Having visual information of simulation models and their results without having to open a corresponding post-processing tool can save you a lot of time. Products for extracting such information from simulation models are offered by ANSYS partners, such as VCollab from Visual Collaboration Technologies Inc. These tools are able to extract lightweight visualization data from various file formats, including the major ANSYS simulation file formats. Since the extraction comes with a compression of up to 98 percent, the files can be shared easily with designers/managers/suppliers — using email or as embedded result in a PowerPoint slide for interactive 3-D presentations/design reviews.
However, to generate the lightweight information, the process has to be started manually. It would be best to have the information available via an automatic procedure. Obviously, the resulting visualization information should be available from a resource that is easily available by using a standard software application, such as a simple internet browser. Additionally, the visualization information should be directly connected to the original simulation file to access the native format if needed.
This tool is implemented based on web technologies and can be easily accessed using your favorite browser. It runs automatic procedures to extract meta-data and simulation details reports as soon as files are brought to the repository. This can be easily extended to extract a lightweight visualization image, for example by using VCollab technology.
Once this image is available, it can be displayed within the browser interface by simply selecting the image view of the original simulation file. The visualization includes the option to apply 3-D operation such as translation, rotation and zoom. Additionally, the model/result representation can be manipulated in various ways, such as displaying contour plots, deformed geometry and other typical post-processing operations.
The are many benefits of using such an environment. First, the simulation data is available in a central location that is accessible with standard applications. Second, the simulation files are available not only for usage in the native simulation environment but automatically indexed with additional information, such as reports and 3-D images. Thus, the set of available information is not just beneficial for a CAE experts user, but also for a wider user base, such as designers and managers.