COMSOL Desktop® Updates

For all COMSOL Multiphysics® software users, version 5.6 introduces a number of Graphics window enhancements, including interactive clipping functionality and context menus. Read more about these and other COMSOL Desktop® updates below.

Graphics Window Improvements

The Graphics window context menu, introduced for physics in COMSOL Multiphysics® version 5.5, now supports many more options, including definitions, geometry, mesh, materials, and multiphysics. By right-clicking and choosing from a context menu, this method simplifies selections throughout the modeling workflow. The Graphics toolbar has new options for YX, ZY, or ZX views. In addition, you can control whether the x-axis, y-axis, or z-axis should be used as the vertical axis in the default 3D view. There is a new option in the Preferences window for making the Graphics window toolbar buttons larger, which can be useful for high-resolution monitors, and another for changing the COMSOL Desktop® color theme.

The Graphics window in COMSOL Multiphysics version 5.6 showing a bracket model with a context menu opened and the Boundary Point Probe option highlighted. Context menu for defining a probe Right-clicking in the Graphics window presents a menu for adding features, such as probes, to a selection. Shown here in the Multistudy Bracket Optimization model.

Interactive Clipping

To make it easier to select edges, boundaries, and domains that are located inside a surrounding object, you can now use interactive clipping. Add planes, boxes, cylinders, and spheres to select which parts of a geometry are shown. The interactive clipping functionality works throughout the Model Builder and is available from a menu button in the Graphics toolbar. When you click the toolbar button, by default, a Clip Plane node is added to the View node, with settings that you can adjust in a Settings window or interactively in the Graphics window. Multiple clip planes may be added and used concurrently.

A gray induction motor model with the inside exposed at the top, by way of clipping. Clipping of an induction motor model Clip plane in a model of an induction motor. The gizmo, visible at the center, allows for interactive translation and rotation of the clip plane in order to visualize and select domains and boundaries inside of an object.

Boundary Layer Meshing on Faces

You can now create a boundary layer mesh for faces in 3D. With this, you can create swept meshes with boundary layer elements using the boundary layer mesh face as the input to your swept mesh.

Three 3D cylindrical models with different meshes. Boundary layer mesh for faces in 3D Create mesh for face (left), insert boundary layer mesh (middle), and sweep boundary layer surface mesh (right).

Models that demonstrate this functionality:

Element Quality Measure for Curved Elements

When you use a nonlinear geometry shape function, the mesh elements are curved to fit the geometry. Use the new Curved skewness quality measure, in the Statistics window or a Mesh plot, to detect potential problems induced by the curving of the elements.

Two donut-shaped models where the left one has a coarser mesh than the right and both meshes are curved; the left mesh is yellow and the right mesh is mostly green. Curved elements with a coarse and finer mesh Plot of a coarse mesh (left) and a finer mesh (right). Both meshes are based on a cubic geometry shape order, and the color of the elements indicates the value of the Curved skewness quality measure (where green is good, yellow is OK, and red is bad). Using a finer size, each element becomes less curved, which leads to a better Curved skewness measure.

More Editing and Repairing Tools for Imported Meshes

New tools are available for imported meshes that allow you to do the following:

  • Intersect a 3D surface mesh with a plane, or a 2D mesh with a line
  • Remesh a surface mesh by using the Free Triangular or Free Quad operation
  • Create vertices and partition faces by selecting mesh vertices and edges in the Graphics window
A meshed geometry of a vertebra model as the Intersect with Plane operation is being used, shown as a semitransparent rectangle with a yellow outline and one arrow in each corner indicating the direction. Intersecting a mesh with a plane Use the new Intersect with Plane operation to cut and partition the elements of an imported surface mesh, for example, to remove one half of a symmetric mesh. Use the Delete Entities operation to remove the left part of the intersected mesh.
Half of a meshed vertebra model is shown twice: before and after remeshing. A meshed model before and after remeshing

Mesh resulting from the intersect and delete operations (left) and the same part remeshed using the Free Triangular
operation (right), preparing it for subsequent modeling.

To repair a small fold in this imported mesh, first use Create Edges to create a face partition along mesh edges selected in the Graphics window. Then delete the small face that contains the fold, and generate a new mesh face with Create Faces. Finally, join the faces to restore to original topology.

Create Meshes from Partition Datasets

Using the Import operation, you can now import a mesh with the mesh data from a Partition dataset.

The COMSOL Multiphysics version 5.6 UI with the Import settings shown for a mesh part and a meshed Neovius surface model shown in the Graphics window. Creating a mesh from a Partition dataset Mesh created from a Partition dataset defining a Neovius surface.