the time to start thinking seriously about the benefits of a more powerful approach to design.