This textbook is intended to cover the fundamentals of the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) of mechanical components and structures using the SolidWorks Simulation®. It is written primary for the engineering students, engineers, technologist and practitioners who have little or no work experience with SolidWorks Simulation. It is assumed that the readers are familiar with the fundamentals of the strength of materials as offered in an introductory level course in a typical undergraduate engineering program.  However, the basic theories and formulas have been included in this text as well. This textbook can be adopted for an introductory level course in Finite Element Analysis offered to students in mechanical and civil engineering and engineering technology programs. The Direct Stiffness Method is used to develop the bar, truss, beam and frame elements. Both analytical and simulation solutions are presented through examples and tutorials to ensure that readers understand the fundamentals of FEA and the simulation software.

Chapter 1 of this textbook deals mostly with the fundamentals of the mechanical loading, 3-Dimensional and 2-Dimensional stress states,  four failure theories used in the SolidWorks Simulation,  basics of matrix algebra and matrix manipulation with MATLABl®.

Chapter 2 of this textbook presents a general overview of SolidWorks Simulation and addresses the main tools and options required in a typical FEA study. Types of analysis available in SolidWorks Simulation and four commercially available SolidWorks Simulation packages will be introduced.

Chapter 3 of this textbook introduces several kinds of elements available in SolidWorks Simulation. The Solid Element which is used in SolidWorks Simulation to model bulky parts will be discussed in detail. The concepts of the Element Size, Aspect Ratio, and Jacobian will be discussed. Several meshing techniques available in SolidWorks Simulation such as Mesh Control, h-Adaptive, p-Adaptive, Standard Mesh with Automatic transition, and Curvature based mesh will be presented as well.

Chapter 4 of this textbook presents the Direct Stiffness Method and Truss structure analysis. The stiffness matrices will be developed for the bar and truss elements. The pre-processing, processing and post-processing tools available in SolidWorks Simulation for 1D bar element, 2D truss, and 3D truss FEA simulation will be introduced.

Chapter 5 of this textbook deals mostly with beam and frame analysis with SolidWorks Simulation. The stiffness matrix for a straight beam element will be developed and the Direct Stiffness Method will be used to analyze both statically determinate and indeterminate beams loaded with concentrated and distributed loads. The pre-processing, meshing and post-processing phases of a typical beam FEA with SolidWorks Simulation will be presented.

Chapter 6 of this textbook presents the application of 2D simplified and 3D shell elements available in SolidWorks Simulation. In particular, the application of 3D shell elements for analysis of thin parts such as pressure vessels and sheet metal parts will be discussed.

Chapter 7 of this textbook deals with assembly analysis using the contact sets. Several types of contact sets will be introduced and their application will be explored. Advanced external forces will be presented. Compatible and incompatible meshing techniques will be introduced.

Chapter 8 of this textbook introduces several types of connectors available in SolidWorks Simulation and their application. It includes the Bolt, Weld, Pin, Bearing, Spring, Elastic, Link, and Rigid connectors. Both weld and bolt connectors will be discussed in detail and several examples and tutorials will be presented. 

Chapter 9 of this textbook introduces the Frequency Analysis tools provided in SolidWorks Simulation Professional to identify the natural frequencies and related mode shapes of parts and assemblies.