Making the most of Simplify in the Fusion 360 Simulation Workspace – Part 1

by Michael Smell24 October 2017

In the September update of Fusion 360, the simulation team added a new workflow that allows you to simplify and create variations of your models for analyses. Here, we’ll take a closer look at why this new functionality is important, and we’ll detail the workflows.

First off, let’s define the concept of simplifying a model for simulation. Depending on your design and the types of simulations you’re looking to tackle, this can have a number of meanings to different people. The two most common examples are:

1.  In the most basic case, simplifying a design can mean removing unnecessary parts. Think of a scenario where you are only looking to test a single component or few components of a larger assembly.

2.  Another common situation is removing unnecessary details such as small fillets or chamfers, part numbers or threads.

Let’s look at how the new Simplify workflow can help, starting with removing unnecessary parts. This is probably the most notable change brought to simulation in Fusion 360 with the September release. With the new environment, this workflow has changed to be more aligned with what you’re familiar with in the Modeling workspace. Now you can use either the delete command or remove command to “suppress” parts, where these actions will be captured in the timeline. To mimic the legacy “suppress all except selected” command behavior, users should now take advantage of the invert selection with body or component priority turned on. Check out this QUICK TIP to see these steps in action:


Next, let’s see how to remove unnecessary detail using the Simplify workspace. The unnecessary detail, in the form of cosmetic details such as fillets, chamfers, part numbers, threads, and other details, can contribute to inefficient simulations due to increased element counts. Additionally, this can lead to accuracy issues due to poor mesh quality. With the Simplify workspace, you’ll be able to use standard Fusion 360 modeling commands to simplify the model. Fusion 360 Ultimate users will get an additional set of optimized tools for model simplification. Check out this QUICK TIP to see these steps in action:


As a reminder to everyone, changes made to the Simulation models using Simplify are associative with both the Fusion 360 design model and the Simulation study setup. Changes that occur in the Model workspace will be passed down to the Simulation models you have created. Simulation studies will remain intact, as long as features are maintained. This means that if a feature that carries a load or constraint is deleted, that load or constraint will be flagged in red as invalid. If features are just modified, the simulation models will update and the simulation setups will be updated accordingly.

I hope you find these workflows useful as you continue to validate and improve the performance of your designs. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog post series on “Making the most of Simplify in the Fusion 360 Simulation Workspace,” where will take a look at the additional valuable functionality in Simplify.