What’s New in SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2020

SOLIDWORKS® Simulation 2020 is all about ease of use and performance!

New Default: Incompatible Mesh for Bonded Contact (Improved Ease of Use)

SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2020 took a big leap forward by changing the Bonded Contact setup default from Compatible mesh to Incompatible mesh. This change makes it easier than ever to mesh assemblies that don’t have touching faces, which is a common real-world design scenario. Designers will notice significant benefits right away from a reduction in pre-processing time.

But don’t worry! Compatible mesh is still there; it is just no longer the default.

As many of you know, the challenge of Compatible mesh as the default methodology is the difficulty in meshing geometries that don’t have touching faces. With Incompatible mesh, there is no node-to-node correspondence (common nodes at the interface) between the mesh of each touching entity. Each entity is independently meshed. Bonded contact is achieved with contact elements.

The SOLIDWORKS Simulation team worked hard to make our Incompatible mesh almost as accurate as Compatible mesh. To implement the new default Incompatible mesh, our team collaborated with the SIMULIA® team, our sister brand who specializes in simulation to improve the accuracy of our contact algorithm. Incompatible mesh brings you best-in-class contact so you and your team can get more accurate results faster!

New feature: Combined Draft and High Quality Mesh (Improve Performance)

Everyone wants and needs to get their jobs done faster, right? An improved mesh formulation in SOLIDWORKS 2020 allows you to combine linear elements for faster solution time and quadratic elements for higher accuracy in the same study. This is a fantastic way to accelerate simulation calculation to bring your products to market faster and be more competitive.


The flexibility of this enhancement allows you to select which solid bodies to mesh: high-quality or draft-quality. Draft quality mesh is faster in solution time, while High quality mesh provides more precision when needed. The benefit is that you can validate designs faster and still capture accurate results for critical components.

New feature: Simulation Setup Evaluator (Have Confidence in your Simulation Setup!)

Ever wonder if you have set up your simulation study correctly? You can waste valuable time wrestling over the setup and even make needless changes if you feel insecure about the setup itself.

Simulation Evaluator, new in SOLIDWORKS 2020, gives you the confidence that you have optimal setup for your simulation study. If conditions in the study prevent a successful simulation run, the Simulation Evaluator dialog box even suggests corrective actions—helping you get your work done faster and more efficiently!

If you’ve ever been frustrated by having a simulation fail due to an incorrect simulation study setup, take a look at Simulation Evaluator. It checks conditions related to the results folder, storage capacity of the results drive, materials used in the simulation, and the mesh volume.

 New Feature: Distributed Coupling for Pins and Bolts (More realistic Results for Connectors)

SOLIDWORKS Simulation is well known for its world-class connectors and their powerful capabilities.

Distributed coupling in SOLIDWORKS 2020, an enhanced formulation for pin and bolt connectors, allows the faces attached to pin and bolt connectors to deform, which delivers a more realistic representation of a connector’s behavior. As a result, this new capability brings more accuracy to your simulation models enabling you to build better products faster.

By using SOLIDWORKS Simulation earlier in the design process, you can achieve correct finite element analysis (FEA) results more quickly and easily.

Simulation is No Longer Reserved for Analysts Only! (FEA for everyone)

SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2020 lowers the barriers of conducting simulation studies, making it accessible to mainstream users such as designers and design engineers—and democratizing simulation. You can save money and time by leveraging virtual prototypes to reduce the number of physical prototypes. The result is more reliable, safer, and higher quality products in a shortened product development cycle.

These new enhancements to SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2020 help you increase productivity and competitiveness, improve performance and bring products to market faster. It’s all about accelerating innovation in the effort to increase speed to market. We look forward to hearing your feedback below and through our enhancement request system. Our goal is always to give you better results faster so you can outpace your competitors.

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.