SOLIDCast organizes models, meshes and simulations into Projects. A project may contain one or more models, meshes or simulations. In general, a project should be thought of as a collection of related models, meshes and simulations, as well as fluid flow analyses and optimizations, if FLOWCast and/or OPTICast are used. Normally a project contains model variations for a single cast part, but this is not a strict requirement.
The Project Tree appears on the left side of the screen as you work in SOLIDCast. An example might appear as follows:
In this example, there are five models. Each model has one or more meshes associated with it. Four of the models have one or more simulations as well, and the fifth model has a FLOWCast fluid flow simulation. The fourth model is actually created from the third, as it is the optimized model, mesh and simulation that is the final result of using the automatic process optimization module, OPTICast. OPTICast and FLOWCast are optional modules that integrate with SOLIDCast, and are available from Finite Solutions.
Note that you can name each entry on the Project Tree with whatever you want to type to identify an entry. When you create a new model, mesh or simulation the system uses default names, however you can change these names whenever you want. To change a name on the Project Tree, just triple-click on that entry’s name. The name is highlighted and becomes editable. You can then modify or type a new name into the project tree.
If you want to delete an entry from the Project Tree, highlight that entry by clicking on its icon. Then select File… Delete Selected Item in Tree from the main menu.
Note 1: If you delete an item from the tree, all related items under that item will also be deleted. For example, if you delete a Model from the tree, then all meshes and simulations associated with that model (all those that appear directly under the Model) will also be deleted. If you delete a Mesh from the tree, then all simulations run with that mesh will also be deleted.
Note 2: If you delete an optimization entry, then you will not be able to go back and edit or reuse the optimization project. However, the optimized model, mesh and simulation will still be available on the project tree.
Note 3: To delete FLOWCast data (which can get VERY large!) WITHOUT deleting the mesh, select the mesh name on the project tree which has the FLOWCast icon, then select File…Remove FLOWCast Data… You will be asked to confirm this action.
If you say yes, the system will remove the FLOWCast entry from the project tree and delete all files associated with the fluid flow simulation, but will still keep the mesh. The FLOWCast mesh icon will change to the normal mesh icon.
If you want to delete the mesh AND the FLOWCast data, select the FLOWCast mesh icon and select File…Delete Selected Item in Tree… If you confirm this, the system will delete the mesh and the FLOWCast data, and remove the entry from the project tree.
CONSERVING DISK SPACE
Currently, models, meshes and simulations are not stored in a compressed format automatically by the system. Deleting unneeded entries from the project tree also deletes the associated files on disk, so this is one way to free up additional hard disk space. We also recommend that projects created by SOLIDCast be compressed by the user with WinZip periodically, in order to maintain a reasonable amount of free disk space.
It is a good idea to compress (zip) project folders and to move them to an archive media such as a CD, on a regular basis. Doing this involves basically three steps:
Step 1. Have WinZip installed on your computer
Step 2. Locate the folder which contains the project that you want to archive
Step 3. Zip the folder and move it to the CD.
For the first step, you may already have WinZip installed. If so, you can go on to the next step. If you don't have WinZip, you can download it for free from www.winzip.com. From there, you will get an executable file. Just run this file by double-clicking it to install WinZip, which will allow you to compress files and folders.
Once you have WinZip installed, you then need to locate the folder which contains a SOLIDCast project that you want to archive.
A SOLIDCast project contains all of the model, mesh and simulation files that are associated with that project. A Project Folder with the same name as the project contains all of these files. Normally, SOLIDCast project folders are found in a folder called C:\Projects on your hard drive. If you open this folder, you should see SOLIDCast project folders that have been created.
It is possible to save project folders in different places on the hard drive by changing paths, so if you don't see a C:\Projects main folder, you may have to go hunting for the project folders on your hard drive. (The Windows Search feature can be helpful here.)
Let’s assume that you have a C:\Projects folder on your hard drive (keeping in mind that you may have project folders in some other location). Suppose that you create a project in SOLIDCast called "AP-100". This actually creates a folder called AP-100 within the C:\Projects folder. If you open My Computer on the Windows desktop, then open drive C:, then open the Projects folder, you should see a folder called AP-100. This is the SOLIDCast project folder for AP-100.
After locating the project folder, place the mouse cursor over it and press the RIGHT mouse button. You should see a menu item which looks like "Add to AP-100.zip". Click on this menu selection with the left mouse button. This will create a file with the name AP-100.zip. This file will be located in the Projects folder. This is the file that you want to put onto the CD.
Once you are sure that you have created a copy of the AP-100.zip file on the CD, you can delete the AP-100 folder and the AP-100.zip file from your hard drive.
Later, if you need to reload this project from the CD, just locate the AP-100.zip file on the CD and double-click it. This will bring up WinZip and will show all of the component files. Click on the Extract button. Make sure that the selection is checked which says "Use Folder Names". Then navigate to the C:\Projects folder, click the New Folder button and enter the name of the project (which in this case is AP-100). This will recreate the project folder on the hard drive. Then click the Extract button to unzip all of the files and subfolders into this folder. After doing this, you should be able to run SOLIDCast and load the AP-100 project in the normal way.