All that you need to know for using Generic Simulation app and getting most out of it.

Getting Started with Generic Simulation

Introduction to Generic Simulation app

What is Computational Fluid Dynamics?

Computational Fluid Dynamics or simply CFD is an art/method/science/technique of solving mathematical equations governing different physics including a flow of fluid, a flow of heat, chemical reactions, phase change and many other phenomena. CFD helps designers to evaluate the product performance without creating its physical prototype.

Traditionally, CFD is considered as three step process, viz. pre-processing, solving and post-processing the results. Pre-processing involves creating 3D CAD model of a product, preparing CAD model for CFD meshing, creating a mesh in the region of a solution, creating a solution setup based on involved physics, a solution of equation and visualization and interpretation of results generated by the solver. CFD is considered as one of the complex technique to learn and use in analysis of product performance. It's mainly because of complexity involved and compute power required for a solution. That's the main reason for many designers not to adapt to these tools/techniques in their design process.

What is Generic Simulation app?

Generic Simulation app is most easy-to-use, UpFront CFD app built for designers, innovators, and enthusiast. Get the CFD results compiled in a report.

Generic Simulation app helps designers to quickly and easily evaluate the product performance. This app is built from ground-up considering designers as the focal point. A designer needs fluid flow and thermal modeling capability on tap. We have avoided the cliche features of traditional CFD applications and rather focused on results required by designers. The designer need not worry about computing requirement to achieve your simulation goal, as it is deployed on the cloud. Generic simulation app chooses appropriate computing devices to perform simulation and makes sure designer get results within the shorter period of time. The analysis setup and results are automatically compiled in a ready-to-use PDF report.

User interface

Following are the major components of Generic Simulation app interface.

1
Simulation details and help toggle button : Access the simulation details, help and support menu. This allows opening the simulation details page. A quick link to help items like getting started guide, video library and forum is given. You can also raise the support ticket for opened simulation.
2
Simulation stage navigation toggle button : This button toggles the stage navigation menu of left.
3
Navigation menu for an individual stage : A typical simulation includes a number of main stages. Each main stage includes a number of sub-stages. For example, a boundary conditions stage includes the definition of an inlet, outlet, and view / delete conditions. Navigation menu for an individual stage is available in the left navigation panel. Individual stage menus will change depending on the stage you have opened. For example, in result stage, you can view flow lines, surface pressure, contour plots etc. Clicking on each sub-stage will open the respective sub stage options. This menu follows stage dependency and color coding.
4
Previous & next stage access : A quick access link is given to go to previous or next simulation stage. The access to the next stage is deactivated until the current stage is completed. This menu follows stage dependency.
5
Stage quick access : Stage quick access is available at bottom of stage navigation panel. This quick access helps to navigate between main simulation stages. This menu follows stage dependency and color coding.
6
View cube : Use the View cube to orbit your design or view the design from standard view positions. If you hover on the view cube, you can see a drop-down icon at a bottom right corner with more view options.
7
Model view controls and settings : The model view controls contain commands used to zoom, pan, and orbit your design. The display settings control the appearance of the interface and how a model is displayed in the graphics window. You can also take the snapshot of what is displayed in the graphics window.
8
Model click menu : Left-click to select the object in the graphics window. Right-click to access the model menu. The model menu contains commands like to isolate, hide selected, show all objects. Left click anywhere in the graphics window to hide the model menu.
9
Results quick access menu : Results quick access menu is available when you open the result stage of simulation. This quick access menu helps to navigate to different results without using left navigation panel. Quick access menu contains commands to go to results like flow lines, contour plots, quantitative results etc.
10
Profile and help : In profile, you can control your profile and account settings, or use the help menu to continue your learning or get help in troubleshooting. This menu also contains a quick link to the dashboard. Use full-screen icon if you wish to use the app in full-screen mode.

simulationHub Apps Anywhere
Mobile device modifications

View cube 6 and result quick access 9 menus are not available on mobile and tablet. A profile and help menu 10 is modified for mobile and tablet devices. You will see raise ticket and sign out buttons in the profile and help menu. Model view control and settings 7 menus are also modified and available with fewer options.

Stage dependency and color coding

All the simulation stages are arranged in the sequential way they are executed. Every stage is dependent on the status of its previous stage. If the previous stage is not completed/failed, the stage will not be activated. This helps to complete the simulation stages in a sequential manner and avoid input errors.

The status of every stage/sub-stage is represented by unique colors. Green color indicates running stage, blue color indicates completed stage, black color indicated active stage, light grey color indicated deactivated stage and red color indicated the failed stage.

Create simulation

Start new generic simulation by creating a new simulation

1
Create new simulation : Click "Create New Simulation" button on the dashboard. This will open create new simulation popup. (NOTE : The button will be deactivated in case if you do not have valid app subscription.)
2
Simulation details : Provide simulation name and description in given fields. If you have only one app subscription, the app will automatically be selected in template drop-down. In case of multiple app subscriptions, select the app template.
3
Create simulation : Click "Create Simulation" button. This will create a new simulation with provided details and open the 3D viewer for further setup.

Upload geometry

This is the first step towards running a CFD simulation in Generic Simulation app. Once a new simulation is created, you will be directed to geometry stage.

Follow below steps to get you geometry in a simulation project.

1
Input CAD model : Click "Input CAD Model" in main geometry stage. This will direct you to sub-stage menu for input CAD model.
2
Browse : If you have geometry available in your local computer, click "Browse" button. This will open "Upload Local Geometry" dialog. (NOTE : If you have geometry available on cloud storage, provide the link to geometry file and click upload. Currently, only Amazon S3 cloud storage links are supported).
3
Choose a file : Click on "Choose a file to upload" button to open a file browser. Select the file and click "Open" in a file browser. The selected file name will appear below the button.
4
Upload : Click "Upload" button to upload the file to your simulation. The time required to upload the file will depend on the size of a file. Once the file is uploaded, the 3D viewer will show the geometry and will move to next simulation stage. You can notice that the geometry stage is marked completed (blue color) in stage quick access menu available at bottom of stage navigation panel.

Extract fluid volume

Providing fluid volume is necessary for any CFD analysis. Fluid volume defines the regions in which flow equations are solved. In traditional CFD approach and software, extracting fluid volume is considered as one of the complex and time-consuming processes. It involves cleaning the geometry features and making geometry "water-tight".

simulationHub comes with a unique fluid volume extraction algorithm. This algorithm is now included in all the apps and works on complex CAD model even with dirty CAD assemblies with large openings. To extract fluid volume, you just need to provide a point (referred as a fluid point) anywhere within fluid domain / domain of interest. The algorithm intelligently closes the gaps, creates water-tight geometry and extracts fluid volume.

Follow below steps to extract fluid volume for your geometry.

1
Extract fluid volume : Click on "Extract Fluid Volume" in main fluid volume stage. This will direct you to sub-stage menu for fluid volume extraction.
2
Provide fluid point : You need to provide two points to define the fluid point. You can left click on any surface of the geometry to define the point. The center point of two selected points will be considered as a fluid point. Use other mouse buttons to transform the model and give correct point location.

After selection of a fluid point, make sure that the fluid point is inside the geometry / region where CFD simulation will be carried out. In case if you have provided wrong fluid point, click on "Select Input Points" and provide correct location.

3
Extract fluid volume : Click on "Extract Fluid Volume" button to open run simulation dialog. The dialog will give information about your available credits and simulation credits required for fluid volume extraction job.
4
Run simulation : Click on "Run Simulation" button to submit fluid volume extraction job. This will take your fluid point location and submit fluid volume extraction job. The status of fluid volume job will be displayed in the status section. (NOTE : If job notifications are active, you will also receive an email about job submission and completion). Once the fluid volume is extracted, the 3D viewer will automatically move to boundary condition stage and fluid volume stage will marked as completed (blue color).

Boundary boundary conditions

Boundary conditions are required to understand how the fluid enters and leaves the geometry. It is mandatory to define at least one inlet and one outlet condition. You can define multiple inlet / outlet conditions based on your geometry.

Follow below steps to define inlet conditions.

A
Define inlet conditions : Click on "Define Inlet Conditions" in main boundary condition stage. This will open "Boundary Conditions : Inlet" sub-stage menu.
1
Select surface(s) : Only fluid volume will be shown when you enter the define condition sub-stage. A boundary condition is defined on single or multiple faces of fluid volume. Select a single face or multiple faces on which you want to defined boundary condition. The selected faces will be shown in "Selected Faces" table. You can use delete icon to remove a face from the selection list.
2
Condition details : Once the required faces are selected, provide a name to the boundary conditions. You can either define velocity or mass flow rate as specification method. Based on specification method, provide velocity or mass flow rate value.
3
Add inlet condition : Click on "Add Inlet Condition" to add the inlet boundary condition. This condition will be shown in "Defined Inlet Conditions" section. The selected surfaces will be marked with blue color to distinguish them from other surfaces.
4
Change condition details : In case if you have selected wrong surfaces or provided wrong inputs, you can change the conditions details. Click on an added condition in "Defined Inlet Conditions". This will show surfaces and its details in "Add Inlet Conditions" section with "Modify Condition" button. Delete or add surface using left-click, modify details 5, and click "Modify Condition" 6 button. This will change the selected condition details.
B
Define outlet conditions : Click on "Define Outlet Conditions" in main boundary condition stage. This will open "Boundary Conditions : Outlet" sub-stage menu. Follow the same procedure as that of defining inlet condition.
C
View all conditions : Click on "View / Delete Conditions" in main boundary condition stage. This will open "Boundary Conditions : Details" sub-stage menu. You can view the details of all the conditions defined. You can delete individual / all conditions using delete icon / button provided in "Defined Conditions" section.

Run simulation

Follow below steps to do simulation status and run a simulation.

1
Simulation settings : Click on "Simulation Settings" in main simulation run stage. This will direct you to sub-stage menu for simulation settings.
2
Working fluid : By default, air will be selected as working fluid. Select water / air as working fluid. Click "Modify Settings" 3 to apply a change in working fluid.
4
Simulation run : Click on "Simulation Run & Status" in main simulation run stage. This will direct you to sub-stage menu for a simulation run.
5
Submit simulation : Click on "Submit Simulation" to submit the simulation on cloud simulation facility. The status of a job submitted will be shown in "Simulation Status" section. Job submission and completion email notifications will be sent. The time required for simulation depends on the size of geometry and live feed of current simulation status will be given in "Simulation Status" 6 section. Once the simulation run is completed, the 3D viewer will automatically move to results stage and simulation run stage will marked as completed (blue color).

For any reason, if you wish to terminate simulation, you can use "Terminate" 7 button. It will show a job termination popup.

Flow lines

Flow lines depict the path followed by fluid particles from an inlet to outlet. This is similar to the flow visualization technique where some colored particles are injected from an inlet and its trace in the flow domain is marked. Along with that path, the flow lines also display the magnitude of velocity and pressure of each particle along its path line. This is useful information to identify recirculation in the CFD simulation domain.

To access the flow lines, Flow Lines in result main stage. You can also access the flow lines using "Results quick access menu" provided at the top center of the 3D viewer

Flow lines are loaded with the default configuration of variable, colors, and opacity. Use following settings to modify the display of flow lines.

1
Variable : Select the variable to be used to color flow lines. You can select either velocity or pressure as a variable. You can also change the number of color bands to be used to create the color variation. By default, variable variation is shown using 16 colors. Anywhere between 2 to 100 colors can be used as a color variation. Change the variable, change number of colors and click "Apply" button. This will app selected changed on the colors of flow lines.
2
Model opacity : To get a better view of flow lines, the model is made opaque while loading flow lines. You can change opacity settings using slider provided in Model Opacity section with 0 indicating fully transparent and 1 indicating fully visible. In case if you have a multi-part model, you can change the opacity of one / more parts. Check the "Selected Only" option, select single / multiple parts and drag the opacity slider. Drag and release the slider at desired opacity to change the opacity of model. Click "Reset" button make model fully visible.
3
Color legend : CFD analysis generates a numerical data as a result. Understanding large quantity of numbers is very difficult. To give a better understanding of results and to create a visual representation of numbers, a color coding method is used. The range of minimum to the maximum value is first divided into the number of groups (In simulationHub, we divide them 2 to 100 groups). Each group is then assigned a unique color. Any number then gets a color based on which group it belongs to. In simulationHub, we use a color variation between blue to red where blue indicates a minimum value and red indicates a maximum value. The color legend shows the minimum and maximum value, variable displayed and color for each group.
3
Take a snap : Click (Set simulation image) button located in a menu at mid-bottom of the viewer. This will open a "Take a Snap" dialog with image preview. "Set as simulation feature image" option will make the snap as simulation feature image display on dashboard and simulation details page. "Add in simulation repository" option is used to keep the snap in simulation data for future reference.

Flow lines with vectors

The flow lines can be animated using arrows. The direction of an arrow indicated flow direction and speed of arrows is based on velocity magnitude. This helps to understand the relative velocity difference at the different location in the flow region.

To access the flow lines, click Flow Lines with Vectors in result main stage. You can also access this using "Results quick access menu" provided at the top center of the 3D viewer.

Flow lines with vectors are loaded with the default configuration of variable, colors, opacity and arrow speed. Use following settings to modify the display.

Usage of 1Variable, 2Model opacity, 4Color legend and 5Take a snap is same as that of flow lines results.

3
Settings : Flow line arrow animation speed can be changed using speed slider located in the settings section. Speed can be adjusted anywhere between 1 to 100, where 1 results into slowest and 100 results into fastest animation speed. Drag and release the slider at desired speed to change the speed of arrow animation.

Surface pressure

Surface pressure is pressure contours plotted on the surfaces in contact with the fluid. This information is useful to identify the regions of low-pressure zones and the possible locations of flow recirculation.

To access the surface pressure, click Surface Pressure in result main stage. You can also access this using "Results quick access menu" provided at the top center of the 3D viewer.

Surface pressure is loaded with the default configuration of a variable, model opacity, and surface visibility. Use following settings to modify the display.

1
Variable : "Color By" drop-down is deactivated as surfaces pressure plots are generated only with pressure values. By default, the 16 number of colors are used to display surface pressure plot. To change the number of colors, drag and release the color slider at a desired value and click "Apply" button.
2
Model opacity : To get a better view of surface pressure plots, all the model parts are made hidden. To view the geometry along with surface pressure, right-click anywhere in the graphics window and select "Show all objects". You will see now see the geometry along with surface pressure. You can then adjust the opacity of geometry using Opacity slider in "Model Opacity" section.
2
Surface visibility : To get a view of pressure on internal surfaces, sometimes it is needed to hide pressure plot of few surfaces. You can use options in "Surface Visibility" section to hide surface. Click on "Select Surface" button, select the surfaces you want to hide, click on "End Selection" button to end the surface selection process. All the selected surfaces are shown in "Selected Surface" table. Use / icon to hide/show the individual surface. Click icon to remove surface from the selection list. You can use / icons in the table header to hide/show all surfaces and icon to remove all the surfaces from the selection list.

Usage of 4 Color legend and 5 Take a snap is same as that of flow lines results.

Contour plots

The contour plot is a pictorial representation of flow property variation in the fluid domain. The location of flow separation, high velocity, and low-pressure regions are few examples of insights that can be gained through CFD results visualization. Contour plots display the velocity or pressure variation about any 2D cut section of the geometry.

To access the contour plot, click Contour Plots in result main stage. You can also access this using "Results quick access menu" provided at the top center of the 3D viewer.

Contour plots loads with default settings for cut plane and variable. Use following settings to modify the contour plot.

Usage of 2Variable, 3Model opacity, 5Color legend and 6Take a snap is same as that of flow lines results.

1
Cut plane : Contour plots can be shown in X, Y, or Z direction. To change the cut section direction and location, sliders are provided in "Cut Plane" section. You can change the plane location from 1 to 100 where 50 represents the middle cut section.

By default, Z = 50 cut section is displayed. The displayed cut section value and direction is shown at the bottom. To change the cut section, drag and release the slider at desired location.

4
Settings : When the cut section is selected for contour plot, the geometry is also sectioned at the selected location. This shows only one side of the geometry to make contour plot visible. If you want to get the full display of geometry, you can deactivate "Section Geometry" option in the settings section.

Quantitative Values

In a generic simulation, various quantitative results are generated. These results can be accessed using Quantitative Values option available in results main stage. Quantitative values like static pressure, total pressure and mass flow rate at each boundary is given in a table. You can use these values to calculate mass distribution and pressure drop across different boundaries.

CFD analysis report

CFD analysis report is necessary to submit it to local approval authority, to stakeholders, to design team for review and design modifications. Generic simulation app comes with a unique report generation feature. We have extracted required and critical information about analysis to compile a ready-to-use PDF report. The report begins with an introduction and the objective of the study of your project. Then it contains details about geometry, CFD methodology, mesh, solver, fluid properties and boundary conditions is used for simulation.

The result section stars with quantitative results which includes static pressure, total pressure and mass flow rate at each inlet. This information can be used to calculate pressure drop across inlet and outlet boundaries and flow distribution. Contour plots of velocity and pressure variation on midplane in X, Y, and Z directions are given.

To access the CFD analysis report, click Report in result main stage. This will open a PDF in a report window. You can download the using download button provided in the top right menu.

NOTE: Once the simulation is completed, a PDF document of the report is also sent as an attached to simulation completion email.

Dashboard

Once you log into the simulationHub account, you can go to your dashboard using a link in top navigation bar. The dashboard provides an at-a-glance view of all your simulations. The dashboard contains main components like top navbar, side navigation, simulation quick-view tile and other important information about your account and subscription.

Simulation quick-view tile on dashboard has following components:

1
Simulation image : The simulation image on dashboard tile gives a quick visual view of simulation. This image is automatically updated based on the recently opened / completed simulation stage. You can also set this image using "Set simulation image" button available in 3D viewer. Click on the simulation image will open simulation in 3D viewer.
2
Simulation details : Simulation details section in quick-view tile contains information link simulation name, simulation app and last opened / edit information. But default all the simulations are arranged in descending order of its last access time.
3
Simulation status : Simulation status is the dynamic content of quick-view tile. The progress percentage, status and progress bar will change based on the current state of the simulation. Appropriate color coding is used to give the visual representation of simulation status.
4
Quick links : Quick links are provided to open details page or 3D viewer for simulation.

Simulation details

Simulation details page contains all the information either entered by you or generated during the simulation process. We have written app specific algorithms to extract all the simulation information and presented in a report ready format.

Following are the major components of simulation details page.

1
Name and details : Simulation name and details are provided at the top
2
Simulation image : The image slider contains all the simulation images. These images are automatically updated based on the recently opened / completed simulation stage. You can also set this image using "Set simulation image" button available in 3D viewer.
3
Simulation details : The simulation details section contains all input information including name and description. The simulation results information is arranged in different sections. It includes quantitative results and image sliders for specific output like flow lines, contour plots etc. You can collapse the view of each section using the arrow provided at the top right corner of each section.
4
Simulation actions : Simulation action section provides buttons to preform different actions on the simulation. You can open 3D simulation, copy, edit or delete the simulation using these buttons.
5
Quick glance : Quick glance section contains some important information about simulation. It includes simulation details, overall simulation status, simulation images and important notifications about the app.
6
Left navigation toggle button : This button toggles the left navigation menu. Left navigation menu contains simulation filter (recently opened / filter by app / simulation gallery), help and support section and account section. You can access app specific help or raise a support ticket for your simulation.
6
Profile and help : In profile, you can control your profile and account settings, or use the help menu to continue your learning or get help in troubleshooting. This menu also contains a quick link to the dashboard. Use full-screen icon if you wish to use the app in full-screen mode.

simulationHub Apps Anywhere
Mobile device modifications

A profile and help menu 7 is modified for mobile and tablet devices. You will see raise ticket and sign out buttons in the profile and help menu.

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