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Platform Update Q1 2017: See What’s New on SimScale!

Anastasia Churazova
BlogAbout SimScalePlatform Update Q1 2017: See What’s New on SimScale!

SimScale simulation platform update

Over the past three months, our engineering team has been working hard on adding and improving our platform’s features to better suit your needs and ensure you get the most of our solution. We summed up the highlights of the first quarter of 2017 in this SimScale CAE platform update overview.

New Feature Highlights

Mesh quality report

We added a mesh quality report at the end of the Meshing log which displays the maximum, minimum and average values for the most important mesh quality metrics e.g. Area/Volume, Aspect Ratio, Skew, Scaled Jacobian.mesh quality report at the end of the meshing log on the simscale engineering simulation platform

Triangulation improvements for hex-dominant meshing

For the hGeometry triangulation improvements for hex meshex-dominant mesh operations, we improved the robustness of the geometry triangulation which is done prior to the actual meshing in regards to defects that are caused by ‘dirty’ CAD models. This platform update can lead to lower quality meshes and mesh refinements. The presence of defects is displayed in the event log as warnings e.g. stating that ‘Illegal triangles have been found’ or the ‘tessellated surface is not closed’.

Orthogonal projection as default view

Orthogonal projection view on SimScale workbenchOrthogonal projection has been enabled as the default view in the workbench. The parallel projection allows for a better visual feedback on geometrical details like small gaps or parallel entities and is therefore well-suited for professional work. The length scale at the bottom adds awareness for the dimensions of the model. With this platform update, you can switch to perspective projection via the drop-down menu in the header of the viewer.

Volume Heat Sources

In thermal flow applications namely buoyant and conjugate heat transfer simulations you can now add a volume heat source based on a fluid or solid region of the domain or a geometry primitive like a cylinder or sphere. With this platform update the actual heat flux profile over the bounding faces and the temperature distribution within the region will be taken into account in contrast to heat flux or temperature boundary conditions. The heat source magnitude can be defined as a total value in Watt [W] or relative to the region volume [W/m³]. See this short introduction video for more information:


Real Pressure in incompressible flow simulations

Real Pressure in incompressible fluid flow simulationPressure values in incompressible flow simulation setups and results are now displayed as real pressure values (in Pascals) instead of the former density-normalized pressure values (in m²/s²). This highly requested improvement will make the setup and interpretation of incompressible flow simulations more intuitive as the density-normalized pressure values were rather an artifact of the numerical method instead of having the engineering challenge of the user in mind. Learn more about this platform update in the separate forum post over here.

Subdomain-based pressure initialization

The initial pressure field can be defined on separate subdomains to speed up convergence and increase robustness for applications like valve opening studies with big initial pressure differences.

initial pressure field defined on separate subdomains for faster convergence and increased robustness

Pressure Units Change To Pascal

pascal unit of pressureSimScale will now use real pressure units ‘Pascal’ (Pa) as a standard for all incompressible Flow Analysis Types. Before pressure was displayed in simulation setups and results as density-normalized pressure (m²/s²) which was not intuitive. This means that the following Analysis Types have undergone a number of changes.

  • Incompressible
  • Passive Scalar Transport
  • Convective Heat Transfer with Boussinesq approximation activated

This improvement was requested by many customers and will make the setup and interpretation of flow simulations faster, less error prone and more intuitive. Find detailed questions and answers on this platform update here.

Automatic repair operation for unclosed triangulated geometries

Event log of the mesh operation unclosed triangulated geometryTriangulated geometries serve as input for the hex-dominant mesh algorithms. Some triangulated models are not watertight. You might have seen the warning that is shown in this case in the Event log of the mesh operation.

Unclosed models can lead to bad-quality meshes. They can even cause the meshing to fail or unexpectedly mesh the interior of a geometry in case of an external flow analysis. The automatic repair operation detects minor defects in the geometry like collapsed and duplicated triangles or small gaps and tries to close the surface in order to increase the meshing robustness.

And many more!

Every week we make incremental enhancements to our platform to improve your user experience, including:

  • Functional values for the angular velocity in MRF and AMI zones are available via table upload.
  • Fixed mean value boundary condition types for velocity and pressure have been added for flow simulations.
  • Potential flow initialization has been available only for incompressible flow simulations without heat transfer being involved so far. It is now also available for convective flow simulations.
  • Direct link to original project — when browsing through the newest public project you can now directly access the original project from the overview page of a copied project.
  • You can now open your projects in the workbench in a new tab from the Dashboard overview.
  • Mesh operation tool-tips to make the mesh operation choice easier.
  • For all CFD analysis types except multiphase the default behavior has been changed to steady-state as steady-state simulations serve as a first validation for transient applications in many cases.
  • Phase-out of rarely used features (learn more here)
  • The workbench header has been updated with a new design that is also streamlined with all community pages.
  • The design of the viewer header has also been adapted with a new design. Additionally, we added a feature that allows the header to responsively adapt to the screen or window size.

Feel free to put your feedback and add suggestions for new features in our Vote for features section. To keep yourself updated and follow all the new changes and improvements subscribe to our “SimScale Release Update” newsletter and stay tuned for new updates!


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