Live Parts™ allows users to run finite element analysis (FEA) on a design from right within the design environment. Users can run FEA via the Advanced Controls Window visible by selecting View > Advanced Controls from the Live Parts menu bar.
What is FEA?
FEA is a numerical method used for structural analysis which takes as inputs a material information, structural information, and loading conditions and predicts the response of a design across vectors such as stress and/or displacement.
Running FEA in Live Parts
- Check the Enable FEM box in the Advanced Controls Window. Live Parts uses the design in questions in conjunction with the material selected and the forces defined during the parameter definition step in the SOLIDWORKS Add-in for running FEA.
- Select either the Displacement or von Mises Stress result type.
- The Displacement result type depicts how much the Live Parts design displaces or deflects when the specified forces (i.e. "loads") are applied. The regions of the design shown in red experience the most displacement while the regions shown in blue experience the least displacement (a corresponding legend is visible in the bottom right corner of the Live Parts user interface).
- The vonM Mises Stress result type depicts the stress experienced by the Live Parts designs when the specified forces (i.e. "loads") are applied. These stress results can be used to help predict part performance and durability. The regions of the design shown in red experience the highest stress while the regions shown in blue experience the lowest stress (a corresponding legend is visible in the bottom right corner of the Live Parts user interface).
- Click Smooth in the Basic Controls Window, and Live Parts will perform the FEA and depict the selected results in the design environment on the smoothed part.