How to Use Load Cases in SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Engineers Rule (2023)

How to Use Load Cases in SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Engineers Rule (1)

SOLIDWORKSSimulation makes it easy to determine whether a structure satisfies its designcriteria for a particular set of loading conditions. As many users can attest,having only one loading condition is rarely the case. When offering a productto the general population, the designer must consider different loadingscenarios due to differences in environmental loads and in human physiology, aswell as user error, to name just a few.

Consider theladder pictured to the left.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation comes with diverse sets of loading conditions and is able to handle live loads (e.g. a person on the ladder) and dead loads (e.g. the weight of the ladder itself). It would be very time consuming to manually consider not just each case, but every combination of the loading cases. You could try to duplicate studies, but the clutter would soon become unmanageable. You could try to reuse the same study and change the values of the forces, but you would lose the history of what the previous values were, as well as being generally tedious.

Thankfully, SOLIDWORKS Simulation has a way to handle load cases. The Load Case Manager from within SOLIDWORKS is designed to make assigning these different types of loads and, more importantly, combining these loads easy. In this article, we will explore what it takes to assign load cases for the ladder pictured above.

Note: thisarticle will apply to any major version of SOLIDWORKS greater than 2014. SOLIDWORKS2015 was the first year that Load Cases were implemented.

You can downloadthe simplified ladder model here to follow along if you wish (SOLIDWORKS2015+). The ladder is simplified because the focus for this article is loadcases rather than the intricacies of meshing, different types of bodies etc.that would arise should we use a geometrically accurate ladder.

Step 1: The Plan

The first step is to lay out what the challenge is and what we are looking to analyze. Let’s lay out the situation: This particular ladder is designed to hold two users on it at the same time (not the best idea in real life for safety reasons other than the structural integrity of the ladder, but we are only considering the structural safety of the ladder in this exercise). The users may be carrying tools.

How to Use Load Cases in SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Engineers Rule (2)

For the ladderresting against a wall at 15 degrees, find the magnitude of the maximum Von Misesstress for the following cases:

  • Resting on a wall; no live load
  • Live Load 1 only
  • Live Load 2 only
  • Both Live Load 1 and 2
  • [2 × Load 1] + [1 × Load 2];(heavy user 1, normal user 2)
  • [1 × Load 1] + [2 × Load 2];(heavy user 2, normal user 1)
  • [2 × Load 1] + [2 × Load 2]; (bothheavy users)

Assume the ladder is made from Aluminum 1060 Alloy.

As you can see, there is much work to do, but thanksto load cases, we only have to define the study once, and the load case managerwill take care of the rest.

(Video) Topology Studies with Multiple Load Cases in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

NOTE: If you have a study alreadydefined and want to get to the load case manager, skip to Step 8.

Step 2: Open theFile

Open LADDER.SLDPRT and verify that the SimulationAdd-In is turned on.

The simulation add-in can be accessed from eitherfrom Tools > Add-ins, or from the SOLIDWORKS Add-Ins tab on the ribbon.

Step 3: Create a New Static Study

There are plenty of ways to do this, but I likeaccessing it from the Simulation Tab. Make sure that “Use 2D Simplification” isunchecked.

How to Use Load Cases in SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Engineers Rule (4)

Step 4: Apply the Material as Aluminum 1060 Alloy

If you haven’t already, make sure the material isset. I am using aluminum 1060 alloy here, but you can set it to whatever linearmaterial you desire (practically any metal, for example).

How to Use Load Cases in SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Engineers Rule (5)

Step 5: Apply Fixtures

In order for the static simulation to run properly,we must ensure that our model is properly fixtured. I usedthe following:

Specify thetwo bottom faces as Fixed Geometry. This willrepresent the feet of the ladder that is firmly planted on the ground.

How to Use Load Cases in SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Engineers Rule (6)

On the top ofthe ladder, specify the two vertical faces as Roller/Slider Fixtures. This represents that while the ladder can’t go through our imaginarywall, it can slide along the wall.

(Video) SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Load Case Manager

How to Use Load Cases in SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Engineers Rule (7)

Step 6: ApplyLoads

This where the bulk of the setup occurs.

There are three main loads to consider: The weightof user 1 (Live Load 1), the weight of user 2 (live load 2) and the weight ofthe ladder (dead load). It is important that these loads are defined inseparate features from each other. This is what is going to allow the Load CaseManager to toggle the consideration of the loads when it runs.

Live Load 1:

Right click the“External Loads” Node in the simulation tree and click “Force.” For itslocation, pick the second rung from the top. Change the radio button from“Normal” to “Selected Direction” and for the direction, click the Top plane

In this example,the ladder is already oriented 15 degrees with respect to the coordinate system.

How to Use Load Cases in SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Engineers Rule (8)

Enable the “Normal to Plane” Direction button andhit “Reverse Direction” if necessary, to make sure the force is pointing down.For this, I put 1,000N.

Remember, it may be tempting to include the otherrung in the blue selection box as well, but we must keep them separate for thereasons mentioned above. With Face<1> as the only item, click OK. Itmight be a good idea to rename the item in the tree, too. I named it “LIVE LOAD1” to make it easier to distinguish when we get into the load case manager. Youcan do this by clicking on the line item and pressing F2.

Live Load 2:

Make anotherforce with the same parameters as Live Load 1, but with the second rung fromthe bottom as the selected face. Type, magnitude and direction of the force areidentical.

Dead Load:

Right click onthe “External Loads” node and select “Gravity.” Usually it will fill outstandard parameters by itself, but make sure that the selected reference is theTop Plane, direction reversed with a magnitude of 9.81 m2. I renamed this to“DEAD LOAD.”

Step 7: Mesh theModel

Of course, the penultimate step to running a studyis meshing the model. I will use basic mesh settings to make the computationquick for this demonstration. Right click on the Mesh node and select “CreateMesh…”

Here, I specify a draft quality mesh with the standard coarseness settings.

(Video) SolidWorks Simulation - Large Displacement Case 2

Step 8: Open Upthe Load Case Manager

This is where the fun begins! Normally, we would runour study. But instead, we divert to the Load Case Manager!

You can find the load case manager by right clicking the top of the study tree and finding “Load Case Manager” in the drop-down list.

How to Use Load Cases in SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Engineers Rule (9)

When you activate the Load Case Manager, a screensimilar to this will appear with a table. The columns represent the differentelements of your study (forces, fixtures etc.). Some of you may even drawparallels to the Configure Feature functionality found in SOLIDWORKS,which is very similar. It’s practically defining configurations of your studyto have SOLIDWORKS run all at once!

How to Use Load Cases in SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Engineers Rule (10)

Step 1: Add the PrimaryLoad Cases

Looking at the rows, and you will see there are a couple sections: Primary Load Cases, Load Case Combinations and Track Results.

Let’s look at the first one, Primary Load Cases. The idea is to have each one of our three loads to have its own line, so that SOLIDWORKS can combine them. This is why it was important to separate the live loads earlier.

Click where it says, “Click here to add Primary LoadCases.” Then click inside one of the cells of a force to un-suppress it. Repeatfor each of the load conditions. If you are following along, the table shouldlook like this:

How to Use Load Cases in SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Engineers Rule (11)

You’ll notice that this is the setup for three ofthe seven load cases.

Step 2: Definethe Secondary Load Case Combinations

To get the other four cases, click where it says, “Adda load case combination.”

The idea here is that we can now use the load caseslike variables and make equations for whatever we want. Click in the whitespace to pick the cases or see mathematical functions to put in the equation.

You can see that the window above has the two normalusers condition that we described in step 1.

How to Use Load Cases in SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Engineers Rule (13)

Hit OK and add the other equations! The table shouldnow look like this:

Step 3: Add a Sensorfor Tracking Results

With all the cases added, we can hit run if we wish.But before that, I will add a sensor to make it simple to see what the maximumVon Mises stress is for every case. Click “Add a sensor to track a result” thenclick “add sensor.”

The following image describes how I set the sensorup:

How to Use Load Cases in SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Engineers Rule (14)

The only thing I changed from the standard settingswas the units (I prefer my stress units to be in MPa).

Step 4: Run theStudy

Finally, hit run and reap the benefits of your setup! It may take some time to complete based on model complexity, meshing,solver in use and the number of load cases.

How to Use Load Cases in SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Engineers Rule (15)

Step 5: Considerthe Results

After some time, SOLIDWORKS will bring you one tabover into the Results View. Here you can see a tabularized view of all theresults:

How to Use Load Cases in SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Engineers Rule (16)
(Video) Lunch & Learn Webinar - Using Load Case Manager in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

As you can see in the first column (Stress1) it lists all of the maximum Von Mises values for all of the Load Cases we were interested in. Hopefully, this tutorial helps you save some time when running an analysis with multiple load cases.

Hopefully, this tutorial helps you save some time when running an analysis with multiple load cases.

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS in the whitepaper Designers Greatly Benefit from Simulation-Driven Product Development.


How do you force a SOLIDWORKS Simulation? ›

To apply a force:
  1. Click Add a force. The Force PropertyManager appears.
  2. In the graphics area, select the desired faces.
  3. Select: Normal to apply the force in the direction normal to each selected face. ...
  4. Select the force units first, then enter the force value. ...
  5. Click . ...
  6. Click Next.

How do I enable Simulation add-ins in SOLIDWORKS? ›

To activate the Solidworks simulation, we go to tools, add-ins, and check the box next to the simulation add-in. So this will launch the simulation works add-in.

How do you define a bearing load in Solidworks? ›

To define bearing loads:
  1. In the Simulation study tree, right-click the External Loads icon and select Bearing Load . ...
  2. In the graphics area, select a set of cylindrical faces or circular shell edges. ...
  3. Select a coordinate system from the graphics area or from the FeatureManager design tree.

How do you apply gravity in Solidworks simulation? ›

You can use the Gravity PropertyManager to apply gravity loads to a part or assembly document for use in structural and nonlinear analyses.
Do one of the following:
  1. In the Simulation study tree, right-click External Loads and select Gravity.
  2. Click Simulation > Loads/Fixture > Gravity.
  3. Click Gravity (Simulation toolbar).

Can you do force analysis in SOLIDWORKS? ›

Solidworks Simulation uses FEA (Finite Element Analysis) methods to identify the behavior of parts or assemblies/parts when a load is applied. The load can be pressure, force, temperature, gravity, centrifugal or even loads imported from previous simulation studies.

How do you do a static Simulation in SOLIDWORKS? ›

To perform static analysis:
  1. Create a static study. ...
  2. Define material for each solid, shell, and beam. ...
  3. Define restraints. ...
  4. Define external loads.
  5. For assemblies and multibody parts, use component contact and contact sets to simulate the behavior of the model.
  6. Mesh the model and run the study. ...
  7. View the results:

How many types of Simulation are there in Solidworks? ›

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium includes three advanced studies: Non-Linear Static, Non-Linear Dynamic, and Linear Dynamics.

What is the fifth steps to Simulation? ›

Step 1→Define the problem or system you intended to simulate.
Step 4→Identify and collect the data needed to test the model.
Step 5→Run the simulation
Step 6→Analyze the results of the simulation and, if desired, change the solution you are evaluating.
4 more rows

How do you run a flow Simulation in Solidworks? ›

Learn Step by Step How to do Flow Simulation in SolidWorks on Cross ...

How do I manage Add-Ins in SOLIDWORKS? ›

  1. Click Tools > Add-Ins.
  2. Select or clear applications under Active Add-ins or under Start Up. Selecting the check box under Active Add-ins loads the application for the current session. ...
  3. Click OK.

Where are SOLIDWORKS Add-Ins located? ›

You can load SOLIDWORKS add-ins from the SOLIDWORKS Add-Ins tab of the CommandManager. This loads the add-in for the current session only. To use other applications with the SOLIDWORKS software: Click Tools > Add-Ins.

How do I activate plastic in SOLIDWORKS? ›

If this is the first time you are using SOLIDWORKS Plastics, you must activate the SOLIDWORKS Plastics Add-In. Click Tools > Add-Ins. Under SOLIDWORKS Add-ins, select SOLIDWORKS Plastics. Select the Start-up box next to SOLIDWORKS Plastics to ensure that it loads the next time you start SOLIDWORKS.

How do you do a stress test in Solidworks? ›

To set up stress analysis on one or more components:
  1. Click Simulation Setup (MotionManager toolbar).
  2. In the graphics area, select a component on which to perform the stress analysis. ...
  3. Enter the Start Time and End Time for the analysis. ...
  4. Click Add Time. ...
  5. Repeat Steps 3 - 4 to compute stress analysis on other time intervals.

How do I add a point mass in Solidworks? ›

You can add a Center of Mass (COM) point to parts and assemblies. In drawings of parts or assemblies that contain a COM point, you can show and reference the COM point. You add a COM point by clicking Center of Mass (Reference Geometry toolbar) or Insert > Reference Geometry > Center of Mass.

What is remote mass in Solidworks? ›

The software defines a remote mass at the engine's center of gravity (CG) and connects it to the highlighted faces with rigid bars. Acceleration of gravity acts downward. The rigid bars transfer the weight of the engine to the frame. The contact faces between the engine and frame deform as a rigid body.

What is distributed mass in Solidworks simulation? ›

The Distributed Mass is uniformly applied to the selected entity without said rigid bars. Think of it as being "melted" to the face it is applied to. Both Remote Load/Mass and Distributed Mass can be found by right-mouse clicking the External Loads folder of your study.


1. SOLIDWORKS Simulation - Applying Loads Using Selected Direction
2. Solidworks Simulation tutorial | Steel Structure Simulation in Solidworks
3. Using Remote Masses in SolidWorks Simulation
(Innova Systems - Experts in SOLIDWORKS Training & Support)
4. SOLIDWORKS Simulation "Use Inertial Relief" explanation
(DASI Solutions now a part of GoEngineer)
5. SOLIDWORKS - Analysis of Welded Structures
6. SOLIDWORKS Simulation 101 - Arizona State University
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Barbera Armstrong

Last Updated: 02/05/2023

Views: 6298

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (79 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Barbera Armstrong

Birthday: 1992-09-12

Address: Suite 993 99852 Daugherty Causeway, Ritchiehaven, VT 49630

Phone: +5026838435397

Job: National Engineer

Hobby: Listening to music, Board games, Photography, Ice skating, LARPing, Kite flying, Rugby

Introduction: My name is Barbera Armstrong, I am a lovely, delightful, cooperative, funny, enchanting, vivacious, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.