Show element thickness

This script will show the thickness of shell elements using the element thickness variable. It automatically identifies the correct thickness variable for these readers: Ansys Results, LS-DYNA3D, LS-DYNA_Beta, MSC/Dytran, Nastran OP2 (beta.

Example images using ‘blade out’ example model. Image on left is original model. Image on right is after running the script.


The script works by creating one or two elevated surfaces for each selected surface part and hides the original parts.

Running the script will show a GUI with several options. Checking “Match part colors” will give the elevated surface parts the same color as their parent parts so the model looks the same other than the thickness.


Download the script: element_thickness_gui

Merging Multiple Time Periods of a Converge Result into One

Are you a ConvergeCFD user with EnSight?

Do you have a Single Dataset, but multiple time periods which you translated to Case Format? Ie you export results from Time T = 0 to T1 in one operation, then later exported from Time T2 to Time T3, and then again exported reults from Time T4 to T5?

If so, then currently you have multiple different time ‘sets’ or ‘periods’, which can’t easily read into a single session of EnSight (other than using Multiple Cases, but that is not what Cases are meant for).

Would you then like to be able to operate on this solution as though it were one complete time period from T = 0 to T5? Well, I think we have a little tool for you. This tool should provide you back with a single coherent time period (From T = 0 to T = T5) as a single case.

This little python tool takes a look at all of the .case files in your current directory, and gathers up a list of all of the files that are referenced, constants written, and time values. In then creates a internal global list of all of that infomation, and sorts it in ascending time order. It then renames all of the associated files so that they fall into a single progression in time order, and generates a NEW case file, referencing the global total time, global total constants, and the newly renamed set of variable and geometry files. The routine takes only a second to run (renames are quick), and you should be able to load up the NEW case file into EnSight.

As renaming files is perhaps a dangerous thing, the routine also writes an “undo” file as well. You can run the “undo”, and you will get back to your original set of files (if you need to for some reason).

As with any routine, there are some assumptions, limitations, and caveats. They shouldn’t be too restrictive, but here they are, so you have a better idea about what the routine is expecting:

a. All of the case files are in the same directory (the routine doesn’t go rooting around in sub directories looking for .case files to merge).

b. All the .case files in the current directory are meant to be “merged” into one. If there are some which aren’t meant to be merged, just move them temporarily to somewhere else.

c. When you exported the results (using post_convert), you ALWAYS exported the same variables. No exceptions allowed, no if’s, but’s, no coconuts. (EnSight can’t deal with some variables existing at some times, and not others…. rules are rules).

d. The time values can overlap, and be of varying delta T. The routine should handle that okay.

e. The routine assumes you have measured data (default for converge post_convert us).

f. Due to internal coding assumptions/methods, this routine is for CONVERGE users only. If you have results from OpenFOAM, or Fluent, CFx, or other solvers, please contact CEI ( separately. We have some prototypes for other solvers.

To run the routine, simply download the python file, and place it into the directory you want to merge Converge .case files together. Then, type :


After running, should you need to undo, there will be a new python file created in your directory, and that can be run via:


This works for MAC/Linux/Win. Use a cmd shell in Windows to run the python routine.

As always, please contact if you have questions, comments, requests. We’d love to hear from you, and work with you to provide you with the best post processing experience.


Download Link for file:


Once downloaded, simply unzip the file to find the python .py routine.

Fluent Particle Data with Multiple Injections

Currently (up to at least Fluent 15), when you attempt to export multiple injections from Fluent to the EnSight format, each injection is written as its own set of Measured Data files **SEPARATELY**, with separate .encas files written.

The result is that if you were to attempt to load any of the separate .encas files into EnSight, you would only see particles from a single injection. You could perhaps load in the multiple .encas files as multiple cases, but this would perhaps multiply the amount of memory used, result in lots of extra parts, and is not a suggested method (although it might work for you).

Fluent are aware of this issue, and have been requested to correctly export multiple injections to a single set of Measured Data files. Their schedule for that improvement is currently unknown.

However, in the meantime, there is a potential work around for this. With a short python script, one can merge the various injections into a single set of measured data files, so that you can visualize all of the injections in a single case. In addition to merging the injections, the routine also creates one additional variable called “inj_id” for the injection ID. Thus, you can still analyze, interrogate, visualize separate injections within EnSight, even though it is contained within a single Measured Data Part.

The ptyhon routine does require a very minor edit, based on your particular dataset, variable export, and timesteps.

A short video tutorial on using this python utility (including the basic editing for your dataset) is provided below.

Tutorial Video on Handling Multiple Injection Particle Data from Fluent

Click here to Download the Python Utility

Smoke rendering for FDS

From the official site for FDS:

Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) is a large-eddy simulation (LES) code for low-speed flows, with an emphasis on smoke and heat transport from fires.

Smokeview (SMV) is a visualization program used to display the output of FDS and CFASTsimulations.

FDS+Evac is the evacuation simulation module for FDS.

These tools are open source and freely available.

FDS smoke 2

One use of FDS is simulation of visibility through smoke. The most realistic way to visualize smoke is volume rendering, which the default post processor Smokeview can do.

EnSight volume rendering color and transparency are customizable by the user, so they cannot be relied upon to accurately represent the visibility through smoke. The attached document and python script present a method which sets the volume rendering opacity in EnSight to accurately represent visibility. With minor modification the script also applies to any data that has a light extinction coefficient or optical density variable.

Analysis and python script.

A session file containing this dataset can be downloaded here.

Converting Plot3D variables to dimensional variables

PLOT3D variables in EnSight are non-dimensional.  They are non-dimensionalized in a somewhat arcane calculation.  The density is scaled by the freestream density, the momentum is scaled by the product of the  freestream density and the speed of sound, and the Energy is scaled by the product of the freestream density and the speed of sound squared.

For those who don’t want to go through this calculation of dimensioned variables manually and want access to the engineering variables in consistent, user-selected units at a user-selected altitude from a PLOT3D calculation, this script calculates the extended plot3d variables in either SI or English units. This script uses the non-dimensional Plot3D Energy, Density, and Momentum variables in its calculation. This script is assumes Earth atmospheric data. So, it is not valid for calculations on Mars, nor is it valid for calculations in water.

If ‘Energy’, ‘Density’ and ‘Momentum’ all exist then the script will prompt the user for unit type (SI or English) and the altitude and then use a lookup table to find the corresponding variables in consistent units.  The code will then calculate a Density_true, Momentum_true, and Energy_true variables (which have consistent units for the user input)  and use those to calculate the extended CFD variables.

Click below to download the zipped EnSight Python Script

Exporting variable values on a grid

This was made for a specific customer request. It exports variable values that lay on a specified grid of points over an X-Y plane. It saves these values for all time steps. Download:


The default settings work with the flow2d data and save to a .csv file.

This was also my first venture with PyQt. These lines of code pop up a confirm file overwrite window if the target save file already exists:

q = PyQt4.QtGui.QMessageBox()
q.setWindowTitle(“File already exists”)
q.setText(“The file “+filename+” already exists.\nDo you want to overwrite the existing file?”)
ret = q.exec_()

I didn’t make my own class to do it, but QMessageBox is already a class so I don’t see why my own class would be better for a simple case like this. The setWindowTitle method doesn’t seem to work for me though (the window has no title). Making it a function would have been cleaner but this was just a quick script.

Prepare cube tool for a skybox

Here is a very short script that prepares the cube tool to make a skybox. Just change the numbers in the first 2 lines and go. Then create the skybox manually.


Moving car animation

This script assists in creating an animation with frame mode. It makes the car appear to move and wheel spin at a rate that matches the car’s speed. It can do constant speed as well as constant acceleration and deceleration.

First create 3 frames (ground and background, front wheels, rear wheels) and assign them to the parts. Then adjust the settings at the beginning of the script. The car will stay stationary while the ground moves in the opposite direction to give the appearance of motion.


Transient animation update palette range

Problem statement: EnSight has an option for setting the variable palette range to what is visible in a given viewport or to selected parts. However there is no option to update to these ranges automatically when time changes.

Value proposition: These are two scripts for updating the palette range automatically. One script adds a time callback, but this is only called when changing solution time in the GUI. It is not called for transient flipbooks, keyframes, or when saving a solution time animation. So the other script uses EnVe to save a solution time animation. Neither script works with flipbook or keyframe.

Script 1: Time callback update palette range

This works by remembering the selected parts when the script is run and using their min/max range. If the variable used to color the first part (of the selected parts) is changed then the new variable will update instead of the old one. You can add multiple independent callbacks by running the script again (each run creates a new instance of the class). The user should not need to edit the script, just select parts and run. There is some output in the python tab.


Script 2: Transient update palette

A very basic script that creates a single transient movie. All the settings are near the beginning of the script. Only a few lines of code update the palette range, and these could easily be changed to perform different actions every time step. So this is also a template for saving any transient animation with changes each time step.


Calculate percent volume/area/length

For users who want to calculate the % or fraction of a part which has variable values within a certain range. This is fairly easy to do manually in EnSight but requires some knowledge and can give false answers if parent parts have mixed dimensions. This routine automates the steps:

  1. create an isovolume
  2. calculate the volume, area, or length of the isovolume and parent part(s)
  3. divide the isovolume by parent to get fraction (x100 for %)

In addition to automating, the script also checks for the existence of mixed element dimensions in the selected parts. If there is more than one dimensionality (1D, 2D, 3D) of elements then the script aborts. If only one type exists then the script chooses the correct calculator function for that dimension and names the constant variables accordingly.

The options are set by 3 variables at the beginning of the script. Just variable, isovolume by high/low/band, and the iso values. Multiple values can be specified to create multiple isos.

This is really just the bare beginnings and there is certainly a lot more that can be done. GUI, error reporting, creating annotations, more options, command language, extension class.

After you have run this script you will have a Vol_percent_1 variable which represents the isovolume fraction % of total.  Now select the isovolume part and double click on the Tools icon at the top, and go into the Analyze folder and run the Part Constant Query tool. Choose the Vol_percent_1 constant variable.  Now you have a nice plot from sweeping the max isovolume from min to max.



Download script: