nTop Platform 2.7 - What's New

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Summary

nTopology’s nTop Platform 2.7 is here! This release features some significant updates such as the ability to automatically hide nested blocks, the ability to import and export meshes in a .3mf file format, a new Slice Mesh block in the manufacturing pipeline, and a new Point Restraint boundary condition block in the simulation pipeline. In addition, there are several major usage improvements, such as saving views in the viewport, new mathematical constant blocks in the Math tab, improved zoom functionality, Type icons in block documentation, and new logout prompts. As with every release, nTopology’s dedicated support team is ready to answer your questions.

New Features and Improvements

Auto-Hide Nested Blocks

  • Users can now automatically turn off the visibility of nested blocks by enabling the Auto-Hide Nested Blocks functionality in the settings window.
  • For example, if this feature is enabled and a user were to join two objects using the Boolean Union block, the two objects would no longer have their visibility enabled once the two inputs of the Boolean Union block are satisfied and the block runs successfully. The only object visible at this point would be the resulting object. See the example below: AutoHideNestedBlocks.png
  • To access this setting, go to File > Settings > General. This option is turned “off” by default.

Import / Export Mesh as .3MF

  • Users can now import and export Meshes as .3mf.
  • There is now an additional .3mf option at the bottom of the Mesh file types drop down menu when importing or exporting meshes.
  • .3mf mesh file types are lighter in file size than .stl file formats.

Point Restraint Block

  • The simulation pipeline now includes a Point Restraint block, which is located in the Boundary Condition menu of the Simulation tab.
  • The Point Restraint block applies a displacement restraint to a remote point. Below are the inputs:
    • Point: The restraint application point.
    • Boundary: The boundary entities containing the nodes to restrain.
    • Ux: Option to restrain translation along the x-axis.
    • Uy: Option to restrain translation along the y-axis.
    • Uz: Option to restrain translation along the z-axis.
    • Rx: Option to restrain rotation along the x-axis.
    • Ry: Option to restrain rotation along the y-axis.
    • Rz: Option to restrain rotation along the z-axis.
    • Frame: The coordinate system for the point restraints.
  • Below is an example in context:

PointRestraint.png

Save Views

  • Users can now save views in the viewport.
  • Select Views > Named Views to open the Named Views window.
  • From the Named Views window, users can select the following default views:
    • Home
    • Top
    • Right
    • Front
  • From the Named Views window, a user can also create, name, update, and delete their own views using the New Named View option below the list of available views.
  • In addition, users can update the Home view.
  • Named Views are saved per file.

SavedViews.png

Slice Mesh Block

  • Users can now directly slice meshes using the Slice Mesh block.
  • The Slice Mesh block creates a stack of cross-sectional slices from a mesh. Below are the inputs:
    • Mesh: the mesh to slice.
    • Layer Height: Spacing between slice layers.
    • Include negative Z: Option to include layers with negative Z values with respect to the frame, if any. By default, this block will slice only in the positive Z direction.
    • Frame: Frame to orient the slicing and act as the origin of the slice data. If no frame is provided, the slices are generated from the origin and parallel to the XY plane in the positive Z direction.

Usage Improvements

  • Export Text List: Users can now export a list of text to a single file using the Export Text block. This operation is available as an overload, and can be accessed via the overload dropdown of the block. Each item of text in the list will be written to a new line in the output file.
  • Implicit Body, Scalar Field, Scalar type name change:
    • We have changed the names of a few objects in our system:
      • nTop Bodies are now Implicit Bodies.
      • Reals are now Scalars.
      • Real Fields are now Scalar Fields.
    • Affects of this change:
      • All references to the old names will be replaced with the new names.
      • Blocks like nTop Body from Mesh will now be Implicit Body from Mesh.
    • Not affected:
      • Files from previous versions will be unaffected, and all original functionality will remain.
      • Only the block names and some property chips will have changed.
      • Any Custom naming, Descriptions, or Comments will not be changed.
  • Implicit Rendering Enhancements: Rendering speeds of native implicit geometry has been improved by a factor of 1.5x to 15x”.
  • New Logout Prompts: in the user profile menu, users are now prompted when they select logout.
  • New Mathematical Constants: Euler’s number, Gravity, Pi, and the Golden Ratio are now available in a new menu called Constants in the Math tab.
  • Type Icons in Documentation: Type icon images are now included in the Type documentation. To access Type documentation, go to Documentation > Block Documentation > Types.
  • Zoom to Cursor: the camera now zooms to the cursor using the following actions: Ctrl + right mouse button + move mouse.
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