Another tool in Salome is the ParaView (ParaVis) module for Post processing.
In this segment of Salome and Salome-Meca one can view the results as a normal post processor.
Compared to FreeCAD 0.16 this is a much better environment that allows more control over the results display . FreeCAD 0.17 is much better than it’s predecessor, however ParaVis is still a bit better, the interface is still cleaner and allows more control.
The salome mesh environment also presents many options. It reminds me a bit of LSPrepost in the LS-Dyna product from LSTC or Hyper mesh with some differences. On the example I am showing I fused all the parts toguether since I didn’t know at the time if I could define contacts. The mesh generation algorithm’s come from NetGen it would be nice to see in the future Gmsh support as FreeCad is doing on it’s 0.17 version.
Meshing and viewing in Salome is quite simplistic and non visual. Tools like Ansys give us access to selecting surfaces, edges, and lines to allow us to define what we wanto to do to them. This is a limitation that NetGen, Gmsh and other open software lack. Also to troubleshoot a problem requires some knoledge of the mechanisms behind Salome and NetGen. Rendering sometimes fails to display meshed parts or displays parts of them and this was a bit anoying to me.
With the Salome package we get a geometry creation editor, a mesh generation editor and a post processor analyser but where is the solver? This was something that didn’t feel well when I started with Salome, I knew that eventually I would get into a dead end. And so it was wright! To use a solver I need Code-Aster or if I want the two packages bundled toguether we need to use Saolme-Meca where it intigrates the solver. I will get to that subject in a future post.
I read a lot of information about salome as a pre processor and post processor. Basically you can make a geometry create a mesh and then view results.
The GUI is quite simple at start.
As we start diving into this program we start to see it’s complexity. If we make a new project and open the geometry pane we see myrad of tools.
Although the way we manipulate sketches and solids is way easyier in spaceclaim or RS Mechanical 2 Salome is good enough to make parts. I also think FreeCad isn’t the perfect environment since it also has it’s gaps, however between one and the other I am starting to prefer Salome for its interface looks more clean. A good plus in Salome is that I can define veriables and use them when I create features. Then if I want to change anything it’s plain simple, however if I don’t create the variable and link it there is no other way to change it. This point for me could be improved in the future. Since if we need to change something after it’s done its not that friendly to do it with the GUI.
All in all it is a solid CAD modeler that is very usefull and in my opinion far better then design modeler from Ansys and on par with FreeCAD but way behind payed CAD packages like Unigraphics, Solidworks, Creo, Spaceclaim, … Although not as good as these professional packages I think that there is no shame on using it since it is sufficiently powerfull to build and anlyse models and I also question if it is necessary all the power of those heavy weight tools. Maybe if I was allowed to ask something I would ask for more natural part building and part manipulation and selection.