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Documentation

Platform Introduction

Welcome! This page introduces the basics of how the SimScale Workbench functions and how to navigate through the platform interface. We at SimScale aim to become the hub for all things simulation.

Overview

The following pages might be of interest to you:

  • SimScale Blog: In the SimScale blog we write about the latest trends in the simulation industry, showcase simulation use cases, introduce new features, and much more…
  • Webinars & Workshops: In case you want to attend one of our live webinars or workshops, find all past and upcoming events here.
  • Case Studies: Many customers worldwide use SimScale as their main simulation tool. Find out more about how they use SimScale to streamline their design process.

Here we’ll focus on explaining the basics about the SimScale Community and Workbench. The SimScale Community entails all components in which our large base of users can interact with each other, share their simulation projects and ask questions as well as discuss the future development of the platform and the simulation industry as a whole. It’s split into the following components:

  • SimScale Community Forum: In case you find yourself stuck or need answers to a simulation-related question, there’s a good chance that you’ll find the answer in the SimScale Forum.
  • Public Projects Library: We at SimScale believe that simulation should be accessible to everybody. In order to achieve that goal, SimScale offers a free unlimited Community Plan to every new user. Any simulation project that is created as part of the community plan will be publicly available and may be listed in the Public Projects Library. You can copy any of the thousands of public simulation projects and use them as templates for your own simulation application. In order to simulate privately and for access to more advanced features, check our Plans & Pricing page or contact support.
  • Dashboard: The dashboard is your private hub containing all your simulation projects as well as projects that have been shared with you. From here you are able to open your projects in the SimScale Workbench as well as create a new project from scratch. More about the Dashboard below.
  • Workbench: The SimScale simulation platform (or “Workbench”) is the heart of SimScale. Here is where the magic happens. We’ll explain the basics of the Workbench below.

This is just a short overview of SimScale. Let’s dive into the details of how to use the dashboard and the workbench.

Dashboard

simscale dashboard/platform
Figure 1: The SimScale Dashboard. Find here an overview of your account as well as all your simulation projects.

The Dashboard is your personal landing page when you log into your SimScale account. It contains the following:

  1. Projects: This section shows all your simulation projects as well as the projects that have been shared with you.
    • a) Search bar: Search for projects with titles containing the keyword
    • b) Sort project panel: Sort visible projects based on (from left to right): number of views, number of likes, number of copies, creation date, modification date
    • c) Sort project panel: Sort visible projects based on their ownership. Choose between projects owned by you, shared with you, or both.
    • d) View project panel: Choose how to view projects either with thumbnail view or list view.
  2. Account & Activity: Here you can find your recent forum activity, current account type as well as the current status of your core hour balance.
    At SimScale, we call the task of computing a simulation a ‘job’. As you scroll down find a list of your latest simulation and meshing jobs that you started as well as their current status and core hour consumption. Further down, your latest public projects will also be listed.
  3. Create New Project: Use this button to create a new simulation project. One project can contain multiple simulations of different types.

Create New Simulation Project

To create a new simulation project, click the ‘New Project’ button on the Dashboard. The following dialog box appears:

Figure 2: Project creation dialog. Choose whether to make your project publicly accessible to everybody or to keep it private. In order to make your project private, you need to be in a Professional or Professional Trial account.
  1. Project Title: The project title should contain the name of the type of application you want to analyze as well as the simulation method you want to use, e.g. ‘Heat exchanger – CHT simulation’. This will help other users to understand what you’re trying to simulate.
  2. Public/Private Toggle: This toggle determines whether your project will be publicly available to everybody or only visible to you. A public project can be seen, copied, and downloaded by any SimScale user. In order to create private projects, you require a Professional SimScale account. See Plans & Pricing to upgrade or start your Professional trial.
  3. Project Description: Use the project description box to describe the purpose of your project in more detail. A good project description will make your project rank higher in the SimScale Public Projects Library.
  4. Category: The category selection allows you to categorize your project based on industry. Choosing a category will help your project rank higher in the SimScale Public Projects Library.
  5. Tags: Similar to the category selection, adding tags will help your project rank higher in the SimScale Public Projects Library. Tags are not pre-defined and can be chosen freely. A maximum of 12 tags can be added with each containing 3 – 50 characters.
  6. Advanced Settings: In the advanced settings you can choose whether to use SI or Imperial units to interact with the CAD model that you choose to upload into your project.

Once the project is created, you’ll automatically be redirected to the SimScale simulation platform i.e. the Workbench.

Workbench

The Workbench is that component in which you’ll work on your simulations. Besides basic CAD manipulation features, it contains the simulation and mesh setup as well as the online post-processor.

SimScale workbench/platform with static analysis
Figure 3: The SimScale Workbench. Here you can prepare your CAD models for simulation, specify simulation setups, and visualize (post-process) your simulation results.

Here is a short description of the main interface components of the Workbench. The nomenclature introduced here will be used throughout the documentation.

  1. Navigation Tree: The simulation tree occupies the whole left-side panel of the workbench and contains a list of all geometries (CAD models) and meshes that were imported into the project at the top (“Geometry Tree”) as well as a list of all simulations below (“Simulation Tree”). One project can contain multiple geometries and simulations. Each simulation is represented in the form of a tree. The tree, depending on the analysis type chosen, will expose all settings that are required to start the simulation. It’s advised to complete the simulation set up along the tree from top to bottom.
  2. Settings Panel: The settings panel is where you can actually change the setup of your simulations. Click on a node in the tree to open the respective settings panel. Use the checkmark button at the top of the panel to save any changes and close the panel (or simply hit Enter). Click the close button to simply close and discard any changes made (or hit Esc). Note that your changes will automatically be saved if you navigate to another settings panel via the simulation tree.
  3. Scene Tree: The scene tree represents the model as displayed in the viewer (see below). It lists the geometry or mesh that is currently in context, including all solid bodies, sheet bodies, and faces. It’s also possible to create sets (topological entity sets) of entities in the scene tree, for more convenient selection later on. Besides the original geometry and the entity sets, the scene tree also lists geometry primitives created from within the Workbench. These geometry primitives are usually used to define areas for mesh refinement or applying advanced concepts.
  4. Viewer Toolbar: The viewer toolbar (from left to right) contains the main controls for interacting with the viewer. Besides the view mode and render mode controls, the viewer toolbar’s primary controls include the selection mode picker. Here you can choose whether to select whole bodies (volumes), faces, edges, or nodes, which is often required to properly define your simulation setup. The viewer toolbar also contains the toggle for box selection as well as the mesh clip feature.
  5. Chat Box: The chatbox is extremely helpful if you are stuck with your project or simply need to connect and discuss with the SimScale support team. You can choose to share your project with the support team as well.
  6. Orientation Cube: The cube on the bottom right shows the orientation of the geometry with respect to the x-, y-, z-coordinate system. Interact with your geometry either using the buttons around the cube or simply using the mouse.
  7. Viewer: The viewer is the core of the interface. It contains the entire scene of the simulation, including the original geometry (or mesh) as well as any additional geometry primitives. Use the viewer to inspect your setup and to make selections and assignments.
  8. Job Status Panel: Here you can find the current status of your meshing and simulation jobs. Any computation-intensive operation that you start in the Workbench will not be computed using your local hardware, but will be run on a cloud computing instance. The job status panel reports on the current status of all job operations as well as their current run time and core hour consumption.

Collaboration

One of the main benefits of a web-based simulation platform is the possibility it provides for collaboration with fellow users. Find out more about SimScale’s collaboration features.

Tips & Tricks

Here a few helpful tips that will make it easier to get familiar with the SimScale Workbench:

  • Use the ‘+‘ icons in the simulation tree to upload a new geometry, create a new simulation or to create additional attributes (like boundary conditions) in your simulation setup.
  • Always try to work through the simulation tree from top to bottom. Any tree node with a red circle icon requires additional to be specified, while a red crossed icon indicates an error in the setup. A blue circle indicates an optional setting. Only if all tree nodes show a green checkmark, your simulation setup is complete and a simulation run can be started.
  • If necessary, go ahead and change the setup with your simulation parameters and assignments while the mesh is computing. Don’t wait for your meshing job to be completed. You can even start multiple meshes at the same time and later choose the one that best fits your use case.
  • For more tips and tricks visit our knowledge base article.

Now you should be all set to start your first simulation. Go ahead and choose one of our guided simulation tutorials.

Last updated: May 20th, 2021

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part of: SimScale Documentation

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