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Finding Mass in SOLIDWORKS - Using Mass Properties

Monday February 14, 2022 at 2:30pm
With SOLIDWORKS it's simple to calculate properties of your model such as mass, density and volume at any time. In this blog, and accompanying video tutorial, we'll show you how to view these values using the mass properties command and share some tips on how to make sure you get the most accurate values. Plus, hear from our customer ModBox about how Mass Properties helped them to meet a key design constraint!

Assigning Materials

To get realistic mass values for your models the vital first step is to apply materials to every part in your design.

To assign a material to your part simply right click the material in the part's feature tree and either pick a material from the favourites list, or select Edit Material to choose from the entire library.

If your part has multiple bodies made of different materials, you can right click each body to assign materials to them.

Materials can also be assigned to parts and bodies from the assembly environment. If you'd like to learn more about materials view our short tutorial on assigning materials, or check out our guide on how to create custom material libraries.

Using Mass Properties

To view mass, volume, centre of mass, density or moments of inertia, you need to use the Mass Properties command, found on the Evaluate tab. Alternatively you can choose Tools > Evaluate > Mass Properties.

By default, the mass of the entire model will be shown, though you can choose to view the properties for individual parts or bodies by selecting them.

The Options button allows you to adjust units and accuracy. These units will match those specified units tab of the document properties, but you can choose Use custom settings to overwrite those and specify how properties are presented in the mass properties tool.

Real World Example - ModBox

For many designs, the final weight of a product is a key design constraint. In this one minute clip from ModBox, they explain how designing in SOLIDWORKS enabled them to accurately predict the weight of their portable cocktail bar by using mass properties to ensure that their final build would end up under the legal tow limit.

Full Modbox Story coming soon: (Check back 17/02/22)

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