nTopology 2.27 - What's New

nTopology 2.27 is here! This release contains new features, such as Notebook Sections, which lets you organize, group, and collapse parts of your workflow, as well as Temperature Units, such as Fahrenheit and Celsius, that cast to other types and let you perform mathematical operations. In addition, 2.27 features a new block called Minimum Height Orientation, enabling you to orient your parts so you can minimize print duration, thus saving material and cost as well as a another new block called Minimum Support Orientation which enables you to orient your part to minimize support structures to reduce material usage and post processing time. Lastly, we’ve added a powerful new conversion block called Mesh from Implicit Body by Voxels. As with every release, nTopology’s dedicated support team is ready to answer your questions. Please visit support.ntopology.com to gain access to helpful tutorials and support articles.

Dictionaries (Beta)

  • Description: Creates a dictionary from a set of keys and corresponding key values.
  • Input 01: Keys
    • Type: Integer list
    • Description: The keys for returning the associated values.
  • Input 02: Values
    • Type: Scalar Field list
    • Description: The associated values per key.
  • Output: Dictionary

Extended Block Documentation

  • The following blocks now have extended block documentation:
    • Axis
    • Import FE Mesh
    • Import Vector Point Map
    • Planar Symmetry Constraint
    • Tie Constraint
  • Extended block documentation is available in the documentation that ships with nTopology. If a block has extended block documentation, a Learn More button will appear in the information panel which will direct you to the block’s extended documentation.

Notebook Sections

  • You can now create sections in your notebook! This new feature lets you group blocks and variables into collapsible sections.
  • A default section called “New Section” will appear by default for every new instance of nTopology. Each time you add a block to your notebook, it’ll be placed within the body of this section.
  • To add a section, either click on the section title, right click, and select Add Section, or you can right click on the notebook cursor and select Add Section.
  • Notebook sections can be moved up, moved down, renamed and deleted by right clicking the section title.
  • If you delete a section, the blocks within that section will be placed in the section directly above or below it.


Mesh from Implicit Body by Voxels (Beta)

  • Location: Beta > Utilities-Conversion
  • Description: Convert an implicit body to a mesh using voxels.
  • Input 01: Body
    • Type: Implicit Body
    • Description: Implicit body to convert.
  • Input 02: Tolerance
    • Type: Scalar
    • Description: The maximum allowable deviation of the mesh from the implicit geometry. This value will be used to formulate the resulting voxel size.
  • Input 03: Filter
    • Type: Bool
    • Description: Apply filtering when sampling the voxelization.
  • Output: Mesh

Minimum Height Orientation

  • Location: Additive Manufacturing (Toolkit) > Build Preparation
  • Description: Find an orientation that minimizes the height of the bounding box of an implicit body relative to a given feature.
  • Input 01: Body
    • Type: Implicit Body
    • Description: The body to orient.
  • Input 02: Frame
    • Type: Frame
    • Description: The frame that defines the height direction. The z-axis of the frame will be used as the direction to measure the height of the bounding box.
  • Output: Transformation

Minimum Support Orientation (Beta)

  • Location: Beta > Manufacturing - Utilities
  • Description: Find a number of orientations that attempt to minimize the volume of the support regions needed for the body. The implicit block version is more robust and likely to provide more optimal results, while the mesh block version will converge on results much faster but these may be less optimal.
  • Input 01: Body
    • Type: Implicit Body
    • Description: The body to orient.
  • Input 02: Build plane
    • Type: Plane
    • Description: The build plane.
  • Input 03: Offset
    • Type: Scalar
    • Description: The desired offset distance from the build plane to the part as the function evaluates candidate orientations.
  • Input 04: Overhang angle
    • Type: Scalar
    • Description: The overhang angle used by the function to determine where support regions may need to exist with respect to the build plane. Overhang angles below this value will likely require support regions.
  • Input 05: Min overhang angle
    • Type: Scalar
    • Description: An option to define the support volume only to this minimum overhang angle.
  • Input 06: Support region
    • Type: Manufacturing Support Region Type Enum
    • Description: An option to define whether to build supports for internal, external, or both regions of the body.
  • Input 07: Candidates
    • Type: Integer
    • Description: The number of candidate orientations the algorithm will consider before converging on an optimum. More candidates requires more iterations, resulting in a higher likelihood the global optimum is found but requiring longer time to run.
  • Input 08: Feature size
    • Type: Scalar
    • Description: The minimum feature size used to discretize the body. This input will affect the resolution of the support volume calculation as the function evaluates candidate orientation.
  • Output: Transformation list

Temperature Units

  • We have added new temperature units in our system. We now support Celsius (C and dC) and Fahrenheit (F and dF), along with the already supported Kelvin (K).
  • Since the temperature units can be either absolute or relative, we have introduced a new type: The “Temperature” and “Temperature Field”. This new type represents an absolute temperature and accepts units in K, C, and F. These units cannot be combined with any other units.
  • On the other hand, a temperature unit typed in a Scalar or Scalar Field represents a relative temperature and can be combined with other units (e.g. thermal conductivity BTU/(hrftdF)). For a clear distinction against the absolute temperature units, the relative temperature should be typed as K, dC or dF. Note that for relative temperatures, K and dC are equivalent.
  • The new temperature type has a relative temperature (Scalar and/or Scalar Field) as a property and it autocasts to it, so that the user can utilize it in blocks that accept a Scalar or Scalar Field as an input.
  • You can select your temperature units of preference in File->Settings->Units.
  • The Add and Subtract blocks have been updated to have Temperature overloads, to permit expressions like “20C + 20dC = 40C”.
  • The Point Map and Field from Point Map have new Temperature overloads.
  • Lastly, you can visualize temperature fields via the field viewer.

Usage Improvements

  • If an object has casted to another type, a dot will appear in the top right corner of the output type icon.
  • Only stored iterations of topology optimization results will show in the simulation HUD.
  • The following blocks have been promoted from Beta to Production:
    • Moved to Math > Vectors
      • Angle with respect to Plane
    • Moved to Modeling > Utilities
      • Create Single Face Mesh
      • Ray Cast
      • Equidistant Points on Curve
      • Merge CAD Bodies
    • Moved to Manufacturing > Utilities
      • Bounding Box 2D nesting
  • The update menu now features a What’s New button, which will take you to the latest release notes on your user dashboard. This gives you the ability to review the release notes of the latest release prior to downloading.

Bug Fixes

  • We’ve resolved an issue that was causing nTopology to unexpectedly exit when trying to run an FE simulation after defining different FE attribute regions
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