Application Builder Updates

For users of the Application Builder, COMSOL Multiphysics® version 5.6 brings layout templates, themes, and a Knob form object, as well as several Form Editor and Method Editor improvements. Read about these Application Builder updates in detail below.

Layout Templates

Layout templates make it easier and much quicker to set up an app with a structured layout from the outset. Select one of the predefined templates and populate it with the content of your model in the updated New Form wizard. When selecting which content to include in your model, you are able to be more specific with where the content will be grouped and located. You can also create your own templates and reuse them for all your apps.

A wizard in the Application Builder with a list of different templates and the template for ribbon, logo, sections, and graphics shown.
The New Form wizard with the Ribbon, logo, sections, and graphics predefined template selected.


The new Themes node in the Application Builder lets you control the overall visual theme of your apps. The theme can be set to either Default, Dark, or Light. It is easy to change the theme in the Application Builder, and the changes will have immediate effect throughout; all form objects are adopted to the selected theme. Use this as-is or combine it with the custom color support already present in previous versions of the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

A simulation application for studying a lithium-ion battery pack design, where the app is designed using the Light theme in COMSOL Multiphysics version 5.6.
The Battery Pack Design app included in the Battery Design Module showcases the new Light theme.

Knob Form Object

The new Knob form object works like a circular slider and can be useful for a more compact design. Like other form objects, the knob is highly customizable. The Mouse movement option supports Distance, Circular, and Vertical choices, where Distance changes the value when the user makes a linear mouse movement in any direction, Vertical changes the value when the user moves the mouse vertically, and Circular lets the user rotate the knob with a circular mouse motion. By modifying the appearance, the colors can be adopted to fit the design of the rest of the app.

A simulation app for analyzing a truck-mounted crane design, where the app was designed using the knob form object in COMSOL Multiphysics version 5.6.
The Truck Mounted Crane Analyzer app is included in the Application Libraries of the Multibody Dynamics Module and showcases the new knob form object.

Three simulation app knobs in COMSOL blue and teal.
Matching the colors selected in the Settings window image, the knobs here have the blue color of the COMSOL company logo, while the teal colors are the same as in the COMSOL Server™ product logo.

Card Stack Size

The Card Stack form object has become more flexible, as you can now choose to adjust its size to the currently selected card. Previously, the card stack always took the size of its largest individual card, which meant that even small or empty cards still took up space in the layout. Now, when a card is empty, the Card Stack will disappear.

Local Forms

Forms can now be local to other forms, which enables you to create a better structure when developing apps. For instance, for a complex global form made up of many different subforms, the helper forms can be local forms displayed as children in the Application Builder tree.

The Application Builder in COMSOL Multiphysics version 5.6 where the Finned Pipe app is being built and the card stack settings are shown.
Local forms used in card stacks for the geometry form in the Finned Pipe application.

Form Editor Updates

There are also a number of updates to existing functionality in the Form Editor. The Data Display form object supports options for selecting which unit to use when displaying the value. Toggle Buttons and Toggle Items contain a new setting for the selected icon, making it possible to have different icons for the selected and deselected state, without writing a method. The Selection Input form object has two new events: On data change and On activate, which allow you to run custom methods when the selection changes or the selection becomes active. Test in Web Browser supports Microsoft Edge®. When selecting icons to use in form objects (and other places), the combo box now displays a preview in the list of options.

The settings for a button in the Application Builder with the icon preview list expanded and the icon for geometry is shown.
The Icon combo box for a button showing the icon preview in the list.

Method Editor Updates

New Copy as Code options for derived values and evaluation groups in Results make it easier to get the code necessary for retrieving numerical results inside methods. In addition, there are several general improvements to code completion, available such as when clicking Ctrl+Space in an editor. New built-in methods include zoomToSelection, to zoom to the current selection in a graphics form object, and a new byte order mark (BOM) argument to writeCSVFile and writeFile, to optionally include a BOM in the written file.

The COMSOL Multiphysics version 5.6 UI with the Copy as Code to Clipboard options shown and the Evaluate Real Scalar item highlighted.
The new Evaluate options under Copy as Code to Clipboard in the Parameterized Concrete Beam model. The same options are available when right-clicking in the Editor Tools window in the Application Builder.

New Applications

COMSOL Multiphysics® version 5.6 brings one new example application. Additionally, for the more than 40 example apps from different engineering fields, all apps have been reviewed and updated with the latest functionality included in the Application Builder.

Lithium Battery Pack Designer

A simulation app for designing a lithium battery pack, with input fields on the left, model results in the middle, and dynamic help shown on the right.
The Lithium Battery Pack Designer app is used as a design tool to investigate the dynamic voltage and thermal behavior of a battery pack. The app features a dynamic help system.

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