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Appealing Result Visualization with ParaView

Following up to 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 and later that day the simulation is done and the results are present.

Next day you want to present the results to your colleagues (or clients – does not matter), 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.

Result Visualization

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 am using very often for the visualization of internal flow simulation results that includes the SimScale platform for solving and ParaView for Post-Processing:

  1. 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.

    Valve model split into three parts - SimScale

    Valve model split into three parts: Housing, lower part and connectors

  2. 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 safe time to reduce the number of steps by combining parts of the same color into one STL file.
  3. 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.ParaView - post-processing
  4. Polishing: For improving the visualization of the valve geometry we will perform two final steps which are rather optional:
  • Creating visible edges of the STL files by applying the features edges filter on the STL filesParaview - polishing
  • Adapting the lights configuration in the view settings menu

Of course you can adapt and expand this workflow for example with additional cut outs, 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 might be useful for your work! The final result of my workflow is shown below:

Simulation result visualization with SimScale and ParaView

Final Result

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