SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News – January 2021

Hello to all,

Welcome to the new edition of the SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News!  This monthly news blog is co-authored by members of the SOLIDWORKS Technical Support teams worldwide.

Equations in Assemblies- Part 2

By Mario Iocco

This blog is a continuation of the last month’s blog.

This month we continue to explore equations in assemblies, we are going to explore how to use the third row from the top from the Equations in Assemblies from the SOLIDWORKS online help.

In the following example, A1 is a sub-assembly of A2 containing P1 and P2:

Please refer to this video for visual demonstration.

Blended Curvature Based (BCB) mesher – Technical explanation

By Julien Boissat and Jay Seaglar

1. History

The SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2016 release introduced the Blended curvature-based (BCB) mesher alongside other existing meshers.

Support of h-adaptive and p-adaptive methods

The BCB mesher began supporting h-adaptive and p-adaptive methods for static studies in version 2017.

In version 2021, the BCB mesher benefits from a large number of enhancement. They are listed in the Enhanced Blended Curvature-Based Mesher and in the Performance Improvements in SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium topics of the What’s New document. Incidentally, the BCB mesher does not support  h-adaptive and p-adaptive methods for static studies in version 2021.

Default mesh settings

In version 2020 and older, the default Minimum element size is 1/5 of the Maximum element size.

In 2021, the default Minimum element size is 1/20 of the Maximum element size.

2. Meshing process

Meshing with the BCB mesher is a two-step process:

  1. Surface mesh (applies to shell and solid elements)
  2. Volume meshing (mesh filling; applies only to solid elements)

The BCB mesher uses algorithms designed to provide a high-quality surface mesh which are based on technology from Distene. This includes the MeshGems suite of meshing software components and technologies.

Note that some study constituents are not created by the mesher, but rather by the solver when it launches. These include:

  • Constraint equations (for bonding components meshed independently)
  • Contact elements
  • Connectors

3. Hierarchy of mesh settings with BCB mesher

For global mesh settings, the same options you specify for the Curvature-based (CB) mesher are available for the Blended curvature-based (BCB) mesher: Maximum element size (), Minimum element size (), Minimum number of elements in a circle (), and Element size growth ratio ().

For local mesh refinement settings (Mesh Control PropertyManager), you specify Maximum element size (), Minimum element size (), and Minimum number of elements in a circle ().

The Maximum element size and Minimum element size of Mesh Control settings should be within the range of values you specify for the global mesh settings.

Also, the enforcement of the Minimum number of elements in a circle setting is contingent on the resulting element size on the curved geometry being within the range of values you specify for the global mesh settings. For more information of how the mesher determines the element size on curved geometry to enforce the Min number of elements in a circle setting, refer to the SOLIDWORKS Simulation Help topic How Element Size Is Determined.


  • The BCB mesher differs from CB mesher in terms of hierarchy of mesh settings. Unlike the BCB mesher, the CB mesher enforces the Min number of elements in a circle setting and the mesh controls even if element sizes are outside of the range you specify in the global mesh settings.

4. Benefits of using the BCB mesher

The BCB mesher combines some advantages of the Standard mesher with other advantages of the CB mesher.

  • Like the Standard mesher, the BCB mesher generates a surface mesh with a rather “neat” and generally symmetric pattern of element face positions and orientations.
  • Like the CB mesher, the BCB mesher automatically adapts the element size to the local curvature of the geometry.
  • BCB mesher element patterns are more likely to follow contours of geometric features and appear “smoother” compared to the CB mesher.
  • Element faces created by the BCB mesher also tend to be closer to equilateral in shape compared to the other meshers.
  • The BCB mesher is the only mesher to offer a Calculate Minimum Element Size button (see SOLIDWORKS Simulation Help topic Mesh PropertyManager). This functionality makes it easier to fine-tune your element sizes in a more “bespoke” way than using the Mesh Density slider. You can either directly apply the minimum element size value calculated by the software, or simply consider the suggested value to make a more informed decision about a custom minimum element size which you input manually.
  • With identical mesh settings, the BCB mesher typically generates better quality elements with smaller Jacobian and aspect ratio, often using fewer elements.

See the illustrations below for a comparison of BCB vs. CB, noting in particular the mesh elements around the elongated oval-shaped features.

Example 1 – Sea scooter handle

Here are the file set which has been referred to in the above examples.

Noteworthy Solutions from the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base


icon - SW Why might SOLIDWORKS® fail to start or experience slow performance on a laptop connected to a docking station with the laptop lid closed?
The most likely explanation for this behavior is installation of Windows® Update. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-078798

icon - SW What is the process for downloading the SOLIDWORKS® Student Edition software, if using a Student Edition or Student Engineering Kit (SEK) license?
The attached document in the Solution Id: S-078625 explains the process of downloading SOLIDWORKS® Student Edition software.

Icon - EPDM Is there a general hotfix for SOLIDWORKS® Manage 2021 SP1 (SPR# 1200197)
A general hotfix is available for the SOLIDWORKS® Manage 2021 SP1 software that addresses the following issue. To get more information, see Solution Id: S-078803

When meshing or solving a study in SOLIDWORKS® Simulation, why does it take less time with a SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional or Premium license than a SOLIDWORKS Premium or Simulation Standard license?
In the SOLIDWORKS® Simulation 2021 and later software, if your current Simulation session is authorized using a SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional or Simulation Premium license, the blended curvature-based (BCB) mesher can use more than one physical CPU core. Please see solution Id: S-078624 for more details.

That’s it for this month. Thanks for reading this edition of SOLIDWORKS Support News. If you need additional help with these issues or any others, please contact your SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller.


Comments and suggestions are always welcome. You can enter them below.

Bishwaraj Roy

Mechanical Engineer with overall 9 years of experience in consultation and Technical Support of Computer Aided Design and PLM Products, 7+ Years experience in Supporting SOLIDWORKS suite of products. Certifications: 3DEXPERIENCE® Collaborative Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® Industry Innovator, 3DEXPERIENCE® 3D Creator