Automatically Update Beam Joints

Prior to SOLIDWORKS 2017

In previous versions of SOLIDWORKS, changes to models involving beam elements would result in an error when SOLIDWORKS Simulation was re-activated. It would notify the user to edit the beam joints – as seen in the image below. To resolve this error, the user had to open the joints in the simulation and simply recalculate them. This problem resulted in additional mouse clicks for the user while simultaneously slowing down design iterations.

New setting in 2017

SOLIDWORKS 2017 released an improvement to beam elements in FEA. This change causes the beam elements to automatically recalculate any time changes that are made to the model. This removes the repetitive processes of manually recalculating joints each time you run a simulation on changes to the model.

Activating the new setting

This setting is automatically set to active on fresh installations of SOLIDWORKS 2017. Keep in mind that if you import settings from previous years of the software, it may not be. To activate this new setting simply open the simulation settings by going to:

Simulation > Options > System options > General.

You’ll see a window very similar to the one below where you’ll activate “Automatically update beam joints when simulation is activated.” This change will then automatically update beam joints when you activate your simulation.

After the change

After activating this setting, any time you make a change to the model and toggle back to the study, you’ll see this load screen informing you it’s going to quickly recalculate the joints so that they’re all up-to-date for your simulation.

Author: Cody Salyer
Cody is a Support Engineer based out of the beautiful Salt Lake valley. He’s been with GoEngineer a little over a year supporting not only SOLIDWORKS but also Simulation and PDM as well. His background includes mechatronics and automation, where he has worked to develop automated systems to help remove or disconnect people from dangerous tasks.
GoEngineer delivers software, technology and expertise that enable companies to unlock design innovation and deliver better products faster. With more than 30 years experience and thousands of customers in high tech, medical, machine design, energy and other industries, GoEngineer provides best-in-class design solutions from SOLIDWORKS, Stratasys, CAMWorks, Altium and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). For more information, visit

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