Once you have set up the optimization run, selected variables, constraints and your objective, you are ready to run the optimization process.
First, click OK on the Create/Edit Optimization Project window to close it. Highlight the optimization icon and click on the Optimization Menu. You can still edit variables at this point.
If you are ready to go ahead, click on Start Optimization Run. The system will begin to mesh the first model, then set up and run simulations based on your inputs. As the run continues, you can do other things with the computer, and the simulations will run in the background.
If you want to monitor progress, you can maximize the SOLIDCast window, highlight the Optimization icon, then click on Optimization…Report. If you click on View Graphs… you can look at the results of the simulations so far in a graphical format.
The typical number of simulations needed to get a good solution, if one can be found, is about the square of the number of variables. For example, if you have five variables, expect about twenty-five simulations to achieve an optimized solution. You want to keep the number of variables as low as you can. It is also good practice to keep the meshes down to a minimum size and use every available technique to keep run times down. Of course, optimization runs can be run at night, too, so in many cases even runs with up to 100 simulations could be done in a single night!