How Accurate Is a Digital Simulation When Compared to Physical Reality?

Software companies like to trumpet the idea that a computer simulation is a close approximation of how your product design will behave when exposed to actual physical forces, such as pressure, temperature, airflow, vibration, and more. Companies say simulations help optimize designs, reduce the number of physical prototypes needed, and increase speed to market.

Are these claims true?

Granted it is essential to test for product durability, strength, and safety, especially in highly regulated industries. Predicting product failure early in the development process can potentially save millions of dollars, prevent unending lawsuits, and catapult a product’s reliability and efficacy ratings to the top.

SOLIDWORKS® performs numerous comprehensive tests of its software products to ensure they meet and exceed customer expectations and is eager to share the details of how SOLIDWORKS Plastics simulation measured up to real-world results.


Digital Testing Versus Physical Testing

To validate the accuracy of SOLIDWORKS Plastics simulation results, SOLIDWORKS initiated a projectwith Chung Yuan Christian University (CYCU) in Taiwan, which operates advanced injection-molding systems and equipment and has contributed to the development of leading-edge, injection-molding technology as one of the world’s leading plastics engineering research centers.

CYCU Engineering Department Chair Dr. Shia Chung Shelley Chen supervised the project, which involved comparing SOLIDWORKS Plastics analysis predictions with empirical molding results by shooting three different test part geometries using five different materials; instrumenting the molds with pressure and temperature sensors; and measuring numerous key variable processing parameters, including melt temperature, mold temperature, fill rate, cavity pressure, coolant flow rate, coolant temperature, and coolant pressure.

The CYCU validation project team then compared its real-world experimental findings with SOLIDWORKS Plastics simulation results.

See the Results for Yourself

The overall findings of the CYCU/SOLIDWORKS Plastics Validation Project are detailed in this white paper. The experiment demonstrated excellent correlation between analysis predictions and empirical, real-world molding results for the injection molding process.

Beginning with filling patterns and continuing with mold pressure profiles, cooling circuit pressure drops, coolant temperatures, and warpage analyses, the project validated the fundamental accuracy of the software as well as the increase in accuracy.

SOLIDWORKS believes it is essential to expect that software technology providers have an ongoing obligation to ensure the accuracy of simulation results by comparing analysis predictions to real-world results.

Click here to download the whitepaper to see the detailed results of comparing digital simulation to physical reality.




Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.