Shock and Vibration Simulation Tools: Demystified and When You Should Use Them

If you have ever dropped your cell phone, driven on a bumpy road or had a hard landing in an airplane, you will want to read this blog.

The products we design must withstand all types of Shock and Vibration stresses imposed by harsh demands of everyday life. Fortunately, SOLIDWORKS has a full suite of premium Simulation tools that engineers can use to predict and design around these stresses.

When translated into benefits of using these tools, engineers can dramatically reduce the possibility of catastrophic product failures, reduce expensive prototyping, speed-up product development cycles and get new products past strenuous MIL STANDARD test requirements the first time.

SOLIDWORKS Shock and Vibration simulation tools provide easy-to-understand results for six different kinds of stresses:

  • Modal analysis – which determines the natural frequencies and mode shapes to avoid resonance.
  • Harmonic analysis – which avoids catastrophic failures that can occur when rotating components match product resonance.
  • Random Vibration analysis – which is used to determine the response of product designs and components to vibration loads that are random such as bumpy roads, rocket launches, earthquakes, etc.
  • Shock analysis – which calculates a structure’s response to time-varying loads such as the high-speed impact of a hard landing by an airplane.
  • Drop tests – which can simulate the impact on devices or products across a wide range of variables such as if they are dropped at different heights, angles or onto different flooring materials.
  • Vibration fatigue – which calculates the incremental failure accumulating in products over time due to repetitive vibrations imposed by everyday use.


Historically, most engineers apply only Static Analysis to their new product designs.  This limited approach to simulate everyday stresses may be the result of a lack of knowledge or a belief that Shock and Vibration simulation tools are difficult to use or perhaps that they are prohibitively expensive.But that certainly is not the case. SOLIDWORKS Shock and Vibration tools are integrated into the platform you use every day making them easier than ever to use.  And, these tools pay for themselves in the form of fewer component failures, faster product launches and early passing grades on MIL STANDARD tests.

To see how to apply each of the six, advanced Shock and Vibration tools discussed in this blog watch this short, six-minute video above. Or, if you are just beginning to explore how Simulation tools can help add value to your designs, I recommend that you first learn about Static Analysis, which is available in SOLIDWORKS Premium.

For the answers about how SOLIDWORKS Simulation tools can take you from good to great, please contact your Value Added Reseller today or check out the SOLIDWORKS Simulation Product Page.

Mai Doan

Mai DOAN is a Product Portfolio Manager for SOLIDWORKS Simulation. She has 20 years of experience in Simulation and Design. Prior to joining SOLIDWORKS in 2014 as a Territory Technical Manager, Mai worked as a Senior Application Engineer for ANSYS with expertise in Finite Element Analysis for more than 8 years. Before that, she developed her real world experience by designing mobile devices with an emphasis on Simulation for High Tech companies such as Siemens and Novatel Wireless. She holds Bachelor and Master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering, and speaks English, French & Vietnamese fluently.