Following up on my blog article from July, today’s post deals with some tips and tricks on how to create appealing visualizations of simulation results. Therefore, I will demonstrate a simple workflow to create a nice result visualization of internal flow simulation result data.
But first, let’s take a step back and imagine a typical situation in the life of a simulation engineer: You were assigned to simulate the fluid flow through a valve to determine its pressure drop. It took you some time to prepare everything. Later that day, the simulation is done and the results are present.
You now want to present the results to your colleagues or clients, but all you can show are some not-so-exciting pictures of a tube-like part. And this is where some handy tips and tricks can help. Sometimes, particularly when simulating internal flows, it’s helpful in terms of communication to not just visualize the flow domain but also the housing—especially if you want to illustrate the results to someone who is not so familiar with simulation.
As with so many things in life, the visualization can play a decisive role in regards to the success of your presentation. In this and a lot of similar cases, you can improve the visualization of internal flow results by integrating the flow domain into a rendering of the actual product. In the following steps, I want to show a workflow that I frequently use for the visualization of internal flow simulation results that includes the SimScale platform for solving and ParaView for post-processing:
CAD preparation: We split the CAD model into as many single parts as we want to assign different colors to later. In our case, we take the original valve model and split it into three separated parts. In addition, we clip the pneumatic connectors. Afterwards, everything is converted to STL file format.
ParaView import: We import our simulation results, as well as the STL files, to ParaView. By picking the STL files in the Pipeline browser and clicking on the color map icon, we can change the color of the parts. Please note that we have to repeat this manually for every STL file. Therefore, it can save time to reduce the number of steps by combining parts of the same color into one STL file.
Result visualization: Now we can start with the actual post-processing of the result data set. In this example, we create a clip of the pressure field in the domain which fits into the cut-out of the valve.
Polishing: For improving the visualization of the valve geometry we will perform two final steps, which are optional:
Create visible edges of the STL files by applying the features edges filter on the STL files
Adapt the lights’ configuration in the view settings menu
Of course, you can adapt and expand this workflow by using, for example, additional cutouts, streamlines or whatever else suits your application. Let me know if you have any other nice ideas! In the end, a nice visualization will not improve the actual quality of your simulation results, but it might make your life easier from time to time—so I hope my hints are useful for your work! The final result of my workflow is shown below:
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