Bring Your Easy Simulations to Life in ANSYS AIM

ANSYS AIM brings easy simulation to every engineer. The results from these simulations can be used to create fantastic images that bring your simulation to life.

You may have noticed a new graphics display mode that can be enabled by clicking on one of the toolbar buttons in ANSYS AIM 17.0. Its name is Enhanced display, and it is the third display mode option after Standard and Translucent displays:


It may be tucked away behind an unassuming little button, but this is a powerful feature that can make your model come to life. Just click the button, and a car transmission model display goes from this:


to this:


Note: hide model edges for best results with enhanced display.

And, if you happen to have materials assigned in your physics setup, AIM will use its built-in material appearance information to create an even more realistic display:


Best of all, you do not need to compromise on usability or the speed of interaction for all this added visual richness. The heavy lifting is done by the GPU, leaving most of your computer resources available for other computation. You can continue working as in the Standard display, including fast view navigation, selection, or results analysis. You just get a better looking model display:


What if you want to further customize the appearance of your model? For example, you may wish to add some paint on the metal components, or specify material for the parts of the model that are not included in the physics simulation.

Let’s say you are modeling fluid flow around a sports car. You create a box to model the fluid around the car, and specify air as the fluid material. The car itself is not part of the simulation, and has no material defined on it. When viewing the Physics task in Enhanced display mode, you will see something like this:


While it is correctly representing all specified materials (only air in this case), it is not particularly exciting to look at.

Fortunately, you can continue specifying materials for parts of the car itself, without impacting the fluids simulation. This is because these material assignments will simply be ignored by the solution.

Here I specified Structural Steel for the wheels and a few other parts, and Hard Rubber for the tires and the exhaust. I also hid the fluid volume.


Getting there! Now, I would really like to paint the car red. However, there is no red material in the database. Coming in ANSYS AIM 17.1, there is a way to do what I want.

The procedure consists of two simple steps. First, assign any material to the body of interest. Here I assigned Structural Steel:


Then, open up the assigned Structural Steel and scroll down to Appearance Properties:


Here I can change any appearance property of my material, including color, opacity, whether it is metallic or plastic, and how rough or shiny in should look. Now I have my blazing red sports car look:


If I keep doing this for all parts of the model, I can get virtually any look by assigning and then fine tuning the materials.


I can also customize the appearance of the materials for bodies that are included in the physics regions, without impacting the simulation results. In my previous example, all transmission components were made of structural steel – I just customized their “finish” to make certain components stand out. In my car example, I can use this trick to make the air look less translucent, and then show the bottom face of the fluid volume to get the appearance of the floor:


Possibilities are endless! Get creative and have fun. With just a few simple steps, you too can make your simulation results more impactful and exciting.




Want to learn more about ANSYS AIM? You can visit our website here or by registering for an upcoming webinar.

ansys webinars this weekANSYS AIM: Democratize Simulation for Your Engineers

May 24, 2016

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM (EDT)

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM (EDT)

4 thoughts on “Bring Your Easy Simulations to Life in ANSYS AIM

  1. Wow that’s pretty awesome! Especially the last 3 shots look great!
    Since “the better is always the enemy of the great”:
    will you drive this in future even futher by making it possible to use ansys spaceclaims capabilities to connect to keyshot to make real photorealistic renderings of bodies in combination with ansys results possible??
    Or is there already a way to bring not only the bodies but also the results to keyshot???

    • Thank you, glad you liked it!

      If there is interest, we are not excluding possible future connectivity of AIM graphics to 3rd party renderers. For now, however, we are focusing on bringing easy and interactive photorealism into AIM itself.

  2. good to hear you are “not excluding” something like this for ever 🙂
    It’s of course perfect to focus on aim inegrated graphics first!

    Since the conntection of spaceclaim (used by aim) to keyshot exisits for some versions and it was made even tighter in latest version (full livelinking support),
    maybe it can be the next logical step to bring the results to keyshot too
    in a first step for the results shown directly on the body surfaces (mechanical strain etc..) which could be done simply as a new texture, or maybe even easier as a “sticker/label”
    in a second step also for results on new “geometries” (CFD-> e.g. flow lines..) by adding these geometries as new parts with their colored surfaces to the model before bringing it all to keyshot…

  3. Pingback: 3 Ways ANSYS AIM Impacts Design Engineer Productivity ·ANSYS

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