SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News – October 2020

Hello to all,

Welcome to the new edition of the SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News!  This monthly news blog is co-authored by members of the SOLIDWORKS Technical Support teams worldwide.

Creating and updating Material, Mass & Density custom properties using Task Scheduler 

By Ankit Gupta

The SOLIDWORKS Task Scheduler is a very useful and powerful tool.  Task Scheduler lets you set up tasks to perform at a future time. One of the many useful tasks that can be run with the Task Scheduler is ‘Update Custom Properties’. This function allows you to create new or modify existing custom properties for individual files, batches of files, or entire folders.

But do you know you can create custom property which is calculated based on some expression (e.g. for mass text expression is “SW-Mass@<document name>”) for individual files, batches of files, or entire folders?

This can be achieve by deleting the FILE NAME and replace it with an asterisk (*)

e.g Use “SW-Material@*.SLDPRT”, “SW-Mass@*.SLDPRT”  instead of “SW-Material@Part_Name.SLDPRT” & “SW-Mass@Part_Name.SLDPRT”

Please refer to this video for visual demonstration:

Best Practice while working on Task scheduler to create a custom property which is calculated based on some expression are:

  1. Run the tasks on part, assembly, and drawing files separately and use their respective suffixes, @*.SLDASM or @*.SLDDRW.
  2. If folder contains multiple file formats, use the ‘Add File’ option, sort the folder so as to only select the .SLDPRT files, and use Ctrl + select or Shift + select to select all of the part files.

License Requirements:

You must have a SOLIDWORKS Professional, SOLIDWORKS Premium, or SOLIDWORKS Office license to perform all Task Scheduler tasks.

Using SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation to analyze centrifugal pumps

By Maher Lagha

In my opinion, one of the most interesting simulation we can do with SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation is the analysis of centrifugal pumps. The centrifugal pump uses a rotating impeller (1) to increase the pressure of the fluid to move the fluid through a piping system. The fluid enters via the pump inlet (4) parallel to the rotation axis (2) and is accelerated by the impeller, flowing radially outward into the volute chamber, from where it exits into the piping system downstream (5).

The region in the vicinity of the impeller is solved using a rotating frame of reference and the rest of the computational domain is solved in stationary frame of reference. This region where the rotating frame of reference is applied is called the Rotating Region (RR).

The image below shows a typical rotating region (in transparent yellow) around the impeller (in red color):

The Rotating Region needs to be drawn in SOLIDWORKS. It captures the rotation of the impeller and the fluid in close proximity to it. In a sketch, you can draw its outline and then use a revolve operation. Please follow these guidelines:

    • It should envelope (and not just touching) the impeller and a small amount of fluid.
    • It is axisymmetric and concentric with the impeller (same axes).

Ideally, the RR is half way between the impeller and the casing :

Meshing:

Make sure to use a Local Mesh applied to the RR to refine the mesh. Such a mesh will better capture the flow in the vicinity of the impeller and give accurate estimation of the torque value, used in the pump’s efficiency calculation. Make sure that the values are independent of the mesh by running a mesh convergence study. If between two different meshes, the change in value is below a certain threshold, then the value can be considered as independent of the mesh, otherwise, the mesh needs further refinement. Below are some examples of successive mesh refinement:

Simulation

First, for the boundary conditions, we recommend using Mass Flow rate at the inlet and apply environment pressure at the outlet. The pressure gradient between the inlet and the outlet will be computed by the solver. Then, define few goals to measure the pump efficiency, defined as:

=(_−_)∙/(Ω∙T)

Where:

  • P_inlet is the static pressure surface goal at the pump’s inlet (Pa),
  • P_outlet is the bulk-average static pressure surface goal at the impeller’s outlet (Pa),
  • Q is the volume flow rate (m^3/s),
  • Ω is the impeller rotation angular velocity (rad/s), and
  • T is the impeller torque (N·m).

These quantities can be defined as surface goals. The efficiency has no dimension and it is between 0 and 1. For the solver, we recommend using the Sliding mesh (instead of the averaging). The pump performance curve or efficiency curve is generated for a fixed angular velocity by changing the mass flow at the inlet. We recommend using mass flow or volume flow rate at the inlet, and keep the environment pressure at the outlet. The solver will compute the pressure head. A typical performance curve for a pump is shown in the figure below. The three curves shown are the dimensionless efficiency, the head in feet, and mechanical power, in horsepower.

The point where the efficiency achieves its maximum value is referred to as the best-efficiency point, BEP.  The pump performance curve can be computed using a parametric study “What If Analysis”. We recommend the following:

  1. Specify a flow rate range in the vicinity of the BEP and compute the efficiency for each value.
  2. Increase gradually the values of Q within that range. Use the “Use Previous Results” for each value.
  3. Keep in mind that a single mesh and simulation settings might not be suitable for all the values of Q.

The simulation can be stopped when the efficiency goal has converged, as shown below.

Conclusion

The simulation of a centrifugal pump is a complex analysis which requires time and attentiveness, however, it does not have to be hard if you follow the recommendations stated in this blog.

In SOLIDWORKS Manage, how can I send a notification to a list of users during a process?

By Kevin Crawford

In SOLIDWORKS Manage you have the ability in a process to notify users as it moves through the workflow.  There may be a process where you need to generate a list of users to be notified during the process.  For example, you have an Engineering Change process and you need to create a distribution list of who should get notified.  If this list of users changes, you want the user working on the process to be able to pick the users to be notified.

Here is how you would set this up:

  1. Ensure the Resources are configured correctly in Manage. In the Administration tool, go to Structures > Resources and edit the resources object.

2. On the User Mapping tab, ensure the ‘System User Field’ for ‘Email’ is mapped to the ‘HR Field’ for ‘Email’. Then Save and Close.

3. In your process, create an Object type field for the list of users that will be added.

4. Enable the option “Allow Multiple Items”

5. Choose the appropriate resources object

6. Choose the fields to display but only select “Email” for the ‘Include Value’ and add a ‘semi-colon’ after the value to separate the email addresses.

7. Now in your process. Add a notification on the Workflow Properties page at the appropriate stage.  In the ‘Stage Notifications’ dialog on the ‘Email/SMS’ tab, under ‘Other Address’, insert the field that you created.

8. Now when you start the process, you can select the users and add the email addresses to the field

9. An email will get delivered when the process moves through the appropriate stage.

Note: After changing the setting in step #2 to map the Email address in the Resources object and you do not see the email address listed when you select the Distribution List, you will need to edit the users and re-save so that the email is pushed to the field.

You can now setup a Distribution List in your process that can be edited during the process and have notifications sent to the users selected.

How to master searching for different file types in SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020

By Tor Iveroth

One of the really cool improvements in SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020 is a complete overhaul of the underlying search engine. In an effort to make searching more accessible and “Google-like”, the search fields now support AND, OR and NOT type searching. You can also search for words in any order and still find files matching the criteria.

With the updates to the search logic in 2020, there have been some changes to how search previously behaved for the file name field in older SOLIDWORKS PDM versions.

In SOLIDWORKS PDM 2019 and older versions, when you search for words with a space in the ‘name’ field the search will treat a space as an ‘OR’ separator.

So searching for: pdf docx

Would run a search for any file name matching: pdf OR docx

However, when you use a space character in other fields, such as ‘description’ the search will look for the exact string.

This makes the search behavior very inconsistent depending on which field you use to perform the search.

In order to make searches work consistently across any type of fields, with SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020 a space is no longer treated as an ‘OR’ search in the file name field.

When you use a space between words in the search string, the search will look for any files having those words in any order within the same file name. This is a great improvement compared to 2019 and older where a space would often require same exact order of the words.

Searching on a single word returns all files matching that word in the file name. For example:

  • Searching for ‘backup’ lists all files having ‘backup’ in the name, for example “bs108 backup sldprt”.
  • Searching for “115” lists all files having “115” in name, for example “bs115sldprt”.

Using a space character between the words will search for both words within the same name, in any order.

  • Searching on ‘backup 115’ or ‘115 backup’ lists only those files with both values in the name, for example “stu115 backupsldprt”.

If you want to carry out an ‘OR’ type search in SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020 to find files matching either word, you can separate the words with a capital ‘OR’:

  • backup OR 115

Alternatively, if you have a list of space-separated words or file names to search for, you can instead use the ‘OR:’ prefix.  Any words that are separated with space after the ‘OR:’ will be treated as ‘OR’ statements.

  • OR:backup 115

If you want a space character to be part of the same string and not be treated as an ‘OR’ separator, enclose the string with double quote characters. I.e. to search for any files matching ‘socket’ or ‘head screw’, use:

  • socket OR “head screw”
  • OR:socket “head screw”

The benefit of this consolidated handling also means that searches work the same across any type of field; filename, variable, quick search etc.

In summary, to search for different file types such as all ‘pdf’ and ‘docx’ files, you can use any of the following search terms in SOLIDWORKS PDM 2020:

  • pdf OR docx
  • *.pdf OR *.docx
  • OR:pdf docx
  • OR:*.pdf *.docx

Additional information on the ‘OR’ syntax is also found in the user help chapter ‘Using AND, OR, and NOT Operators in Search’ and in Knowledge Base Solution S-077921.

Noteworthy Solutions from the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base

 

icon - SW After updating to Microsoft® 365®, why might the SOLIDWORKS® application freeze on startup and fail to start?
This problem happens on a system running Microsoft® 365®, with Office updates from August 31 2020 (Version 2008 -Build 13127.20296) and consecutive Office updates, and with the SOLIDWORKS® CAM Add-in enabled.To get more information, see Solution Id: S-078314

icon - SW When exiting the SOLIDWORKS® software, why do I see the error: ‘The operating system is not presently configured to run this application.’?
This problem happens on a system running Microsoft® 365®, with Office updates from August 31 2020 (Version 2008 -Build 13127.20296) and consecutive Office updates, and with the SOLIDWORKS® CAM Add-in enabled.. To know more, please visit the solution Id: S-078315

Icon - EPDM Is there a general Hotfix for SOLIDWORKS® PDM 2019 SP5 (SPR#1161753)
A general hotfix is available for an important problem in the SOLIDWORKS® PDM 2019 SP5 software. In order to have more details about the hotfix, please visit the solution id: S-078385

Is there a SolidPractice available on the topic of “Solver Selection” for SOLIDWORKS® Simulation?
The document attached to solution id: S-078328 contains the solidpractice document for managing large files.

That’s it for this month. Thanks for reading this edition of SOLIDWORKS Support News.

 

Originally posted in the SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

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