Get up to Speed on Structural Designer with YouTube Videos

Did you know that SOLIDWORKS users now have access to the powerful, yet easy-to-use SIMULIA/ABAQUS products? You might remember this blog post, You Don’t Have to be a Rocket Scientist to do Simulation that spoke to the ease of use of our simulation tools that were designed to be used by engineers and designers, not just analysts.

Although these cloud-connected SIMULIA/ABAQUS products enable design teams to better understand there product performance during the design phase it does raise an important question ‘where do I start to learn how to use any new software?’

I don’t know about you, but I like to investigate any new solution by reading online material but most usefully by watching tutorial videos. Through these videos, you can really get a sense of the power and ease of use of any solution.

YouTube playlist

Through a recently published YouTube playlist, you can quickly get up to speed with the SIMULIA’s Structural Designer product, which has been specifically tailored for use by designers. Through six step-by-step tutorials you will get both an overview of the capabilities of Structural Designer as well an understanding of how it connects with SOLIDWORKS.

Fig 1. YouTube playlist with six videos of Structural Designer tutorials


These tutorials (three linear static structural, one thermal, one frequency and one linear buckling analysis) aren’t just watch along videos, the best bit is that each video comes with a non-proprietary SOLIDWORKS model, which you can download and use to follow along. The link to the SOLIDWORKS model can be found in the description of each video, see Fig 2.

Fig 2. Link to SOLIDWORKS model in video description



SIMULIA is our sister company which specializes in Simulation.  SIMULIA is recognized by the engineering community as having the best in class nonlinear Finite Element Analysis capabilities. Recently, SIMULIA developed new easy-to-use Simulation tools to address the needs of SOLIDWORKS users who have little or no Simulation experience. Structural Designer is the easiest-to-use of all of them.

Structural Designer

Structural Designer is a cloud-connected linear structural analysis tool tailored to Designers and Engineers. Cloud-Connected Simulation means you can solve your models in the Cloud while continuing to design in SOLIDWORKS. With Structural Designer Cloud computing, you don’t have to wait for simulation models to solve on your local machine. As a result, your time is freed up for all kind of activities – how about Thursday night football or more time with your kids? You will be happy to know that Structural Designer comes with four cores to run on the Cloud at no additional cost. Likewise, if you prefer to run your models locally, you have the flexibility to run locally using up to four cores without charge as well.

Guided Assistant

Aimed at designers, Structural Designer comes with a Guided Assistant, which means that the software is super easy to use. The guided Assistant shows you every step you need to carry out for a successful simulation. The green check mark means that the step is completed, giving you the confidence to move toward successful simulation.

Fig 3. Guided Assistant in Structural Designer

General Contact

Even though Structural Designer is geared to designers and engineers, you have access to SIMULIA best-in-class General Contact functionality, which takes away a huge headache found with most structural analysis tools. Contact needs to be defined in any structural analysis where two components move relative to each other underload. This movement can be to pull away (such as putting bolts under tension), or to slide (under a shear load) and these component interactions are captured through setting the contact conditions for your analysis.

Previously this was a long and involved process during which you would either select contacting surfaces manually or allow the computer to automatically find them. The former took a lot of user time where the later would increase the solve times dramatically. With General Contact, all you need to do tell the software you want to use General Contact, and the software does all the work of detecting and enforcing contact pairs for you. General Contact is hands down the best technology for complex models with complex topology undergoing large strain.


Fig 4. General Contact in Structural Designer

So are you up for a new challenge? Stand out of the crowd with Finite Element Analysis skills. Learn to use Structural Designer by using this YouTube playlist anytime, anywhere. Contact your Value Added Reseller for additional information.


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.