We can’t believe that we missed this one pre-Halloween…but it’s just too dang good to not put out either way. Originally conceived of by Stephen Endersby, a Product Manager over at SolidWorks, this zombie-themed SolidWorks Simulation activity effectively helps you learn the basics of simulation in SolidWorks while testing zombie attack survival strategies.

In this case, Stephen has chosen how to effectively simulate what is needed in order to keep a door from being knocked down during a hostile attack.

“Have you ever wondered what you would do to save yourself from the zombie apocalypse? I know I have,” Stephen says.

“Do you get in a car and drive to the country, stay in your house or jump on a sail boat to wander the seas like the Flying Dutchman?? Actually I can rule the last one out as I can’t sail, so it’s either drive or stay. But what happens if the undead hoard are stumbling over the horizon on the day my car doesn’t start? I need a back-up plan; I need to be safe in my house, I need to know how much wood I need to board up my doors and windows…so let’s fire up SOLIDWORKS.”

Going into the project, Stephen has an accurate theory that no matter the type of zombie–slow like Romero’s Living Dead or fast like World War Z–the biggest problem that a homeowner faces are the doors being broken down. With this in mind, Stephen jumps directly into creating an average and vulnerable front door with a glass window:


He then adds some wood to the window on the exterior side as well as some cross boards on the interior:



“Now I don’t have nails inside of SOLIDWORKS Simulation so I will have to use bolts and set a failure load equivalent of the nail pull out force. Lastly I will need to apply the load on this door due to the mass of zombies pushing against the door. Now theoretically there should be a limit to this load because at some point the mass of zombies would crush the zombies at the front rather than increase the load. After quick scan of the internet I found information on crowd safety barriers and, assuming a healthy safety factor, I now have my zombie crush pressure. As all we are interested is the door we are going to ignore the wall, and assume the door frame is perfectly attached to the house walls. After adding contact between all the components we are ready to run the test.”


“But unfortunately we have some red, which likely equals undead.”

After establishing that he will need more planks of wood to avoid stress near the door handle, Stephen used the patterning tool to add and evenly distribute the wood panels across the entire door:


What will happen next?

Will Stephen effectively be able to simulate crowd control and establish the BOM that he needs? More importantly…are nachos and dip more of a priority over a cricket bat on his list of survival items? Be sure to check out his analysis in-full over at SolidWorks.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.