nTopology 3.4 is here! This release features Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Boundary Zones, IGES part export, an extensive list of simulation results that are now properties, usage improvements, and bug fixes. With 3.4, you have the ability to identify CFD boundary zones on a mesh and export the mesh to a downstream CFD application where the zones will be available to specify as boundary condition details. In addition, this release gives you the ability to export parts in an IGES file format and the ability to access simulation results as properties, so that they can be used directly as fields to modify your designs. 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.
With Release 3.4, you can identify CFD boundary zones on a mesh and export the mesh to a downstream CFD application where the zones will be available to specify boundary conditions details. Setting up CFD boundary zones allows you to modify the underlying geometry in nTopology without having to manually update the boundary conditions in the CFD application, thereby enabling automated design workflows.
The CFD boundary zones are defined in the new CFD Boundary on FE Mesh block by specifying a Boundary, a set of element faces representing the zone, and a Boundary type from a drop-down selection.
Below is an outline of the new block:
- Name: CFD Boundary on FE Mesh (Beta)
- Location: Beta > Simulation
- Description: Identifies a CFD boundary on an FE mesh, which then can be exported to an external CFD file format.
- Input 01: Boundary
- Type: FE Boundary
- Description: Element set on which the CFD boundary should be applied.
- Input 02: Boundary Type
- Type: CFD Boundary Enum
- Description: CFD boundary type. Parameters of the boundary condition are specified in the external CFD application.
- Output: CFD Boundary
To export the mesh to the CFD application, use the new Export FE Mesh to CFD block, which takes a mesh and a list of CFD Boundary on FE Mesh instances. The final mesh file will include the nodes and mesh connectivity, as well as the zones for the CFD boundary conditions.
- Below is an outline of the new block :
- Name: Export FE Mesh to CFD (Beta)
- Location: Beta > Simulation
- Description: Exports an FE mesh and optional CFD boundary zones to an external CFD file format.
- Input 01: Path
- Type: File Path
- Description: System path of exported CFD mesh file.
- Input 02: Mesh
- Type: FE Mesh
- Description: The mesh to export.
- Input 03: Units
- Type: Length Unit Enum
- Description: The target units.
- Input 04: Boundaries
- Type: CFD Boundary List
- Description: The CFD boundary conditions to export with the mesh.
- Output: FE Mesh File Data
- With Release 3.4, you can export curves, curve lists, parts, and part lists as an .IGES file.
- You can view the support file formats and select your desired file type in the Export Part block using the Select Export Path dialogue pop-up.
- Most simulation results are now available as properties and can be used directly as fields to modify designs. The fields are generated from the FE nodal data using Barycentric interpolation, and the values on the surface nodes are used for extrapolation. The resultant field is more accurate than the traditional point map approach and computationally more efficient.
- The following table outlines the available properties in each simulation analysis block:
- If your notebook is untitled and you save your file, the file name will also become the notebook name. This feature was released in 3.3.
- We’ve improved how to insert blocks in point and vector variables. Double-click into any of the 3 available inputs and a drop down menu of compatible input types will appear. This feature was released in 3.3. The image below highlights this action:
- We have better defined hover and selected states for the Named Views and Imported Blocks panels:
- The Named Views panel clearly shows which view is selected by highlighting its name.
- The Imported Blocks panel clearly shows which block the user is performing an action on by highlighting its name.
- We’ve modified the speed panel to include the word “speed” to better communicate how this feature works. To access the speed panel, click on the double arrow icon. The speed panel lets you adjust the sensitivity of the change in values when dragging the cursor left and right. From this panel, you can scroll up or down to adjust the speed. Click or click hold and drag directly from the desired speed to confirm the value. The larger the value, the faster the change in values when scrubbing.
- The Smoothen Body block has been updated to work with the GPU. In summary, all blocks that utilize the GPU acceleration and use the Smoothen Body block, will remain interactive and work with the GPU visualization. The Smoothen Body block itself is not interactive.
- Two block types are now available for importing structural and thermal results. For importing time dependent results use Import Time Dependent Structural Results and Import Time Dependent Thermal Results, and the results for multiple time steps will be imported and available in nTopology. For time independent results, use Import Static Structural Results and Import Static Thermal Results, in which case only the last step in the file will be imported.
- Polyhedral meshes are now supported when importing CFD meshes and results. See an example below:
- We fixed an issue in the Rib Lattice from Beams (Beta) block where degenerate faces were created if the lattice had beams that were normal to the Direction input.
- We’ve resolved an issue where Custom Blocks from your “My Blocks Library” which upon import were appearing and behaving as native blocks, which as a result, prevented you from distinguishing them from other blocks (no double type color band on the left) and prevented you from exporting them as nTop files.
- We’ve resolved an issue where the interactive variables were interactive from the variable itself, but not from the input referencing the interactive variable.
- We’ve resolved an issue where Interactivity was broken when properties were used in an otherwise interactive pure implicit notebook.
- We’ve resolved an issue with the Displacement Point Map block, where scalar outputs were becoming unitless.