1. Introduction

This section describes the use of a suite of VisTools modules termed “global” modules. These modules are designed to provide sevices for managing solution domain and results data for an entire discretized mathematical model. These modules support finite element (unstructured) grids. For finite element analysis systems, the global modules form a complete set of data structures for model and results information. A summary of the basic features of the global modules appear below:

  • Element (cell) connectivity and adjacency management for unstructured and structured grid topologies.

  • Store and query node and element associations such as material identifier, analysis coordinate system identifier, etc.

  • Query for external faces, unique edges, feature edges, etc. for any model subset.

  • Support for curvilinear, rectilinear and uniform structured grids.

  • Generate and manage element, face, edge and node subsets. Perform Boolean operations on subsets.

  • Support user defined entity identifier to sequential index translation, (arbitrary node and element numbers).

  • Manipulation of scalar, vector and tensor field data. Provide for mapping of fields between nodes, elements and element nodes. Compute invariants of vector and tensor fields.

  • Manipulation and storage of sparse scalar, vector and tensor field data based at element faces and element edges.

  • Quick searching over the spatial domain or results range for lists of entities which have a set of properties.

  • Comprehensive data structures for full model features such as load and constraint cases, element, material and solution properties, coordinate systems and units.

  • Compute element shape parameters and perform connectivity consistency checking.

1.1. Module Summary

The global modules are designed to be integrated into existing engineering pre and/or post processing systems or used as a comprehensive code base for building new engineering systems. The modules may be used in existing visualization software systems, finite element pre/post processors or visual data analysis systems with minimal impact upon established data structures. Major data structures such as element connectivity and node coordinate arrays may be maintained by the host application or managed by a global module. The modules currently delivered as VisTools global modules are as follows.

  • Grid Topology and Geometry

    Connect - Finite element (unstructured) grids
    GridFun - Define grid function pointers to host grid (domain) data

  • Entity Sets and Identifier Translation

    Group - Manage entity sets
    IdTran - Perform identifier translation and manage entity lists

  • Data Manipulation

    ElemDat - Manage element face and edge data
    History - Manage history results
    State - Manage solution results
    RedMat - Manage system degree of freedom vectors and matrices
    ZState - Results compression

  • Space and Range Searching

    Space - Spatial searching
    Range - Range searching

  • Load, Constraints and Initial Condition Cases

    LCase - Load Case
    RCase - Restraint Case
    MCase - Multipoint Constraint Case
    ICase - Initial Condition Case
    CPair - Contact Pairs
    APair - Analytic Surfaces.

  • Element, Material, Solution and General Properties

    EProp - Element Properties
    MProp - Material Properties
    SProp - Solution Properties
    TCurve - Tabular Functions
    RProp - Results Properties
    GProp - General Properties
    UProp - User Properties

  • Miscellaneous

    CoordSys - Coordinate Systems
    CPair - Contact Pairs
    ASurf - Analytic Surfaces.
    RBody - Rigid Bodies
    Units - Units

  • Utilities

    Model - Finite element model encapsulation
    ElemChk - Element checking
    MassPrp - Mass properties