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How to Find Reaction Forces in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

Monday January 23, 2023 at 9:00am

When a force acts on a body, the body responds with a proportionate force of its own. This response is known as a resultant force.

With SOLIDWORKS Simulation, we can calculate resultant forces quickly and easily.

To help us decide how robust an adjacent part needs to be, we can find out what forces are required to hold a part stationary when subject to an external load.

Helpfully, all simulation studies (except for those run though Simulation Xpress) allow us to do this easily.

Once you’ve meshed and run your simulation, right click on the results folder and select 'List Result Force...'. You can then select to view a variety of forces:

  • Reaction
  • Remote load interface
  • Free body
  • Contact/Friction
  • Connector

Remember to be careful when interpreting the results. A customer once pointed out that the sum of their reaction forces did not match the applied force - which is impossible if the structure is in static equilibrium!

The reason was that he had picked two adjacent faces which shared a common edge. This meant that the resultant force was doubled, as the nodal forces along the common edge were combined.

Instead, reading from the table or selecting each face independently gives the correct combined and individual results respectively.

Take the Next Steps...

If you need help with SOLIDWORKS Simulation, our team can help you achieve accurate results and sharpen your skills.

Here’s a quick rundown of how we can help you get the best from SOLIDWORKS Simulation and virtual testing with our Simulation services.

Not only do we offer CPD-accredited training courses, but also finger-tip access to an expert Technical Support team and consultants who will tailor to your needs.

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