FLOWCast UNIT 4: The FLOWCast Toolbar
The main options for running FLOWCast are controlled from the FLOWCast Toolbar, as shown here:
This section will describe each of the functions available from the toolbar. You can find the name of each icon by moving the cursor over the top of the icon.
Open Model File
This option is used to load a new meshed model into FLOWCast. If you choose this option the system will display a navigation window, where you can find a different mesh file to load. The mesh file will be named mymesh.mno. Normally, this option will not be needed, if you have started FLOWCast from within SOLIDCast. The mesh will be loaded automatically, so you won t need to specifically select it.
Show current grid parameters
This option will pop up a window, listing the current mesh size, along with the number of casting nodes and riser nodes. An example is shown here:
When FLOWCast is running normally, the system will automatically save data at prescribed intervals, which, by default, are at every 5% full. You can, at any time, however, stop the simulation and save the data to a file. When you select this option, you will see a Save As screen similar to this:
Simply type in a file name and click on Save. You can navigate to any folder you wish.
If no time step data has been created yet, you will see the following message:
This simply means that you are too early in the simulation process for any meaningful data to have been created.
If you try to save the data while the simulation is still running, you will see the following:
In order to save data manually, the flow simulation must be stopped. To stop the simulation, click on the stop sign icon on the toolbar. You will need to wait a few seconds for the system to organize its data before you can save it out to a file.
FLOWCast can directly print a copy of the current screen, if you have a PostScript printer. When you click on this icon, you will see the following:
If you say yes, the page will be printed for you. If you do not have a PostScript printer, you can still use the PrtSc key to copy the screen to the clipboard. You can also purchase any number of low cost capture utility programs that will allow you to save one or more screens to files, print directly, etc.
Start/Continue filling simulation
Just click the double arrow button to start the simulation running. If you have previously stopped a simulation, this will start the simulation again at the point where you left off.
Stop filling simulation
Click the Stop Sign button. You may need to wait a few seconds for the simulation to actually stop, as FLOWCast needs a little time to organize its data for the stop.
Restart filling simulation
Use this function only if you want to restart a filling simulation FROM THE BEGINNING. If you choose this option, the system will show the following message:
You now have the opportunity to save the time step data produced so far. Once data has been saved, the system will erase the data in memory, and restart the simulation from the beginning.
When FLOWCast is first activated, the model display is automatically reset to full size. That is, the system sizes the picture so that the whole model can be viewed. There are a series of three zoom functions that can be used to adjust this view, the zoom in and out functions increase or decrease the picture by 10% each time their icon is clicked. The Rubber Band Zoom allows you to drag the mouse across the section you want viewed. The Reset Zoom function will restore the zoom distance and center the model, but will not change the current orientation.
A typical full size view is shown here:
Each time you click on the Zoom In icon, the screen display will move closer by 10%, as shown here:
For each click on the Zoom Out icon, the screen view will move back by 10%, as shown here:
The Rubber-band Zoom function allows you to zoom up on a specific part of the displayed view. Move the mouse cursor to the lower left section of the box you d like to display, then click and hold the left mouse button. Drag the box until it surrounds the area you want displayed, and then release the mouse button. The system will size the display accordingly.
Set Zoom and Rotation Centers
This function allows you to choose the point on your model where zooming and rotating take place. To use Set Zoom and
Rotation Centers, first click the icon so that it is depressed. Then move the cursor onto the model view window and click the left mouse button at the desired point. This will now become your new point for zooming and rotating.
The Rotate Model function allows you to drag the model to any arbitrary orientation, similar to what you do in SOLIDCast. To activate Rotate Model, click on the Rotate Model icon so that the icon is depressed. Then move the cursor to any point on the model display window, press and hold the left mouse button and drag the cursor across the screen. Dragging the cursor will rotate the model. Once you have the desired orientation, you can click the Rotate Model icon once again, to lock the model orientation in place.
The Pan/Translate Model function lets you drag the model back and forth within the existing view window. This will not change the part orientation, only the position in the window. To activate Pan/Translate Model, click on the Pan/Translate Model icon. Then move the cursor into the model view window, press and hold the left mouse button, and drag the cursor in the window. This action will drag the model itself back and forth in the window. Once the model is in the desired location, click the Pan/Translate Model icon once again to lock the model view in place.
Display mold cavity using transparency
The normal display during a filling simulation shows the model in opaque colors, and the filling material is drawn over the top. By selecting this function, you can turn the outside of the casting and risers translucent, and can watch the filling sequence from the outside in. In some cases this may make the colors a bit more difficult to see. However, it gives a more realistic feeling to the filling of the mold. An example is shown here:
Display velocities at the forward face
When displaying velocity during a simulation, each node is colored, and that color represents the velocity. Actually, the velocity is calculated at the interface between the nodes, so there are two options when displaying velocity; the backward face and the forward face. The default is the backward face.
For example, if a node has a forward face on the boundary of the casting, then that velocity will be zero, whereas the backward face velocity will be non-zero if the interface is inside the casting. By clicking on this icon you can toggle the display back and forth between the forward face display and the backward face display.
Perform quick filling simulation
The hourglass button is used to toggle between Quick and Full filling simulations. If this button is depressed, you are in Quick Mode. If it is popped out , you are in Full Mode. When FLOWCast is first started in Interactive Mode, it is in Full Mode.
The Quick Fill Simulation ignores momentum effects, so it can be run much more quickly than a Full CFD Fill Simulation. However, it is not as accurate a simulation, and you will not get any Pressure information from a Quick Fill Simulation.
If you are only looking for a simple, fast filling simulation, it is probably better to use the SOLIDCast filling algorithm. If you do this, make sure you go into the Set Simulation Parameters Utility and check a box to fine tune the filling for either horizontal or vertical filling.