Contact Visualization Plot is now available to all SOLIDWORKS Simulation users

What is the Contact Visualization Plot?

If you have not used the Contact Visualization Plot, then you should!
It is a useful tool that allows you to quickly and easily set-up large assemblies with lots of contact while avoiding common contact set-up errors.

When you import an assembly into SOLIDWORKS Simulation, by default, the software automatically generates contact pairs using Bonded contact for faces that are touching each other. If Compatible mesh is used, touching faces are assumed to be bonded together such that there is a perfect transmission of loads and continuity of displacement across the faces. In many cases this is not a realistic representation of the ‘real world’ component interactions. To achieve a more realistic product behavior under load, SOLIDWORKS Simulation allows you to add contact either at the face to face level (contact pairs) or at the component level. As the number of components in your analysis increases the number of contact interactions can grow exponentially. This can result in a headache just managing the assembly contact management.

By using the Contact Visualization Plot you can easily view how components are connected to each other by contact pairs in assemblies and multi-body parts. When working with assemblies, contact pairs can be defined automatically and/or by users. After defining connection between parts, you should double check to confirm that no un-constrained parts remain in the model.

Waterfall of Contact Visualization Plot
The Contact Visualization Plot in SOLIDWORKS Simulation gives you easy access to two great tools for contact diagnostics: Show Contact, which was released in SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2014, and the Underconstrained Bodies which was released in SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2016.

The Contact Visualization Plot: Show Contact tool was originally available only with a SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional or Simulation Premium license. But starting in 2019 SP4, we made it available to anyone using SOLIDWORKS Simulation. This means ANY Simulation user can now use Contact Visualization Plot. To launch this tool, right click on Connections and select Contact Visualization Plot.

To see how to use it, watch this short video below.

Now that it’s available in all Simulation licenses and you see how easy it is to use, you should make your life easier by making it a routine part of all of your analysis. To learn more about the how the Contact Visualization Plot can speed up your assembly analysis, contact your Value-Added Reseller today.


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.