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The leaves are turning color and the days are getting shorter – clear signs that the Holiday Season is imminent.  For many of us, the three major events, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, consecutive speed bumps on the calendar to the end of our year, drive the big tasks of seasonal decoration.  And for me, there is nothing more satisfying than quickly locating those big plastic grey storage bins for the holiday at hand, and from within these family treasure chests, choosing just the right adornments, embellishments and ornamentation to festoon my home and yard.  

What I’ve just described is a two-step process - steps we commonly perform when working with STAR-CCM+ as well:  Filter your bigger list of options to only those of interest based on some set of criteria and, from that reduced list, select your final choices.  We use filtering and selecting, likely without thinking about it too much, all the time.  How many times have you used the search capability in Explorer to quickly get a list of your Powerpoint presentations so you can select the ones of interest, for example?

Today, I am introducing you to a new method called Query-Based Selection, where filtering and selecting are combined to significantly improve your productivity in STAR-CCM+ v10.06.  To begin, let’s review how filtering and selecting works in STAR-CCM+ in general.

We have two filters (shown above at left) created using the dynamic query editor (first introduced in STAR-CCM+ v9.04 just a little over a year ago).  In the Object Selection dialog (shown at right), we can switch on the filter button () to expose the filters we’ve created.  By selecting a filter, we reduce the objects available for selection.  So, while we have 9 objects we could select, we still haven’t selected them yet.  

Let’s contrast this with how Query-Based Selection works in STAR-CCM+ v10.06. 

As shown above, you are going to see a new selection option (), located next to the pre-existing ellipsis that brings up the standard Object selector.  When you click on it, the dynamic query editor that we use to construct filters is launched. From here, you can create a dynamic selection, based on your filter criteria, in a single step. 

To give you an example, let’s consider the electronics circuit board example above. Starting with eight memory chips, our objective is to add another four, without having to reconstruct our workflow.  We start by setting up a Query-Based Selection (at left) to dynamically select what we need for our Imprint and Automated Mesh Operations. Next, we are going to add four memory chips (in this case, a simple copy & transform of the four highlighted at left).  Without having to change anything, the new memory chips are now automatically a part of our selections – to re-build our mesh in this case, all we need to do is to re-execute our pipeline.  It’s that simple.  For STAR-CCM+ v10.06, Query-Based Selection is available for Operations, Displayers and Derived Parts.  Soon to follow, we will have this enabled for Regions and Reports as well.  

If you’ve already been working with query capability for Filters, we expect you’ll be pleasantly surprised by some of the improvements coming in STAR-CCM+ v10.06. Overall usability is enhanced with a cleaner look to modify, create and delete filter criteria, and predictive typing with auto-completion for all fields makes creating filters more straightforward.  The query output is now alphabetized automatically, and if you’ve picked a set of criteria that results in a list containing more than 1000 items, you have a “Show All” option – a time-saver to not provide a list that may take some time to populate, and a subtle hint that perhaps your selection criteria at this point is perhaps still too broad. 

When selecting your criteria (also known as “predicates”), we’ve made clarifications and simplifications which should make the creation of queries more intuitive.  And, we’ve added “Inherited Parts” to our list of criteria.  Finally, we’ve expanded your options when choosing Objects to now include Reports, Plots, Coordinate Systems, Field Functions and Units.  

Query-Based Selection and more generally, query filtering, affords you the opportunity to create your own custom tools to automate your complex workflows.  Hopefully, you’ll see evidence that we are maturing this capability since it’s original introduction in STAR-CCM+ v9.04.  And looking ahead to our STAR-CCM+ v11.02 production release that follows, my next blog post on this topic will focus on how to build complex queries using some exciting new user interface changes we have planned. 

 

Matthew Godo
STAR-CCM+ Product Manager
Stephen Ferguson
Marketing Director
James Clement
STAR-CCM+ Product Manager
Joel Davison
Lead Product Manager, STAR-CCM+
Dr Mesh
Meshing Guru
Ravindra Aglave
Director - Chemical Processing
Karin Frojd
Sabine Goodwin
Director, Product Marketing