How to Read a Deflection Scale in SolidWorks

By Iam Jaebi

SolidWorks is a computer-aided design tool used in engineering three-dimensional structures. SolidWorks allows engineers and students to create complex machinery like gears or heavy-load structures like bridges in a virtual environment and with a variety of materials. A key feature of SolidWorks allows you to perform strength tests on virtual objects. When a deflection test is performed, the surface of the object is displayed as a gradient of colors, with each hue representing a specific degree of deflection according to an on-screen scale labeled "URES." This is called a static displacement plot.

Step 1

Locate "Coordinate Axis" in the lower left-hand corner of the screen and "URES Scale" on the right side of the screen. The axis indicates the direction of deflection on the object, while the scale indicates the degree of deflection.

Step 2

Read the number next to a "URES Scale" color to determine the force it represents. Match this color to the hue of an object section. The number representing the color is the acting force on the object. For example, if blue on the scale is "3.31e-05," then this is the unit of deflection on the object.

Step 3

Convert the "e" notation into standard notation, or "times ten to the power of (x10^)." For example, "3.31e-05" becomes "3.3x10^-5". Append the unit of measurement next to "URES," such as "3.3x10^5 millimeters."