Custom Block Walk-through


This tutorial will take you step-by-step through creating a custom block from a workflow. In this example, we’ll learn how to take an existing workflow and export it for easy use in other Notebooks. In use is the TPMS Infill workflow, however, any valuable workflow can be turned into a custom block.

nTop Platform is built around the concept of workflows and being able to capture a workflow in a meaningful way. If you create a workflow, like shelling and infilling with a lattice, you can save that workflow as a custom block, exposing only the parameters you care about to reuse it again and share it with your team.

Skill Level: Beginner

Topics Covered: Custom Blocks, File Import, Variables


Step 01: Determine valuable Inputs.

To begin, determine the valuable inputs. These are inputs that are likely to be manipulated when reusing this workflow. For each of these inputs, right-click, select Make Variable and drag the new variable into the Input section of the notebook.


Step 02: Determine the Output.

Next, determine what the block will output. In this example, the block will result in an Implicit body, however, a custom block can return a variety of outputs such as lattices, values, and more.


Step 03: Name the notebook and add descriptions.

The name of the notebook will be the name of the custom block. Be sure to use a unique name that properly describes what the workflow is achieving. The description will appear in the Information panel of the custom block and the Input comments will act as Input Descriptions. With strong descriptions, you and those whom you share the custom block with will be able to easily understand the function of the block and how to use it.


Step 04: Save the file.

Save the nTop file to your computer. Following best practice, use the notebook name as your file name.


Step 05: Import the file and reuse the workflow.

In a new or separate instance of nTop platform, import the file using the File menu. This custom block now lives within this instance of nTop. Call it through the search bar using the notebook name to use it in future workflows.


In use is nTop Version 2.4.5 - Methods and interface may have changed in different versions.

See the attached file for the complete workflow.

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