nTopology 3.15 is here! This release features two new beta blocks. The first is a new TPMS Unit Cell block that allows you to create a TPMS without a thickness. The second block, Simplified Body Representation, calculates the mass properties of your nTopology design and assigns the modified density value to the original CAD design space. Searching for blocks is now easier than ever; we added color-coded indicators for block types and tags telling you if a block is in beta. For all free Educational license users, the software will now automatically check and turn on the GPU acceleration capabilities if your hardware passes diagnostic and performance checks. This check only applies to Educational licenses as we migrate GPU Enhancements out of beta. 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.
- A new single-parameter TPMS unit cell block: TPMS Unit Cell with Bias (Beta). This unit cell is non-walled, meaning that you don’t assign any thickness value to the TPMS walls. The single-parameter available is for approximate bias length, which shifts the mid-surface wall inward or outward.
- Along with this change, we renamed the two existing TPMS unit cells to Walled TPMS Unit Cell (Beta) and Walled TPMS Unit Cell with Bias (Beta). If you’re utilizing these blocks in an existing Notebook, the block name changes automatically without any manual edits.
- The new unit cell enables you to replicate the TPMS lattices under Lattices > Implicit within our new latticing beta technology.
- Block Name: TPMS Unit Cell with Bias (Beta)
- Location: Beta > Lattices - Unit Cells
- Description: Select a unit cell from a library of TPMS unit cells with 1 free parameter.
- Parameter 1: Approximate bias length - Approximate bias of the TPMS as a negative or positive approximate distance. This will shift the mid-surface wall inward or outward.
- Note: The input value for bias is on the Periodic Lattice Body (Beta) block and is available at lattice creation time.
A comparison of the new TPMS Unit Cell with Bias (Beta) block (left) and the Walled TPMS Unit Cell (Beta) block (right)
- nTopology designs with complex geometry may produce very large B-Rep models that are impractical to import into CAD systems. Simplified design representation can enable weight and balance calculations in CAD without the fully detailed B-Rep model.
- We introduced the Simplified Body Representation block as a beta block to calculate the final mass properties of the nTopology design and assign the modified density value to the original CAD design space to create the simplified design representation.
- For mass correction only, the design space is presented as solid bodies with modified density.
- For mass and center of gravity correction, we assign the design space with density = 0 by converting all solid bodies to surface bodies. Then, all mass is concentrated in a small solid body in the center of gravity.
- Block Name: Simplified Body Representation (Beta)
- Description: Create a simplified representation of a Body as an envelope with equivalent mass properties.
- Input 1: Envelope
- Type: CAD Body List
- Description: An envelope surrounding the Body you wish to simplify.
- Input 2: Body
- Type: Implicit Body
- Description: Body to be simplified.
- Input 3: Density
- Type: Scalar
- Description: Density of the material from which the Body will be manufactured.
- Input 4: Exact COG
- Type: Boolean
- Description: Match the center of gravity as well as the overall mass of the original body. If checked, all mass will be concentrated in a small solid body.
- We adjusted the order of the search results to help you find blocks faster and to reduce clutter.
- We added visual indicators to each search result. The color of the indicators represents the block output type.
- There is a unique visual indicator icon for lists, variables and imported blocks to indicate that these are different types of blocks.
- We added tags for “Beta” so search results are easier to differentiate.
- We changed the behavior of the Cell Map (Beta) blocks: the frame input, which used to be required, is now optional. If you don’t provide a frame, these blocks internally compute a frame using the bounding box of the volume. You can still provide a frame to override this behavior and customize the map’s orientation and position. This affects the following blocks:
- Rectangular Cell Map (Beta)
- Cylindrical Cell Map (Beta)
- Spherical Cell Map (Beta)
- The Cylindrical Cell Map (Beta) block is unique amongst the cell maps. It takes into account the volume’s rotation and appropriately rotates the map based on the body’s principal axes.
- This change is backward compatible, and any Cell Map (Beta) blocks you’re currently using will produce the same results in 3.15.
The Rectangular Cell Map prior to 3.15. The default frame is unaware of the input volume’s geometry:
The Rectangular Cell Map block in 3.15, which uses the min point of the volume’s bounding box as the cell map’s starting point:
The Cylindrical Cell Map block prior to 3.15. This block used the default frame and is unaware of the geometry of the input volume:
The Cylindrical Cell Map block in 3.15 with the frame auto-compute feature:
- The TPMS Unit Cell (Beta) and TPMS Unit Cell with Bias (Beta) blocks have been renamed to Walled TPMS Unit Cell (Beta) and Walled TPMS Unit Cell with Bias (Beta) to differentiate them from the new non-walled unit cell. See TPMS Unit Cell with Bias (Beta) for more information.
- The Overhang Constraint block for topology optimization has been moved out of beta and promoted to a full production block.
- We improved the isotropic and orthotropic material blocks. You can now access all the directional material properties from the block Properties tab. We renamed the Isotropic Coefficient of Thermal Expansion Property and Orthotropic Coefficient of Thermal Expansion Property blocks to Isotropic Thermal Expansion Property and Orthotropic Thermal Expansion Property, respectively. Lastly, we have standardized on using numerical indices 1, 2, and 3 to denote the material directions x, y, and z for material property inputs.
- The Anisotropic Material object has also been extended to allow direct access to the stiffness and compliance coefficients via the Properties tab. An Anisotropic Material is the primary output from the Homogenize Unit Cell block.
- For all free Educational license users, the software will now automatically check and turn on the GPU acceleration capabilities if your hardware passes diagnostic and performance checks. This check occurs once you update to version 3.15, and it will respect your “Enable GPU acceleration” option in the Settings panel from that point forward. This check gets skipped if you already have GPU acceleration turned on. Currently, this only happens for Educational users, but it’s a first step toward migrating the GPU capability out of beta.
- We now support the Solidworks Assembly file format (.SLDASM) as an eligible input type for the Import Part block.
- We fixed an issue in the CAD Body from Mesh (Beta) block that was preventing the block from completing when the input object was cylindrical or torus-like in shape.
- We fixed an issue with the CAD Body from Mesh block that prevented face consolidation from happening in some cases. We only applied this fix to the newer, Beta version of CAD Body from Mesh. The CAD Body output had one face for each of the quads of the input mesh instead of merging mesh elements, and some users saw an output with upwards of 10,000 CAD faces in some cases.
The output from the CAD Body from Mesh block. The block Properties shows 7452 faces.
Output in the CAD Body from Mesh (Beta) block that received the bug fix. Note that there are now two CAD faces.
- We fixed an issue in the Mesh from Implicit Body by Voxels (Beta) block that was creating bad outputs for beam-based lattices.
Output of Mesh from Implicit Body by Voxels (Beta) prior to the fix in 3.15:
After the fix:
A comparison with the block Mesh from Implicit Body. The newer beta block will take longer to run, but is more robust and the output is closer to the original body’s geometry:
- We fixed an issue where turning off a view while it’s generating did not cancel the view computation.
- We fixed a number of GPU view generation issues that were happening for some NVIDIA hardware.