By Silvio Perez
A problem that I have come across when running my Simulation studies is having limited space on my hard drive for all the result files a study generates. When it comes to running a Static analysis, I sometimes run test studies where I am only interested in seeing the displacement results and not Stress or Strain; just to see if things are deforming in the direction that I expect.
By default, when a study has completed, SOLIDWORKS generates a .CWR file where the displacements, strains, and stresses are stored for every node in the model. Depending on the size of the problem, the .CWR file can grow in size, taking up hard drive space. In order to alleviate some of this headache, did you know you can control what results SOLIDWORKS Simulation will store?
Starting in SOLIDWORKS Simulation 2013, there is an option to have your study only output the displacement information. This is a great feature because having this control will not only reduce the file size of the result but also improve loading speed especially on very large models.
In order to generate only displacement information, right-click the Result Options and select Define/Edit. You will then see the menu below where we can disable Stresses and Strains from being saved.
Fig. 1: Result Option to Disable Stresses and Strains
After you run the analysis with the option disabled, you will receive a ‘Data not available’ message; this is because most studies try to auto-launch a stress plot – if the data is not saved, you see that message. This is normal behavior and you should then see that your displacement plot is the only one that can be seen.
This feature also becomes helpful when you run a transient thermal analysis. When you create a thermal study, you will get the same Result Option section after you change your study to transient. The result option menu then changes to what you see below.
Fig. 2: Result Option to Control What Time Steps to Save
What we can do here is control which steps across the time range we want to save. This allows us to run a study with very fine resolution, to get accurate results, but control what information is being saved and reported, to minimize the size of the files on disk. We can add up to 5 time ranges where we can specify how much information we save in each range. For example, you might want to see the result of every step during a sudden increase in temperature, but see every 5th step in a phase where it is slowly cooling down.
So if you are ever short on hard drive space or you want more control on what results SolidWorks generates, then this Storing Result options are the way to go. To see how these options work, take a look at my video.