A few months ago, we teased the upcoming addition of SIMSOLID Cloud – simulation tools that completely eliminate the need for meshing – to the Onshape ecosystem. Meshing is perhaps the most aggravating and time-consuming part of using analysis tools. It’s extremely specialized work and very vulnerable to errors – and it’s typical for meshing to require days or even weeks to complete. Now, however, you can get your simulation results right away.

SIMSOLID Cloud is currently in beta (you can try it here), but is based on the same technology pioneered in our popular desktop application. Embedded in Onshape, SIMSOLID Cloud works on the original, fully featured CAD geometry and does not require any geometry simplification. SIMSOLID delivers your test results extremely fast, even for large assemblies or complex parts, and has automatic tools that allow you to specify any degree of solution refinement.

The great news is that SIMSOLID Cloud has become even more valuable since our initial beta announcement. Let’s take a look at some of the most significant improvements.

Design Studies

A primary goal of structural design analysis is to evaluate the effect of changes on the product’s performance. To provide true benefit, this must be done at the “speed-of-design” and be able to rapidly react to all design changes. In SIMSOLID Cloud, this is done using our new design studies.

Design studies are used to collect and quantify design performance variation. Our design studies are defined as a set of part geometry, part connections and one or more analysis definitions along with their corresponding analysis results. Each design study can contain a complete CAD assembly containing hundreds of parts and each SIMSOLID project can contain multiple design studies.

Associative Model Updates

Best of all, SIMSOLID design studies are associative to Onshape geometry updates. If you change the geometry, the study can be updated without having to recreate your analysis settings, connections, loads and boundary conditions. Design changes can even be associative to multiple different (but related) designs, making it easy to compare different design scenarios.

Design study of an Onshape sheet metal assembly. With SIMSOLID, no geometry clean-up, simplification or meshing is required.

How to Use SIMSOLID Cloud in Onshape

To try SIMSOLID design studies for yourself, sign up for the free beta trial and then add the SIMSOLID Cloud application to your Onshape Document. Next, open a part or assembly studio in SIMSOLID. This initial design will be automatically added to “Study 1.” Now add material properties and part connections, and then create one or more analysis definitions. Note that each design study can have multiple analysis load cases.

Next, go back to Onshape and modify your design. To examine the performance impact from your design change, just go back to the SIMSOLID project tab and add a second design study. Then, pick the same part or assembly studio. This time, the changed geometry will be loaded and SIMSOLID will automatically reassociate the analysis definitions.

Note that in certain cases, not all boundary conditions can be recreated. For example, a face that has an applied load in Study 1 may no longer be present in Study 2. In this case, the boundary condition will be highlighted in red to indicate that an edit is required. Simply double-click the boundary condition to bring up the edit dialog and select the new face to apply it to.

Your second design study is now ready to go. Just select “analyze.” Once it is complete, you can view the results from both studies to compare their performance differences.

With SIMSOLID Cloud’s new design studies, performance feedback is now easier than ever!