The Cosmos/Works structural analysis package is integrated into the SolidWorks 97Plus solid modeling program, and can help engineers determine the performance of a structure subjected to static, thermal, or buckling loads; or determine its natural frequencies.
Cosmos/Works exists as an extra menu item in SolidWorks. The menu entries are listed in the hierarchical order of a typical FE analysis, but you can deviate from that order using SolidWorks' Feature Manager.
Each analysis type is defined as a study with property definition specific to the type of analysis. New in this version, the model definition can be done in any coordinate system that can exist as global or local, in any desired direction. Cosmos/Works cannot be used with an assembly model since you can only specify one material for the whole assembly.
Once the study case is specified, you select the material properties from a list of 50 different materials. Since you cannot modify or add new entries to the existing list, SRAC has included access to the Infodex material database, which can give you access to the properties of more than 18,000 materials.
Cosmos/Works has an improved automatic mesh generation that will complete the meshing of the model, with minimum user input, using tetrahedral elements. Cosmos/Works will calculate the element size for any level of mesh density, but the element size can be overwritten by the user. Unfortunately, the mesh density is defined globally, so for forms of stress concentration where you would typically make the elements smaller, Cosmos/-Works cannot provide local mesh control. Your only recourse is to fine mesh the whole model and pay the penalty of longer solution times.
The other option that is available with SRAC's FFE solver is to switch to high-quality elements that include mid-side nodes. The results are more reliable, and a relatively coarser mesh can be tolerated. For thin plates, shells are a better option also available in Cosmos/Works. Cosmos/Works will detect the mid-plane of the plates and formulate the shell model as a triangular-element mesh.
The current version of the shell mesh generator failed to maintain features like circular openings, whose edge element definition wasn't even close to a circle. One of the other disadvantages of the automatic mesher is in its inability to specify loads such as pressure or forces on individual nodes or element entities. The models that can be analyzed in Cosmos/Works must be meshed with solid and shell type elements only.
A menu of plots
A straightforward and intuitive menu structure creates plots for displacement, stress, and strain results. The results can also be listed, but the inability to capture them with the clipboard, and not knowing node and element location, renders the listing useless.
The dynamic analysis capabilities of Cosmos/Works 3.0 are limited in extracting the first 20 nodes of a structure whose displacement plots can be viewed and animated. The thermal capabilities include both steady-state and transient analyses. From within the same model you can create different studies for each type of analysis. Although the buckling capabilities are part of the basic package, Cosmos/Works failed to performed the analysis and the program ended unexpectedly.
The advantage of using Cosmos/-Works with SolidWorks is in the time savings that can be realized by performing the analysis right where you design the part. Cosmos/Works is by no means a replacement for a full fledged FEA program, but it can give meaningful results to a designer or an engineer inexperienced in FEA.
COSMOS/Works 3.0 Basic
Cosmos/Works 3.0 is an FEA package integrated into SolidWorks' 97Plus which allows the user to get a quick answer about the structural integrity of a model. Minimum hardware: Pentium PC with Windows 95 or NT, 32 Mbytes RAM and 30 Mbytes disk space for installation, plus 100 Mbytes working space.
List Price: $4,995 (bought with SolidWorks)
Structural Research & Analysis Corp. (SRAC), 12121 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025; Tel: (800) 469-7287; www.cosmosm.com Product Code 4199
A similar product: DesignWorks/Structure--CADSI, 2651 Crosspark Rd., Coralville, IA 52241; Tel: (319) 626-6700; www.cadsi.com Product Code 4200.
For more information on the products above call 1-800-828-6344 x011 and enter the product code.