STAR-CCM+ Particle Track File Conversion into EnSight 10

** Updated 01-May-2014: Users of EnSight 10.1 will have version2.3 of this tool automatically installed in the UserDefinedTools — > File Import/Export section. **

Users of STAR-CCM+ who are also using the lagrangian or discrete element modeling capability, there is a new translation utility from CEI to convert the STAR-CCM+ based particle track file into EnSight’s Measured Data format, to visualize and analyze within EnSight.

This translation routine takes an existing EnSight Case Format files (the continuous domain) exported from STAR-CCM+, along with the STAR-CCM+ based Particle Track files (.trk). The routine converts the .trk file contents onto a single timeline, creates the appropriate EnSight Measured Data files (in a “trk_mea_files” directory), and modifies the EnSight Case file to include the appropriate references for the Measured Data Files. Once loaded, the user can visualize, analyze, and communicate the information contained within both the lagrangian/discrete phase along with the continuous phase.

To utilize this new translation routine, please follow the instructions below:

1. Download the .zip file containing the new translator. Unzip. To make this available to all users on your installation, place the “ccm_trk_ensext” directory into your installation Tools sub directory as follows:


(Please ensure that you have proper write privileges to place this directory here).

Now start up EnSight as follows (example assumes you are running EnSight 10.0)

ensight100 -no_prefs


for personal use, install into your local Tools directory as described in the How To Manual (in HOW TO PRODUCE CUSTOMIZED ACCESS TO TOOLS & FEATURES)

Local directory – python files for your own personal use

Linux: ~/.ensight100/extensions/user_defined/Tools

Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/EnSight100/extensions/user_defined/Tools Windows

Vista, Windows 7: C:\Users\username\.ensight100\extensions\user_defined\Tools

Windows XP: %HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH%\(username)\.ensight100\extensions\user_defined\Tools

To find out your %HOMEDRIVE%%HOMEPATH% do Help>Online Support, click the System Into tab, and look at the Prefs Dir. This is where EnSight looks for user defined tools.

If you don’t see your tool, try

ensight100 -no_prefs

Download version 2.3 of STAR-CCM+ Track File Conversion Tool Here

2. Start EnSight 10. You should notice a new tool under the “UserDefinedTools — > File Import/Export” denoting STAR-CCM+ .trk file translation:

3. Ensure that you have exported the continuous domain from STAR-CCM+ into EnSight format.

4. Double click the “STAR-CCM+ .trk import” tool from the UserDefinedTools area.

4a. Specify the EnSight Case format “.case” file. (Exported from STAR-CCM+)

4b. Specify the STAR-CCM+ Particle/Discrete Element file (.trk)

4c. Specify the number of timesteps to re-sample the particle track information into.

4d. Specify Time option for conversion of the Particles. The Default of “Max Trace” will resample all of the particles based on the min and max time of all the particles.  If you choose “User Specified”, then please specify the minimum and maximum times in section 4e (below). Use this option if you have rogue particles which may “hang around” for long periods of time, or you want to specifically control the time period over which the particles are converted.

4e. If you choose the “User Specified” Time option, then provide the minimum and maximum time.

4f. Toggle to keep particles at their last known location if the time is greater than defined for that particle. Particularly useful to “stick” particle where they exit the domain.

5. Click on the “Convert” button to convert the STAR-CCM+ based Track File into EnSight Measured data.

You will see a progress bar indicating the progress through the process of reading, re-sampling, and writing out the new EnSight Measured data. Two new items are written in the same directory : “trk_mea_files” directory containing the EnSight format Measured Data, and a modified .case file “<original_name>”

Once complete, you will get a “Done” Dialog, after which the new case file will be automatically loaded in. You can now change the visible aspects of the Measured Data via the “Node Display” icon :

Since the Translation routine writes new Measured Data files, subsequent loading of this case with Measured data, the user can simply specify to load the “” file directly, without the need to re-translate the Particle Track information each time.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact CEI ( with questions, comments, praise.

Example Dataset:

An example STAR-CCM+ based dataset containing Particle track information can be downloaded here.


Video Tutorial:

To further assist your use of STAR-CCM+ Particles in EnSight, please consult this video tutorial here:



Users of STAR-CD v3.x and v4.x:

Note: This routine mentioned here is meant to work for the specific “STAR-CCM+” based track file format, which is different to that of STAR-CD (v3.x and v4.x) particle track routines. If you are trying to convert “STAR-CD” based particle track files, please see our existing “f33toparticle” conversion routine.

Revision History

** Version 2.3:  Updated 01-May-2014 for mint & maxt calculation, as well as sorting trks based on time prior to re-sampling/interpolation. **