Have you ever needed to test several configurations of an injection molded part, but didn’t want to create a brand new study and re-input all the parameters? Or, have you needed to test several different fill times, materials, etc. for the same part? In this edition of Plastics Quick Tips, I will show you the right way to duplicate a Plastics study to make setting up multiple analyses a breeze.
Step #1: Create SOLIDWORKS configurations.
Whether you have multiple design configurations to run or multiple fill times to test, you will need to create a different configuration for each analysis. It’s easiest to do this with the SOLIDWORKS Plastics add-in turned off.
Step #2: Make sure SOLIDWORKS Configuration Integration is turned on.
This step is crucial. With the SOLIDWORKS Plastics add-in enabled, make sure to go into your SOLIDWORKS Plastics settings (SOLIDWORKS Plastics > Help > Settings; in SOLIDWORKS 2015 it’s under Tools > SOLIDWORKS Plastics > Help > Settings) and check the box labeled “SOLIDWORKS Configuration Integration” (Fig. 1).
[Figure 1. SOLIDWORKS Plastics settings.]
Step #3: Use the Model Manager.
Open up the SOLIDWORKS Plastics Model Manager (Fig. 2) and browse to the location where your results files are (Fig. 3). This is typically a subfolder where your part file is located. You should see your Plastics results files, assuming you’ve already run at least one analysis (Fig. 4). Right click on the result file, and select “copy”. Then, right click on the result folder itself and select “paste”. Make sure to select “paste” and not “paste without results”, as the latter will not copy over any mesh settings. Repeat this copy/paste as many times as you have configurations i.e. if you have 4 configurations, you can right-click the folder and select “paste” 3 more times.
[Figure 2. SOLIDWORKS Plastics Model Manager.]
[Figure 3. Browsing to your result files.]
[Figure 4. Your result files.]
Step #4: Rename the result files.
This is another key step. You need to make sure that the result names you copy/pasted in step #3 have the EXACT same name as the SOLIDWORKS configuration you want to associate it to. You can right-click each result file and select “rename” to do this.
Conclusion: It’s not being lazy, it’s being efficient.
That’s it! Now you can switch between SOLIDWORKS configurations and each of them will have its own Plastics analysis setup attached to it. From there, you can modify each setup to have a different mesh, injection location, injection material, injection pressure, etc.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of duplicating studies in SOLIDWORKS Plastics, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it. Remember, leverage SOLIDWORKS Plastics’ Configuration Integration and the Model Manager to get your work done quicker and smarter. Feel free to leave your comments below and let me know if this workflow helps!