Contour plots are one of the most impressive means of communicating results from analyses performed within SOLIDWORKS. This is true both for SOLIDWORKS Simulation (for FEA) and SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation (for CFD). Illustrated below are two examples of "tweaks" you can use to modify the appearance of a contour plot and aid in conveying results to your audience.
Example 1: Flow Simulation 2D Cut Plot with a 3D twist.
In this example, a transient pulse based upon a table of inlet pressures is used to motivate the fluid through the pipe (and constricting orifice). The user must remember that the pipe is already and completely filled with the fluid. The starting conditions are standard atmospheric temperature and pressure.
To enable the 3D option for the cut plot, right-mouse click the plot, edit its definition' the option is within the "Contour" area of the property manager.
Selecting "3D Profile" allows the user to change the amplitude and display and control a mesh on the plot. So, while this looks like a wave propagating "across" the fluid, it still is "within" the fluid. This is simply a visualization tool.
When the result is animated, the content really stands out!
In our second example, we'll look at the results from a structural stress analysis. In assemblies it is often the case where one or more components are not needed. When those components are hidden, the contour plot updates to reflect this. (make sure you use the option "Show Min/Max values on shown parts only."
But a semi-transparent version of the missing part(s) can be included in the plot, giving a greater context to the audience. Right-mouse click the plot from the tree and either "Edit Definition" or choose "Settings." When a part is hidden within the SOLIDWORKS model (not suppressed), the user is given the option:
I hope you find these tricks useful and enjoyable!
By: Chris Schaefer, Simulation Specialist
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