Setting Body Temperature for Transient Thermal Study

A common error in the Thermal Study set-up is setting a temperature for the entire body. When adding a Thermal Load to the study, the SOLIDWORKS default selection is by faces. There is also the button "Select all exposed faces" which appears to select the entire model. Both of these methods can be confusing as they do not actually apply the thermal load to the body, only to the external faces. When you run the study, the results will be incorrect since any undefined components will have an initial temperature defined as absolute zero (0 Kelvin) by default. With such a low starting temperature for the transient study, the resulting temperatures could be much lower than expected.




The two methods that work best for selecting bodies are either select the component (Parts/Sub-assemblies in assemblies or bodies in a multi-body part) directly from the tree, or using selection filters so you only select bodies. Both methods are outlined below.


Selecting Components from the Tree

With the selection box highlighted, the feature tree shows up in the graphical window of the part, by expanding the tree, you can see the sub-components of the top level file. Bodies, parts and assemblies can all be selected (even the top level if the same initial temperature is desired for each component)




In the image below, the base is directly selected by selecting the part from the tree. When working with multi-bodied parts, the Solid Bodies folder should be visible and you can select individual bodies from that sub-folder.



The limitations of this method is if there is a long list of components that is hard to filter through. In this example, if we needed to select only certain smaller components, we would have to find them through a long list of patterned components. We can instead use selection filters to click on the bodies we want to apply a temperature to.



Using Selection Filters

With selection filters enabled, you will be able to click on the component from the graphics window and the body will be the selected. To view the selection filter toolbar, right click on the command manager and toggle the "Selection Filter" on. If you have not customized your SOLIDWORKS from default settings, pressing F5 will also toggle the view of this toolbar on and off.



The toolbar appears in the bottom by default. On this toolbar, there is the ability to Filter Solid Bodies. A toggled on filter will by highlighted on this bar and a small filter will appear next to the cursor.



With the filter toggled on, you can select the component bodies directly from the graphics window.



If you have any questions or need clarification on any of the methods described in this article, feel free to contact Hawk Ridge Systems Technical Support at

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