Stress Less — Simplify Your Models with SOLIDWORKS!

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sim’pli’fy
/’simpl??fi/
Verb
make (something) simpler or easier to do or understand.

Most of us have dreamed of a simpler life ‘ one that allows us to enjoy more freedom and less stress. However, the reality of our everyday life seems to push us in the opposite direction. This complexity can even be reflected in the way we do our jobs, and as CAD users in the way we model.

Luckily, if you happen to be a SOLIDWORKS user, there is a tool that will help you simplify your models.

Whether you want to reduce the complexity of your models to improve performance, or to generate a version for FEA, you will find the Simplify tool very useful.

Let’s use this Oil Pump assembly to see the benefits of this great tool.’

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The Simplify tool can be found under Tools > Find/Modify > Simplify

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Once we activate the tool, we are presented with some settings that we will be able to adjust.

Features (that can be simplified): Fillets, chamfers, holes, extrudes and revolves (volume based only).

Simplification Factor: Increases or decreases the insignificant volume factor.

Feature Parameter: Simplifies features by feature parameter value.

Volume Based: Simplifies features based on their volume in parts and assemblies.

Let’s run our simplify tool using the settings below:

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We will also choose to ignore the features that affect the mates in our assembly, in order to stay away from errors and warnings.

Once we hit the Find Now button, SOLIDWORKS will look for the features that fit our simplification criteria and generate a list for us.

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In this case is has found 19 features.

Next, we have the option to suppress all features (manual selection is also available), and create derived configurations so we can keep the original version as well.

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Below we can see both the original, and the simplified version of our Oil Pump assembly. ‘

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Although we run the simplify tool in the context of the assembly, new configurations were created for each part file also as we can see below.

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A new configuration has also been created for the assembly.

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We’re all set!

With our simplified assembly we are ready to run some simulation analysis and/or enjoy a better performing file-set.