How to Do Engineering Simulations in Microsoft Excel

It is possible to do simple engineering simulations in Excel (but for simulations with more complexity, it really is not sufficient).

Excel provides a variety of tools and features that can be used to create mathematical models and perform simulations to evaluate the performance of complex systems.
For example, engineers can use Excel’s built-in functions and formulas to create models of physical systems, such as mechanical systems, electrical systems, or thermal systems. They can also use Excel’s solver tool to find the optimal values of design variables that meet certain performance criteria.

Here’s a step by step walkthrough of how to perform simple simulations in Excel:

  1. Define the System: Define the system you want to simulate, including the input variables, output variables, and relationships between these variables.
  2. Create a Model: Use Excel’s formulas and functions to create a mathematical model of the system you want to simulate. You can also use Excel’s built-in charting tools to visualize the model and see how changes in input variables affect the output variables.
  3. Specify Inputs: Specify the values of the input variables in your simulation, either manually or by using Excel’s data analysis tools to process data from other sources.
  4. Perform the Simulation: Use Excel’s built-in functions and formulas to perform the simulation and calculate the values of the output variables based on the input variables and the model you have defined.
  5. Analyze Results: Analyze the results of the simulation to evaluate the performance of the system and determine if any changes need to be made to the model or inputs.
  6. Repeat: Repeat the simulation multiple times with different inputs and scenarios to understand how the system behaves under different conditions.

But instead of using Excel, you could use a tool that gives a more intelligent overview of your system options and allows you to do proper parametric design…

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