A variety of quick selection tools are available within SimScale. This article aims to provide a brief overview of the various selection tools and their functionalities.
In order to choose the right selection tools, here a few basics every SimScale user should know:
Choose the Selection Mode
Centered at the top of the viewer, the viewer toolbar allows you to pick a selection mode. Usually, you either want to select whole solids or only specific faces.
Depending on the context, either faces or whole solids need to be selected or assigned. In most cases only one assignment mode is possible. In these cases, the workbench will automatically select the correct selection/assignment mode for you. In case a mix of assignments is possible, it’s common that you’d like to assign all faces of a specific solid part. In this case, select not each individual face, but simply assign the whole solid part instead.
You might have noticed that a selection is sometimes shown in red, other times in blue or even pink. The color used for highlighting a selection in the viewer depends on the current selection or assignment context:
- Standard selection mode: red
- Assignment mode (or contact master assignment): blue
- Contact slave assignment mode: pink
Now that we have the basics covered, find below an introduction of the main features for making a quick and easy selection via the viewer:
1. Box Selection
This tool is commonly used in CAD software and also made its way into SimScale.
Once “Box selection” is activated in the viewer, the user has two options to select the entities:
- Clicking and dragging the cursor from left to right: entities fully contained within the box are selected;
- Clicking and dragging the cursor from right to left: entities that are intersected by the box are selected.
This type of selection comes in handy for geometries with a big number of faces. As an example, let’s have a look at the data center geometry below.
It’s possible to quickly select all faces from a server line in one click:
- Make sure that the Face selection and the box selection icons are enabled;
- Create a box containing the entire server line. Note that, in this picture, the box was drawn from left to right.
As a result, we select a total of 473 faces.
2. Invert Selection Tool
In some cases, we would like to select the vast majority of faces in a model. Instead of selecting all of them one by one, we can simply select the ones we don’t want, and then invert the selection.
Let’s take the following example: we are interested in selecting all walls from a pipe geometry.
The first step is to select the unwanted faces. In this case, 2 inlets and 1 outlet. Afterward, simply right-click in the viewer. In the window that opens, select Invert selection:
3. Select Other
A handy tool for selecting a face hidden behind another face is the “Select other” feature. Simply right-click on a specific face in the viewer and when clicking on “Select other” a list of faces behind the current location will be offered for selection.
4. Topological Entity Sets
Topological entity sets are groups of faces that the user wants quick access to. It’s useful to create sets for groups of faces that will be used multiple times in the setup.
In order to create a topological entity set, please follow these steps:
- Select the faces that will be part of the topological entity set;
- In the right-hand side panel, click on the “+” button next to Topological Entity Sets;
- Give the topological entity set an appropriate name;
- You will be able to access the created sets in the right-hand side panel.
With these simple functions, users can save time during the set-up of their simulations.