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Learn how to perform stress analysis to determine how loads lead to deformation and failure. This will help you understand if and how a part will fail.


Get an overview of the types of simulations available in Fusion 360, and the things you need to consider.

  • Simulation types

  • Simulation considerations

How to's

Select the right simulation type, learn some tips and best practices for setting things up, and be able to start an analysis from scratch.

  • Start an analysis

  • Setup the simulation

  • Solve the study

  • Visualize results

Hands-on Exercises

Follow these step-by-step exercises to put your skills into practice, and establish the core skills you need to setup and solve simulations on your own.

  • Accessing the simulation workspace

  • Set up and solve the simulation study

  • Make changes to the design

Accessing the Simulation Workspace




Learn how to access the Simulation workspace from an existing design.

  1. Open the design model.
  2. Access the Simulation workspace from an existing design.


Step 1: Open the Data Panel

Let's start by locating the sample file that we will use for this tutorial.

  1. Click on the icon in the upper left to open the Data Panel.
  2. The Data Panel will slide open.

Step 2: Open the Design

  1. In the Samples section of your Data Panel, browse to: Basic Training > 11 – Simulation > CPU Cooler.
  2. Navigate to this design and either double-click or right-click and select Open.
  3. (Optional) When the design has opened in your modeling window, click on the icon to close the Data Panel.

Step 3: Save the Model

With the CPU Cooler design open, do the following:

  1. If the model is "Read Only" (indicated in the title bar), click File > Save As.
    Note: Even if a model is not "Read Only," you may wish to use the Save As command to preserve the original version of the model. Though a history of revisions is maintained, and you can revert to the original configuration, you might want to keep your changes confined to a new and separate version of the model.
  2. Optionally, create a new Project to store your training models. Click New Project to do so, specify the project name, and press Enter. After a short pause, the new project becomes the active project, and a blank file list appears on the right side of the Save dialog.
  3. Optionally, create a new folder within the project to store your training models. Click New Folder to do so, specify a folder name, and press Enter. Double-click the new folder to make it the current file saving location.
  4. Click Save.

Step 4: Let's go to the Simulation Workspace

  1. Click on the workspace switcher in the top left corner of the window.
  2. Select the Simulation workspace from the drop-down list.

Note: You will notice that the toolbar will change to include commands specific to simulations.

Wrap Up

In this lesson, you accomplished:

  • Opening the data file.
  • Save the file.
  • Switching to the Simulation workspace. 

Set up and Solve the Simulation Study




Learn to set up a thermal simulation - apply thermal loads, and solve the simulation study.

  1. Create a new simulation study.
  2. Apply thermal loads to the design.
  3. Solve the simulation study.


Step 1: Create New Thermal Simulation Study

1. In the Simulation toolbar, click New Simulation Study. Notice that this is the only available command at this point - once you create a new study, other commands are enabled.

2. In the Studies dialog box, select Thermal.

3. Click OK.

Step 2: Apply Internal Heat

Notice that a new browser node was created for the thermal simulation study. It contains individual nodes for materials, loads, contacts, meshes, and results. Anyway, let's apply the internal heat.

  1. Use the browser to select the body of the General CPU part.

2. In the Load drop-down menu, select Internal Heat

3. Set Internal Heat Value to 39 W

4. Click OK.

Step 3: Apply Convection to the Circuit Board


Now, we will apply convection to all faces of the circuit board:

1. In the Load drop-down menu, select Convection.  

2. Click Select all faces, and click on the circuit board to select its faces.

3. Set Convection Value to 30 W/m2C and Temperature Value to 30 C. Convection is a heat transfer between a solid and a moving fluid. Its value depends mainly on the used material. You can look up for the values for particular cases on the internet or mechanical literature, or you need to use mathematical formulas to calculate the value. We have done this for this exercise, so that's why we know what value to insert.

4. Click OK.

Step 4: Apply Convection to the Convection Cooler

And finally, let's apply convection to the convection cooler only:

1. In the browser, let's suppress the visibility of the Circuit Board and CPU Cooler parts to be able to select the Cooler part more easily.

2. In the Load drop-down menu, select Convection.


3. Click Select all faces, and click on the Cooler to select its faces.


4. We need to remove the convection load from the bottom face - use the Orbit tool to orbit the model.

5. Unselect Select all faces, and click the bottom face. Notice that now the accurate number of selected faces should be 245.  

6. Set Convection Value to 30 W/m2C and Temperature Value to 30 C.

7. In the browser, un-suppress the visibility of the Circuit Board and CPU Cooler parts.

8. Click OK.

Step 5: Solve the Analysis


Now we are ready to solve our simulation. Meshes and automatic contacts will be created during the solve process.

1. Click Solve from the toolbar.  

2. The Solve dialog box opens to select the solve options. You can either solve locally (but you can only solve one study at a time), or on cloud where you can solve multiple studies at a time. Solve on cloud costs 5 cloud credit per each solve. So, let’s select On Cloud option.

3. Click Solve 1 Study.

During the upload and solve process you can see the status in the Job Status dialog box. The Cancel button is available while it is possible to cancel the solve progress. If you cancel a cloud solve, you are not charged any credits. In our case, however, we want the solve to finish so you can close the dialog box. It as automatically closed after the cloud solve is finished.

Wrap Up

In this lesson, you accomplished:

  1. Create a new simulation study.
  2. Apply thermal loads to the design.
  3. Solve the simulation study.

Make Changes to the Design




Learn to interpret simulation results, and how an adjustment to the design leads to the desired requirements.

  1. Interpret simulation results.
  2. Switching between workspaces.
  3. Change the design to obtain needed simulation results.

About the Results View

In the previous exercise we finished with successfully performed simulation. Once a simulation is solved, the results are automatically displayed. For thermal simulation, Temperature results are displayed, by default.

We wanted to achieve the highest temperature value of 50 degrees of Celsius. But we can see that the results are not satisfactory because the highest temperature exceeds that value. Therefore we will make changes to the model so it can withstand higher temperatures. We will adjust the height of the cooler so the cooling area is larger and therefore more efficient.

Step 1: Open the Model Workspace

  1. Click on the workspace switcher in the top left corner of the window.
  2. Select the Model workspace from the drop-down list.


Step 2: Modify a Parameter of the Part

  1. In the Modify drop-down list, click Change Parameters.

2. In the Parameters dialog box, change the height of the CPU Cooler to 15 mm.

3. Click OK.  

Step 3: Return to the Simulation workspace

  1. Click on the workspace switcher in the top left corner of the window.
  2. Select the Simulation workspace from the drop-down list.

Step 4: Solve the simulation

Note that the Mesh and Results browser nodes are highlighted yellow with a warning image indicating that inputs have changed and results are out-of-date.

In order to get the accurate results for the actual study settings, let's solve again:

1. Click Solve from the toolbar.

2. Let’s solve on cloud again, so if not already selected, click On Cloud.

3. The results are re-calculated. So now we can see that the highest temperate is below 50 degrees of Celsius which was achieved by changing the original design.  

Wrap Up

In this exercise, you accomplished:

  1. Interpreting the simulation results.
  2. Changing the design to obtain needed simulation results.