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# Design Optimization of a Knob

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## Design Optimization of a Knob

You minimize the mass of a knob by defining the model dimensions as the variables and factor of safety as
the constraint. Minimizing the mass reduces the cost of the part by reducing material while meeting your
validation constraints.
You must activate SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional and above to complete this tutorial.
In this tutorial, you:
z

z
z

## Define model dimensions as the variables.

Define a sensor for the minimum factor of safety value and use it as the constraint.

## A closer look at tutorial studies

2. Make sure the Ready study:
a. Applies a torque to the handle.
b. Prevents the inner yellow cylindrical face from twisting.
c. Prevents the knob from moving along the axial direction.
The static study models the instant before the knob rotates or moves vertically on a screw thread.

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file:///C:/Users/yme25/AppData/Local/Temp/~hhE0B.htm

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## Viewing the Results of the Ready Study

The sample part includes a Ready study for you to run. It is good practice to run the initial studies to get an
estimate of the results and to verify that no build errors exist.
1. Click the Ready study, then Run

(Simulation CommandManager).

folder.

## 3. Double-click Stress1 (-vonMises-) to display the vonMises stress plot.

The units are N/mm^2 (MPa).

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file:///C:/Users/yme25/AppData/Local/Temp/~hhE0B.htm

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## Defining Rib Thickness as a Parameter

The thicker the rib, the more resistant the knob is to torsional loading. However, thicker ribs increase the
mass of the model. You define the rib thickness as a parameter and use it as a variable to find the optimal
dimension.
1. On the Optimize study tab, in the Variables section, from the Click here to add Variables list, select
2. On a blank line in the Parameters table, type Rib_Thickness in the Name column.
3. For Category, select Model dimensions.
4. In the graphics window, select the dimension for the thickness of the rib as shown.

## 5. In the Parameters dialog box, click OK.

6. If required, in the Dimension PropertyManager, click

You have defined the rib thickness as a parameter. A variable named Rib_Thickness is added to the
Design Study.

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## Defining Model Dimensions as Variables

You define four model dimensions as variables. You vary them within a certain range to minimize the mass of
the knob.
1. On the Optimize study tab, in the Variables section, for Rib_Thickness, select Range. For Min, type
1mm and for Max, type 3mm.
The predefined parameter represents the depth of the cut defined by the Extrude3
can save mass by increasing the depth of the cut.

feature. You

3. For Cut_Depth, select Range. For Min, type 1mm and for Max, type 10mm.
The parameter represents the height of the cylinder defined by the Boss-Extrude1

feature.

5. For Cyl_Ht, select Range. For Min, type 11mm and for Max, type 15mm.
The parameter represents a through hole along the axis of the knob defined by the Cut-Extrude3
feature.
7. For Cut_Diameter, select Range. For Min, type 2mm and for Max, type 9mm.
Variables
Rib_Thickness Range

Min

1mm

Max

3mm

Cut_Depth

Range

Min

1mm

Max

10mm

Cyl_Ht

Range

Min

11mm

Max

15mm

Cut_Diameter

Range

Min

2mm

Max

9mm

## Defining Constraints and Goals

You need to define sensors to use them as constraints and goals. The tutorial defines two sensors, one for
the factor of safety and the other for the mass. You define the factor of safety as the constraint and the mass
as the goal to minimize.
1. On the Variable View tab, in Constraints, select FOS (factor of safety).
The variable uses the tracked value from the factor of safety sensor (FOS) in the FeatureManager
design tree.
2. For FOS, for study, select Ready.
The Design Study updates the sensor value at each iteration by running the Ready study.
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the condition,
select Is greater than and for Min, type 2.
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You require
the and
optimal knob design to carry at least two times its operational load.
Defining
Constraints
the
a Knob
Parameter
Study
Goals

file:///C:/Users/yme25/AppData/Local/Temp/~hhE0B.htm

Opening
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## 4. In Goals, select Mass1 from the list of sensors.

5. For Mass1, select Minimize.
You want to reduce the mass of the knob as much as possible, without violating the constraint on the
FOS.
Constraints
FOS

## Is greater than Min 2 Ready

Goals
Mass1 Minimize
6. Select Optimization and click Run.
The program selects the variables using a Design of Experiments method, invokes the Simulation study
at each iteration, and finds the optimal solution. See SOLIDWORKS Simulation Help: Properties for the
Optimization Design Study for a description of the method.

## Running the Optimization Design Study

You run the Design Study to minimize the mass and find the optimal model dimensions that satisfy the
constraint.
1. On the Results View tab, select Iteration1.
Iterations that do not satisfy the constraints are highlighted in red. Here, FOS < 2.
Parameters

Iteration 1

Rib_Thickness 3 mm
Cut_Depth

10 mm

Cyl_Ht

13 mm

Cut_Diameter 5.5 mm
FOS

1.889325

Mass1

34.7771

## 2. Select the Optimal column highlighted in green.

The study updates the body to correspond to the optimal variables in the graphics window.

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Optimization
the
Ribthe
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Thickness
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Defining Constraints and
the
Parameter
KnobStudy
Goals

file:///C:/Users/yme25/AppData/Local/Temp/~hhE0B.htm

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## 3. Review the Optimal column.

Parameters

Optimal

Rib_Thickness 2 mm
Cut_Depth

5.5 mm

Cyl_Ht

11 mm

Cut_Diameter 9 mm
FOS

2.567

Mass1

38.471 g

The initial mass of the knob was 49.8092 g. The optimal mass of the knob is now 38.471 g, a reduction
of 23%.
Congratulations! You have completed this tutorial.
Back to the tutorial overview page.

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Dimensions
Variables
Design
Defining
Viewing
Opening
Optimization
the
Ribas
the
Results
Thickness
Partof
ofa
Defining Constraints and
the
Parameter
KnobStudy
Goals

file:///C:/Users/yme25/AppData/Local/Temp/~hhE0B.htm

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Thickness
Model
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Opening
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Part
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Dimensions
the