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In this chapter we discuss how Autodesk Simulation CFD manages files and connects with your CAD system. Additionally, we describe the basics of model navigation and entity selection.
Before launching Autodesk Simulation CFD, it is important to understand the concept of a Design Study.
A Design Study is the Autodesk Simulation CFD file structure used for grouping multiple analyses within a single Autodesk Simulation CFD session. A primary benefit of the Design Study is to facilitate comparison of results. The underlying geometry for analyses in a Design Study can be different, and each unique geometry is called a "Design." Analyses can also have different materials and operating conditions. Each different combination of settings is called a "Scenario." The Design Study hierarchy helps you track and organize these scenarios.
The Design Study is the core of Design Study Automation. It is a hierarchical structure that organizes the Autodesk Simulation CFD process into three fundamental levels:
- Every time you use Autodesk Simulation CFD, you are in a Design Study.
- At its simplest, the Design Study contains a single analysis.
- The Design Study is a file system that organizes multiple variables critical to the design process.
- The name of the Design Study only appears on the top bar of the User Interface.
- The Design Study is the framework for the definition and comparison of the multi-level engineering design project.
- Design Studies contain Designs and Scenarios...
- Every unique geometric model is a Design.
- Use Designs to understand the effects of geometry modifications made in the CAD system.
- Create a new design for each geometric variation from your CAD system.
- Each Design can have one or more individual Scenarios that reference it...
- A Scenario is an individual analysis within a Design.
- All Scenarios in a design reference the same geometry.
- To understand the effects of different settings (such as boundary conditions or materials), create a new scenario for each different settings case.
Direct launchers for Inventor, Pro/Engineer, Revit, Solid Edge, UGNX, One Space Designer (CoCreate Modeling), SpaceClaim, and Solid Works are included in the Autodesk Simulation CFD installation.
The Design Study Manager is an interactive tool for coordinating your CAD models and Design Studies in real-time.
It is a powerful way to manage Design Studies, Designs, and Scenarios. It allows you to easily update them from your CAD tool without having to exit Autodesk Simulation CFD.
The Design Study Manager opens automatically when you launch Autodesk Simulation CFD from CAD. It is highly versatile, and contains several functions:
To create a new Design Study by launching from one of the directly-supported CAD systems
- Start by clicking the CFD launch button or menu item.
- Specify a name for the Design Study in the Design study name field. The default name is the name of the top level assembly or the part.
- Optionally, change the Design and Scenario names from the defaults.
- The default location of the study is the same path as the CAD model. To change this, click Set path..., and select (or create if necessary) the desired path.
- Click Launch. Autodesk Simulation CFD starts, and the Design Study is created. The first Design and Scenario are listed in the Design Study Bar.
Additionally, use the Design Study Manager for the following:
- Add geometry to a Design Study
- Open an existing design study
- Add a new design to a design study.
We will explore these later in the Fundamentals Training.
Optionally, click here to see an example of creating a new design study...
Optionally, click here to learn more about the Design Study Manager...
To create a new design study by launching from other CAD systems
If a direct launcher is not available for your CAD system, save the geometry to either a parasolid (.x_T) or ACIS (.sat) format and open it directly into Autodesk Simulation CFD:
- From the Get Started tab, click New.
- Click the Browse button and select a geometry file. This can be a Parasolid (".x_t"), Acis (".sat"), or Pro/Engineer part (".prt) or assembly (".asm").
- Specify a name for the Design Study, and click Create new design study.
This performs the same functions as the New icon on Quick Edit toolbar.
NoteNames of Design Studies, Designs, and Scenarios must not contain punctuation such as "<", ">", "?", ":", "/", "]", "[", "\", ".", ",", or " ' "
Autodesk Simulation CFD provides several navigation modes for using the mouse to navigate the model. In addition to the default mode, there are several modes that mimic navigation in the supported CAD tools.
To change the navigation mode to that of your CAD system, do the following:
- Open the Application menu, and click Options. Click the Navigation tab.
- Select the desired CAD tool from the Navigation Mode menu.
- Restart Autodesk Simulation CFD to activate the change.
Click here for a list of the mouse navigation modes in Autodesk Simulation CFD...
The ViewCube is a graphical navigation tool located in the upper right corner of the Graphics window. It is a convenient way to control the orientation of the model. Use it to perform the following tasks:
- Orient the model in any of 26 pre-set orientations.
- Rotate the model about the Cartesian axes.
- Reset the model to its default orientation.
Selecting and Hiding Objects
There are several ways to set the selection mode to volume, surface, or edge:
- From the right click menu on the Graphics window:
Specific colors are used to indicate the selection status of entities:
- When the mouse hovers over an entity, it turns green.
- When an entity is selected, it turns red.
- When the mouse hovers over a selected entity, it turns yellow.
When an item is selected, its label appears on the Selection List. To select entities from the Design Study Bar, simply left click on their label in the appropriate branch.
NoteTo be selectable, an entity must not be occluded by another entity. If another entity blocks the line of sight to the desired entity, hide the blocking entity.
Use the icons on the Selection panel to select and deselect multiple entities:
Select All entities of the current selection mode by clicking:
Deselect an item by highlighting in the selection list, and clicking:
Deselect all selected items by clicking:
Select the previously selected entities by clicking:
NoteSelect All, Deselect All, and Previous are also available in the right-click menu.
To select multiple entities that are related to another (easily selected) item, select from the Direct menu.
Entities of the selected type highlight as you move the mouse over them. To select all items that are associated with the selection type, click on any highlighted item.
For example, if ten parts are assigned the same material, select Material from this list. As you move your mouse over the model, you will see that all ten parts highlight together because they have the same material. To select all ten, click on one of them.
The selection methods for each selectable entity are:
|Volume ||Direct -- Volumes are highlighted and are selected |
| ||Material -- All volumes that have the same material are highlighted and selected together. |
|Surface ||Direct -- Surfaces are highlighted and are selected |
| ||Volume -- Volumes are highlighted, and all surfaces touching a picked volume are selected. |
|Edge ||Direct -- Edges are highlighted and are selected |
| ||Surface -- Surfaces are highlighted, and all edges touching a picked surface are selected. |
| ||Volume -- Volumes are highlighted, and all edges touching a picked volume are selected. |
Sometimes it is necessary to hide an object to access an object behind it.
- To hide an object:
- Right click on it, and select Hide, or...
- Hold the Ctrl key and right click on the object, or...
- Middle click on it (if using the Autodesk Simulation CFD or CoCreate Modeling mouse modes)
- To show a hidden object:
- Right click and select Show all, or...
- Hold the Ctrl key and right click in the graphics window, off the model, or...
- Middle click off the model (if using the Autodesk Simulation CFD or CoCreate Modeling mouse modes)
- To undo and redo hiding and showing objects, hold the Ctrl key and roll the mouse scroll wheel
NoteTo set the type of object that is hidden, set the selection type to Volume or Surface with the Selection Type toolbar or right-click menu.
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