Mike Deffenbaugh

Not Up To Date

This SolidWorks page was last updated before I graduated and started my current job. I have a gained a lot of experience since then but I haven't written about it yet. You can view my resume to get a quick summary of what I've done at my current job.


Solidworks is a pretty impressive program when it comes to engineering analysis. I had learned how to do frequency analysis of a beam and testing of a specific load on a beam in my Vibrations Lab course at Penn State. However you can do much more than testing beams such as modeling the flow of a fluid through a pipe or perfoming heat transfer analysis of a heat sink. You can find tutorials in Solidworks or on the internet that will explain how to do these types of analyses.

Heat Transfer Analysis of a Heatsink

A rectangle on the bottom surface is set to generate a certain amount of Watts and the surfaces of the cooling fins are set to a certain convection coefficient with room temperature air. After the simulation runs you can see the distribution of temperature across the model.

Automation of Modeling and Simulation

SolidWorks has an API (Application Programming Interface) that allows you to write C# code to automate the creation and testing of SolidWorks models. I have started working on learning about it and look forward to trying to apply optimization algorithms to automate SolidWorks design. In this video my program using creates several heat sinks and then performs the testing and exports the results as a CSV file that can be read by Microsoft Excel.

Frequency Analysis of a Beam

The far end of the beam which appears blue in color is set as a fixed unmovable surface. A mesh is then created for the beam and the Finite Element Analysis is used to find the natural frequencies and mode shapes for each frequency. Here is a video of the results of the 5 strongest natural frequencies. The colors on the beam represent the displacement of that section of the beam. The animation is exaggerated to make the displacement more obvious.

Fluid Flow through a Ball Valve

This was the result of following the SolidWorks tutorial on FlowExpress. It simulates the flow of water through a ball valve. The ball valve is only slightly open. The intake is on the left side and the water flows out the right side. The color of the flow lines represents the speed of the flow.