Setting up a simulation

Setting up a simulation

Create a new project

After signing in to your AeroCloud account, you’ll be presented with your project list.

Before you can create a new simulation you must create (or select) a project for it.

A project is just a way to collect & manage related simulations.

For example, you might choose to create a project to hold all of the simulations in a new case study, or to collect all of the simulations associated with a certain product development programme.

Click the button to create a new project (or select an existing one) & continue.

Creating a new project

Create a new simulation

Click the button to start creating a new simulation.

Creating a simulation

If your project has existing simulations then you’ll see them here.

Configure your simulation

First you’ll need to select the quality level for your simulation.

Quality levels

Essentially the higher the quality level, the higher the resolution & the more detail your simulation will capture.

Accordingly, the higher the quality level, the longer the simulation will take & the more it will cost.

Find out more details about the quality levels here.

Next you’ll need to fill out the main simulation parameters:

  • Give your simulation a name - this will be your simulation’s main identifier in the results pages, reports etc so it’s worth being compact, but descriptive.
  • You also have the option to tag your simulation with a version - this can be useful to differentiate it from others with a similar description/setup.
  • Set the fluid speed in metres per second
  • Toggle whether your simulation should include a ground plane (e.g. for a car) or not (e.g. for an aeroplane in free flight). Your ground plane will be a horizontal plane (i.e Z-normal).
  • Select the simulation fluid – air or water;
  • If you’ve chosen to include a ground plane it will (by default) be positioned to match the lowest point in your input geometry. You can change this behaviour by specifying a ground offset.
    • A positive value will move the ground plane away from your model - useful for creating a gap between your model & the ground.
    • A negative value will move the ground plane towards your model - useful for creating a small intersection between tyres & ground.
  • Select your desired yaw angle (i.e. the relative angle of the incoming fluid to your input geometry).
    • You have the option to specify several yaw angles in this section, this is to speed up the creation of yaw angle sweeps & to allow the results to be grouped together in the results page.
    • Note: each yaw angle is charged separately.

Upload your model

Upload the geometry for your simulation using the model preview window.

Models preview window

AeroCloud accepts geometry in STL or OBJ-format.

STL files are read as a single part.

OBJ files may contain multiple named parts.

Any named parts found in your OBJ files are listed below the model preview window & are maintained throughout the simulation for easy reference.

AeroCloud does not change the co-ordinate system of your models, meaning you can easily upload multiple files to create an assembly of parts, as long as they were all exported with a common datum.

If you have models stored in your model catalog, you can use the “Import model” button to add them to your simulation.

Configure the orientation and dimensions of your model

AeroCloud uses a right-handed coordinate system with Z-axis up and X-axis backwards.

If your model is defined differently (different modelling software use different conventions) then you can use the rotation buttons to re-orient your model.

STL and OBJ-files do not contain information about the model scale. Therefore you must set the units for each model accordingly.

Orientation & scale changes are shown live in the preview window, making them very easy to check (& adjust) before going any further.

Repeat this process adding, orienting & scaling all of the geometry files you wish to simulate.

Rolling Parts

Rolling parts (wheels, brake discs etc) can also be setup via the model preview window.

Rolling parts

Expand the parts list for your input file & toggle the “rolling” option for any part that you’d like to be rolling (they’ll have spinning indicators added to them in the preview window).

The angular velocity & rotation axis are automatically set for each rolling part.

  • The angular velocity is based on the radius of the object & the model-aligned fluid speed.
  • The rotation axis is parallel to the ground (i.e Y-normal) with its origin at the geometrical centre of the rolling part.
Note: the rolling motion is approximated using a boundary condition applied at the surface of the rolling parts. They do not change their orientation during the simulation.

Review your simulation request & submit

You’ll now be asked to check that your simulation settings are as intended.

Check if your model setup is correct before submitting a simulation
Check if your simulation setup is correct before submitting a simulation.

Pay extra attention to the model size & orientation - if either of those are wrong, you can easily change them in the model preview panel.

Tick off the boxes as you make your checks.

Click start if everything is correct.

Note: You cannot make changes once your simulation is submitted

Your simulation will then be started and you’ll be notified, by email, once the results are available.