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Simulation Workflow: Buckling Analysis in Autodesk Fusion 360

Arron Magnin
August 10, 2017

If your designs have members in compression, buckling is an important failure criterion to test for. Even if a static stress study determines that your models won’t come close to yielding, they could fail due to this phenomenon. This is because buckling failure is NOT necessarily a function of stress, but one of instability. The good news is that if you’ve already set up a static stress study you can reuse it!

All you need to do is clone the study:

Screen shot of studies menu highlighting the "Clone Study" control.

Then change the study type to buckling (from settings):

As shown in the gif above, this method works in other cases too, but boundary conditions that don’t apply will be removed after a blaring warning.

In the following QUICK TIP, I’ll show you how easy it is to predict buckling potential, before showing you how to interpret the results (and how you can improve those further). Watch it below:

So, there you have it…the next time you’re working with a model that’s “slender” and in compression, you have a quick and easy way to test for buckling failure. And while multiple modes can be solved for, the first mode is of most interest since this will be the lowest buckling load factor/sustainable load.

It’s important to note that buckling can happen post-yield as well, but Fusion 360 will solve these with the fully elastic presumption. This assumes that the material remains in the linear portion of the stress strain curve.

Anyway, I hope this info helps! Thanks for reading/watching!


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Arron Magnin

About the Author: Aaron attended the University of Nevada, Reno, where he obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After a number of years in industry, he found his way into application engineering where he focused on simulation products, technical presentations, training, and technical support. He is currently a technical marketing manager at Autodesk and creates marketing content related to Fusion 360.