nTop Platform 2.12 - What's New

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2.12 Release Notes

Summary

nTopology is proud to announce the release of nTop Platform 2.12! This release features a very powerful set of blocks enabling you to convert meshes into CAD file types for export, such as STEP and Parasolid, so that nTop Platform can further integrate into your ecosystem and company tech stack. These blocks include a Quadrangulate block for applying a quad topology to a triangular mesh, a Refine Mesh block for subdividing a mesh using Catmull-Clark subdivision, and a CAD Body from Mesh block which can be used to output STEP and Parasolid file types. In addition, this release features blocks for extracting properties such as vertices and meshes from a lattice and a new section cut feature for slicing through CAD bodies, which enables users to select bodies nested within others. Please visit support.ntopology.com to gain access to helpful tutorials about these new features. As with every release, nTopology’s dedicated support team is ready to answer your questions.

New Features and Improvements

CAD from Mesh Body Block

  • The CAD Body from Mesh block converts quad meshes (using our new Quadrangulate Mesh block) into CAD Bodies for export (STEP and Parasolid file formats), so that nTop Platform can more seamlessly integrate into your software tool set.
  • Name: CAD Body from Mesh
  • Ribbon Location: Utilities/Conversion
  • Description: “Create a CAD body from a quad mesh. This block will approximate the limit of a Catmull-Clark subdivision surface as a collection of bicubic B-spline patches. When a quad-dominant mesh is given as input, up to two levels of global Catmull-Clark refinement will be performed to create a quad mesh that can be represented by bicubic patches.”
  • Input 1: Mesh, Type: Mesh, Description: “Mesh to convert to a CAD body.”
  • Input 2: Refinement level, Type: Integer, Description: “The maximum level of adaptive refinement to allow [0,9]. Higher values improve the precision in regions where patches only approximate the limit of the Catmull-Clark surface. Such regions occur around the one ring of an extraordinary vertex and along edges that are tagged as semi-sharp.”
  • Return Type: CAD Body

CADBodyfromMesh.png

Extract Lattice Vertices Block

  • Name: Extract Lattice Vertices
  • Ribbon Location: Lattice/Utilities
  • Description: “Extract vertices from lattice.”
  • Input 1: Lattice, Type: Lattice, Description: “Lattice to extract vertices from.”
  • Return Type: Point List

Extract Mesh from Lattice Block

  • Users can now extract the surface mesh from a face-based lattice in order to slice a surface mesh of a face-based lattice.
  • Name: Extract Mesh from Lattice
  • Ribbon Location: Lattice/Utilities
  • Description: “Extracts the surface mesh from a face-based lattice. For lattices not containing any faces no mesh will be returned.”
  • Input 1: Lattice, Type: Lattice (graph), Description: “Lattice to extract faces and generate a surface mesh from.”
  • Return Type: Mesh
  • A warning will be thrown if a lattice contains no faces.

New Topology Optimization Filter Boundary

  • The Filter Boundary input for the Topology Optimization block has been updated to be a Boundary Penalization that takes a scalar field as input.
  • A value of 0 will enforce the previous Neumann-Regular filter along the boundary and a value of 1 will enforce the previous Dirchlect filter.
  • The default value of 0.5 provides a compromise between the two that is suitable for most use cases. As a scalar field, the penalization can vary across the geometry.

Quadrangulate Mesh Block

  • In order to convert meshes into CAD file formats such as STEP and Parasolid (using our new CAD Body from Mesh block, a user must first convert the target object into a mesh composed of quadrilateral faces.
  • Name: Quadrangulate Mesh
  • Description: “Quadrangulate a triangle or quad mesh by remeshing”
  • Input 1: Mesh, Type: Mesh, Description: “Mesh to quadrangulate.”
  • Input 2: Target Count, Type: Integer, Description: “Target number of quads.”
  • Input 3: Adaptivity, Type: Scalar, Description: “Adapts the target quads count in favor of better capturing the curvature of input mesh, range [0,1].”
  • Input 4: Sharp features, Type: Bool, Description: “Auto-detect and preserve sharp features in the input mesh.”
  • Input 5: Flow angle, Type: Scalar, Description: “The minimum angle that defines a profile edge. This is an optional value that identifies edges to preserve while remeshing. The value represents a lower bound, when the dihedral angle between two faces is greater than the criteria, the edge will be tagged as a profile. When combined with preserving sharp edges, this will constraint the alignment of quad to the profile edges.”
  • Input 6: Symmetry, Type: Frame, Description: “Frame defining a symmetry plane of the model.”
  • Return Type: Mesh

QuadrangulateMesh.png

Refine Mesh Block

  • Name: Refine Mesh
  • Description: “Refine a mesh with subdivision. Catmull-Clark subdivision is applied for quad dominant meshes. Loop subdivision is used for triangle meshes.”
  • Input 1: Mesh, Type: Mesh, Description: “The mesh to refine.”
  • Input 2: Refinement level, Type: Integer, Description: “The number of refinement iterations to apply [1, 5].”
  • Input 3: Feature angle, Type: Scalar, Description: “The minimum angle that defines a sharp edge, [0, Pi]. This is an optional value that identifies edges to preserve as sharp edges during global refinement. The value represents a lower bound, when the dihedral angle between two faces is greater than the criteria, the edge will be tagged as sharp.”
  • Input 4: Sharpness value, Type: Scalar, Description: “The degree of sharpness [0, 1] applied to an edge during global refinement. A value of 1 indicates an infinitely sharp edge. When a feature angle is given the default sharpness value is 1.”
  • Return Type: Mesh

RefineMesh.png

Robust Tetrahedral Mesh Block

  • Tetrahedral Mesh block has been updated to Robust Tetrahedral Mesh.
  • The Robust Tetrahedral Mesh block has a new algorithm which can still handle imperfections on the input surface mesh but generate a clean volume mesh, however it is substantially faster.

Section Cut CAD Bodies

  • Users can now section cut through CAD parts in order to see and access CAD Bodies that may be “internal” to other CAD Bodies.

Usage Improvements

  • Volume mesh block now includes edge and vertice properties.
  • Surface mesh block now includes edge and vertice properties.
  • Slice and lattice selection styles have been updated to include fog and are now blue.
  • New Hotkeys
    • Make Variable: Alt+v
    • Display Ruler: Alt+r
    • Display Grid: Alt-g
  • Users can now section cut an FE Mesh in addition to a Volume Mesh.
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