SimScale CAE Forum

Improve 3D navigation


I really struggle to get the view I want in SimScale, if I view in say the x+ view I might not be viewing in the orientation I want. A more 3D cad approach would not only make my life easier but it would make the experience of switching between CAD and SimScale more intuitive. This is a screen grab of what I have in mind from OnShape:

I’m not suggesting that I need all the features but it would make selecting a view and orientation easier. I think I mentioned this in an older post but couldn’t find it so I’m documenting it here for voting. I think this would be good if it worked across Meshing, Simulation design and post processing as I have experienced the same difficulties in all (particularly post-processing and simulation design).

It would also be good if zoom was done to the cursor instead of the middle point. this would make zooming in on a particular area of interest (image an aerofoil in a large bounding box) easier.

Kind regards,

Platform Update 06/2017
Improvement tips
Origin / pivot point
Mouse Wheel Zoom Direction?


Already told @afischer about that feature. Hope that this will be implemented in the near future! :+1:




Hello Darren @1318980, hello Jousef,

yes this feature was mentioned several times in the past! Thanks for putting it here again with a detailed description!

Best Alex


@1318980 - is the Onshape cube your favorite version of this? Each CAD system seems to have a particular flavor of such cube / coordinate system…


Hi @dheiny, I think it is my favourite. And particularly suited to SimScale, I say this because it works well for both 2D and 3D and I feel in SimScale users tend to view at planes occasionally overviewing an iso. With OnShape cube you ca select a plane and then rotate to a different plane, some more simplistic cubes don’t allow me to select the side plane when viewing the front plane say. or at least not as easily.

I haven’t had much contact with the latest offerings from 3DS but I found the 3D navigation on CATIA very restrictive. I think the main features of the OnShape that will play the biggest part for SimScale is the rotate clockwise/anticlockwise along with being able to view every iso and planar view. I also reckon having a view opposite feature would be good. So to go from Front to back in one click would be great.

Hope this helps,


I agree, Simscale deserves better interaction between the graphics screen and the user. I think Onshape & Inventor have the most easily navigable graphics areas. Ansys is nice to, where you can just click the arrow of each cardinal direction.

Inventor (with optional compass!): inventor 3d navigation


I like that one too, nice and simple but has all you need.


Along the same thought…
In every CAD package I have used, left click is reserved for operations (usually selecting). Designating the left click to rotate the part feels very odd. I keep trying to window - select objects, and keep rotating the view. In OnShape (and some other CAD programs), if you Window - Select from the top left corner, you only select objects that are completely contained in the window. If you Window - Select from the bottom right corner, anything that crosses or is contained within the window is selected.
Holding down the middle mouse button will rotate the model. A Shift - Middle Mouse Button Pans the view (some CAD programs use CTRL + MMB). And Right clicking shows a menu of common commands (SimScale provides selection commands).
I’m just suggesting that if you clean up the interface with a view cube, you should also be consistent with mouse operations.

I also agree that all viewing tools should be consistent throughout all interfaces. Right now, even the icons are different.

Well designed software allows the users to focus on the task, and not be distracted by the interface.


Hi @JKuyper,

nice and detailed feedback! The easiest way in my opinion would be to do it like ABAQUS. Let the user decide if he/she wants the same settings as in Pro/E, Catia etc. That approach guarentees that almost every user can personalize his/her navigation style. What do you think about that?




Not a bad idea. Onshape has a similar setting. It only effects the rotate / pan / zoom view. I would keep the view cube consistent, regardless of the CAD package chosen.


Another thought:
Please include other view related operations: View Mode (Shaded, Shaded with visible lines, Shaded with hidden lines, Hidden Lines Removed, translucent / transparent, & Wireframe), Section Views, and Isometric Views. These should be consistent throughout all interfaces as well.


Compatibility with a 3D mouse would be a nice feature too but I am sure that is way more complex. :frowning:


+1 on the 3D mouse, I was contemplating getting one to use in OnShape but then I thought I spend 90% of the time in SimScale it wasn’t worth the cost.


@oscarcorripio, @1318980 - not too complex but it hasn’t made it to the top priority yet. The feature request is over here: Support for 3D Mice as input device Give it your votes. That helps to understand demand for certain features.



By the way when you turn on the Bounding box preview and you rotate it then the corners seem to be cut. I hope it is clear what I mean. So that is also something that could be fixed although it is not prio 1.

Best regards,


@jhorv_th - the clipping issue your describing is filed as a bug (rather than an improvement) and a fix is underway! But the improvements are also in progress! Keep up the voting!


First improvements suggested in this Thread are shipped: Box selection (see Details here: Platform Update 06/2017). More are in Development.


More 3D navigation improvements (not all yet) have been released in another update: Platform Update 08/2017


I have been using the new update a lot today, I am very pleased. That said I can’t quite get the ease of use I want and ill explain why.

As you might know, my main CAD application is OnShape and I am quite used to creating my geometry in the vertical z orientation:

However, ​in SimScale the orientation changes to vertical y orientation:

And if I try and change to the correct orientation I am stuck between two angles of rotation:

It would be handy if I could right click the orientation box and select default vertical direction? or maybe there is a cleverer solution?

Many thanks,


Hi Darren,

good point!
I can imagine an additional geometry operation besides scaling and surface splitting to align the model in the direction of your preferences.

What about that? :slight_smile: