SOLIDWORKS Simulation and Structural Professional Engineer: A Customer’s Perspective from HYDAC

In 2018, we invited some SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium users to try our newest simulation offering: Structural Professional Engineer, an advanced cloud-based structural simulation solution powered by Abaqus, the market leading technology for structural nonlinear finite element analysis (FEA) solver.

James Cardillo and Graham Young, Lead Development and Simulation Engineers at HYDAC, were one of many who signed up to try out Structural Professional Engineer and had one question they wanted to answer: when should they use  SOLIDWORKS Simulation and when should they use Structural Professional Engineer. James and Graham have graciously shared some of their comparison test results and the conclusions they reached.


The first test was a fairly straightforward analysis of a bracket to support the cantilevered weight.

James Cardillo outlined the test for us. “In this study, we worked with the engineers to design a bracket to support the cantilevered weight of a filter housing assembly. This bracket was being suspended from a machine in a mobile hydraulics application. Using finite element analysis, we were able to determine the bending stresses exhibited by the bracket and determine where additional strength members were needed to lower the stresses to within the design criteria. After several analysis and design iterations, we were able to arrive at a solution that added structural integrity to the critical areas of the design.”

Below are the results from both SOLIDWORKS Simulation and Structural Professional Engineer for comparable mesh densities. As you can see from the results below that both solutions deliver similar results.

Von Mises stress results in Mega Pascals (MPa) using SSE and on the left hand side and SOLIDWORKS Simulation on the right side.


“We should also note that the results from this analysis show that the materials peak stress is below the material yield point, and the deflections are small. This analysis is linear in nature, i.e. the loads and deflections are proportional. This is important when we compare the solution time, in the graph below, using the same machine and mesh density we can see that SOLIDWORKS Simulation globally solved faster than Structural Professional Engineer” added James Cardillo.


Case 2: Breather Flange Stress Analysis (Non-Linear Analysis)

“In this second study, we investigated an existing design where a plastic flange was over-torqued, resulting in failure of the material. Because the material was plastic, the analysis was highly non-linear and compute resource-intensive. The goal was first to gain insight into the existing assembly failure mode by modeling the component. Once we understood how the flange was bent and compressed by the applied torques, we investigated design features to strengthen the flange in critical stress areas. The use of non-linear FEA allowed us to model the plastic material and arrive at a design solution,” reported James Cardilio.

“In this scenario, Structural Professional Engineer is the best solution for solving this non-linear static study as it converged at 100 percent faster. This analysis involved multiple advanced non-linearities (non-linear contact, non-linear material and large displacement), areas where SSE shines,” concluded Cardilio.

In summary:

  • For linear stress analysis, SOLIDWORKS Simulation and Structural Professional Engineer yielded identical stress values. SOLIDWORKS Simulation solved this linear analysis faster than Structural Professional Engineer, Therefore, SOLIDWORKS Simulation is the better solution.
  • For the highly nonlinear problem, Structural Professional Engineer was the better solution as the Abaqus solver converged faster.


HYDAC provides fluid power solutions to OEMs, manufacturers and end users of heavy-duty mobile and industrial equipment. Learn more about HYDAC at

Learn more about Structural Professional Engineer

You can learn more about Structural Professional Engineer or SOLIDWORKS other simulation solutions by visiting or by contacting your local SOLIDWORKS reseller.

Nicolas Tillet

Nicolas Tillet

Product Portfolio Manager at DS SOLIDWORKS Corp.
Product Portfolio Manager for SOLIDWORKS Simulation
Nicolas Tillet
Nicolas Tillet