Importance of Simulation Testing by Kevin Q.

by Kevin Quach

Build it strong, build it tough.

Nintendo is no stranger to success, and has sold millions of its flagship Wii, DS Lite, and 3DS systems.  Perhaps one of the largest reasons why consumers buy its systems is because of how dependable the hardware is.  These systems have to be made strong enough to withstand different extremes of temperatures, shipping, as well as handling of consumers. Known to be extremely stringent with its QA testing, Nintendo puts its products through several different types of simulation tests, often referred to by industry experts as “mechanical hell.”

Nintendo’s DS game system goes through a series of simulation stress tests. (

Cheaper, more effective simulation testing

It’s expensive to send your product through “mechanical hell.” These gigantic stress test/simulation machines can be extremely costly and further more may only be used to test one type of stress. Companies may spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in machines just to simulate all the different types of stress their products endure. Fortunately now there is a cheaper, faster and more efficient method to achieve the same results without the oppressive upfront capital investments.

Virtual stress testing is becoming more desired by the mechanical and engineering world. Many of the stress tests done can all be done virtually without having to use costly machines or unnecessarily destroying product over and over.  Companies that have SolidWorks Simulation have the ability to save time and money by running critical stress tests such as fatigue, vibration, and drop test (sudden impact) just to name a few.

In order for these tests to be successful, engineers also require the freedom to be able to edit and make changes to products to optimize designs. By integrating SolidWorks directly with the Simulation Add-On, multiple engineers can have access to all different revisions at a time. These “fast feedback” tests allow engineers to tweak and test updated designs in the virtual world.  Companies that use SolidWorks Simulation can have their 2nd and 3rd product iterations in virtual stress testing before other companies can even warm up their injection molders.

SolidWorks Simulation

A fatigue test done in SolidWorks Simulation can significantly reduce the need for real world testing.

Simulation success

Nintendo isn’t the first company to have huge success with a quality product. Companies like Nokia are known for the extremely durable cell phones. Asides from just Simulating durability tests, these companies also put their products through temperature extremes. Designers are able to run thermal tests with SolidWorks Simulation to check heat transfer as well as air flow through their designs.

The power of Simulation testing

Simulation isn’t simply a matter of testing the breaking points of your products. It’s also about optimizing and improving your designs.  Besides, having a solid product that’s gone through proper testing only helps with the bottom line and results in happy customers. Just ask Nintendo.

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