New features in Laminate Tools version 5.0 (first release, compared to 4.10)
Version 5.0 marks a major milestone for Laminate Tools. Apart from the many visible new important features, a number of fundamental technologies are introduced behind the scenes to improve efficiency and lay the ground for important future changes. In particular:
- The underlying data engine has been redeveloped, so that data storage and manipulation are carried out in ways aligned with current user requirements, for maximum efficiency when applying simulations or collecting information for graphical presentation or export.
- The 3-D model graphics engine has been totally rewritten to support the latest OpenGL standard, taking advantage of state-of-the-art graphics hardware capabilities, and extending product life significantly.
- The Graphical User Interface (GUI) has been thoroughly redesigned. Application windows may now be floating, docked, tabbed, grouped or hidden, delivering a custom screen layout that improves productivity further, while legacy arrangements are possible for a smoother transition.
Detailed changes per task module are as follows:
- A new 2-D Cross-Section View has been added, showing exact layer locations and drop-offs.
- A new, proprietary, binary and efficient file format (.LT) has been introduced. This format should be used for daily use, while the traditional .Layup format should be used for import/export requirements only.
- Graphics response when showing/hiding element sets has been greatly improved.
- The Module-based menu arrangement is now the default setting.
- Help is now available directly through the User Manual pdf document.
- A new .Layup file reader has been implemented for optimal compatibility.
- Opening .Layup and .LT files now supports "hole feature" filling with new mesh, similarly to other supported file formats.
- A menu command and toolbar button have been added to show/hide model window global axes.
- New automation commands have been added, as well as comment lines allowed.
- A runtime switch between new and legacy OpenGL methods is available via the registry, at file open, for backward compatibility if necessary.
- All operations have been reviewed and improved for speed and stability.
- A new all-ply interactive editor window has been added, for easy global changes.
- A picking menu option to automatically fill holes in the current selection has been added.
- Projected plies are now calculated using new methods, with full support for discontinuous plies, to avoid complications of having multiple separate subplies.
- In the layup import feature, individual mapping for each ply mesh (and offset), has been added as an option. This is necessary for compatibility with third-party applications that produce .Layup files where plies do not share a common mesh.
- A button has been added to the ply edit window to define ply colour, colour saved in .LT and extended .Layup file formats, and used to draw ply coverage (default colour is the standard ply coverage applicable to all plies in older versions).
- A button has been added to the material create/edit window to define material colour, colour saved in .LT and extended .Layup file formats, and used to draw material usage in the layup or laminates (default colour is automatically generated for compatibility with older-version graphics).
- Inplace-edit, directly in row cells, has been implemented for the layup editor.
- The layer highlight button and drop-down menu in the layup definition window has been reviewed for easier usage, and a highlight option by ply colour has been added.
- In the layup editor, the operation for layer(s) move/copy is now possible with mouse click/drag/drop.
- A drop-down ply list filter button has been implemented in the layup editor.
- In layup builder, reference columns for "area" and "no.Elems" have been added.
- Ply drawing from within layup editor has been enabled even when Act on Selection is switched off.
- In the original multi-ply edit window, the modification of coverage by removing elements using set or ply has been supported.
- Calculation/estimation of material thickness when creating plies/layup from laminates has been implemented, preserving thickening.
- A new .Layup file writer has been implemented for optimal compatibility.
- If plies to be deleted are used in the layup, user now gets option prompt to skip them.
- In the layup import feature, ply application points are now moved to lie on the new mapped coverage if necessary.
- It is now allowed to apply the layup import feature onto an empty element set, so that empty ply definitions can be generated and then associated with separately imported element sets from an optimiser simulation.
- The hdf5 writer has been modified to keep ply names where possible, and support for rosettes has been added.
- The option to allow or disallow discontinuous ply modification if used in the layup has been removed (now always allowed).
- Exporting Abaqus .inp files with distributions has been speeded up significantly.
- The Results tree has been moved to a separate window for clarity and convenience. The registry DWORD "SeparateDataResultsWindows" can be used to override this new default arrangement.
- The option to combine a complex loadcase at two phase angles with static results, has been added.
- Support has been added for Abaqus 2021.
- The ODB reader can now be instructed to import the last step even if not requested specifically, provided a higher number is requested.
- A user option to load more ODB results without overwriting old ones by same names, has been added.
- An occasional failure to read higher order element topology directly from NX-OP2 has been fixed.
- Shell element bending moments for higher order elements (CTRIA6, CQUAD8) loaded from NX-OP2 files have been reversed for correct calculation of layer stresses (action can be disabled by setting registry DWORD "OP2InvertMomentsNX" to 0).
- The option to create failure results by Addin has been deprecated.
- The option to export cutouts for draped patterns has been enabled (affects discontinuous projected ply patches).
- The use of a larger font in phasebook graphics has been fixed.
- Sigmanest output if we have more than one view in plybook has been corrected.
- A correction has been applied to the size of the exported flat patterns if appdir not normal to refdir and using curve splits and converting pattern to splines.
- A correction has been applied to the size of the displayed pattern in the Flat Pattern window, if appdir not normal to refdir and using curve splits, only noticeable when importing correct-size dxf pattern and applying strips.
- New custom client plybooks have been added.
- The missing curve/ vertex transformations upon model translation/ rotation/ zoom have been implemented.
New features in Laminate Tools version 4.11 (first release, since previous version)
Version 4.11 is an interim version for users not ready to move to the new v5 GUI. It includes all the new features found in v5 except for the following:
- The GUI remains unchanged compared to versions 4.xx
- The new all-ply editor is not available.
- Handling of projected plies (including discontinuous patches) remains unchanged compared to versions 4.xx.
- Documentation and supporting files (tutorial, add-ins) originate from version 4.10.
New features in Laminate Tools version 4.10 (first release, since previous version)
- improved the SolidWorks addin for speed and reliability (much faster for plies covering large number of surfaces)
- implemented toolbar for the SolidWorks addin
- implemented menu/toolbar option to specify custom meshing parameters for the SolidWorks addin
- implemented new automation command "file custom open filename" that displays the meshing parameters dialog
- disabled geometry healing for automated sessions, affects the SolidWorks addin
- for automation geometry file open, enforced no-healing/merge/sew unless custom options window is requested
- improved the "file close force" command in automation to forcibly destroy any open document
- fixed possible crash when unloading all geometry
- redesigned layup file (+fibersim) import for huge improvements in speed and accuracy, with progress feedback and abort option
- implemented layup file import support for edge splits and seeds where mesh edges match
- enabled ply selection on layup import as an option, with support for discontinuous plies
- in the multiple-ply edit window, added support for changing ply type
- in the multiple-ply edit window, added support for modifying coverage, by element set or ply
- implemented hot toolbar icons for pick windows
- enabled save/restore of pick settings visible/continuous/method
- implemented popup menu to change picking parameters when picking elements by shape (middle button by default)
- added separate drop-down arrow for pick toolbar button by similar orientation
- reviewed pick method for "any" elements (visible and non-visible) using polygon or ellipse, now faster and more reliable when zoomed out
- fixed error of not selecting non-visible edge-on elements with polygon or ellipse
- for materials used in plies, allowed material type definition if undefined
- revised ply definition window to allow only materials for which type is defined - affects existing files
- implemented paste element ids from clipboard for a continuous ply (breaks any association to a set)
- implemented paste element ids from clipboard for an element set (updates associated plies but without support for discontinuous coverage)
- improved support for selecting adjacent elements depending on visibility and operation
- in basic ply properties tab, fixed error of allowing pick-by-brush if by set association
- fixed offset dialog to reset all fields on New
- fixed error where Edit menu item to delete layup layers was available even if no layers selected in tree
- fixed error of incorrectly importing layup material names with spaces
- fixed error of not picking elements if a node is not in the pick shape
- added custom layup edit column for client: Application Direction
- implemented an Ansys Workbench addin to facilitate file transfer operations to/from Laminate Tools
- fixed error of duplicating materials in hdf5 export if type is undefined
- added support for Abaqus version 2020
- Abaqus ODB file reader now supports material orientations, but not if individual element orientations are defined by distribution
- implemented Abaqus ODB import of user-specified time increments (frames) only, improves speed
- revised Ansys RST reader to handle both old and new files with/without compression, single/double precision, larger sizes, now much faster
- in a stress plot window, if total thickness is zero layer thicknesses are now shown uniform, previously zero
- export to LAP: disabled shell forces export with layup instead of laminate, because the layup orientation can differ from that of the laminate (eg first ply option), hence non-matching "LAP layup" exported
- implemented export of Abaqus solid mesh based on exact layup surface: 1 brick laminated or 3 bricks without properties
- fixed error where multiple layers information was occasionaly grouped together in one phasebook row
- extended file name checks to block control characters less than ascii 32
- added new custom client plybooks
- implemented function to check model data (Health Check)
- added support for Abaqus INP SHELL SECTION OFFSET definition by SPOS and SNEG
- speeded up element sets parsing from Nastran input files
- implemented element sets selection by pools (in Sets dialog)
- implemented multiple element set pools show/hide context menu
- solver deck readers now ensuring valid material names and ids on open
- modified CDB reader to handle special case of matid in section (laminate) layer being 0
- in CDB reader, supported SECTYPE not using SECBLOCK, and NBLOCK using alternative formats
- in CDB reader, supported legacy element types 63 and 93 (handled as 181 and 281)
- ensured that ply name in tree remains at same scroll height on ply edit (if possible when layup node collapses)
- changed behaviour for feedback window, now showing flashing red line instead of switching to feedback view on error
- fixed INP reader where element sets were not created correctly if defined in multiple places
- fixed minor issues in CDB reader for nodes and elements
- fixed error of not showing arrow text (eg for plies)
- fixed infinite loop in BDF reader when INCLUDE filename was defined without single quotes
- fixed multiple selection summary for ply pools and element set pools
- added Rotation Centre selection to the available keyboard shortcuts
- added dongle/softkey s/n in About window
- reviewed all operations and improved speed and stability in numerous features
New features in Laminate Tools version 4.9 (first release, since previous version)
- added functionality to create curve from graphic of distance measured along surface
- implemented curve colour
- implemented spline curve creation from points
- implemented polyline creation from points
- implemented vertex creation by entering coordinates
- implemented option to continue or abort if OCC emesher concludes with errors
- enabled length units override for OCC in ModelInfo dialog
- fixed occasional omission of surface names from STEP, affected ply coverage via SW addin
- fixed geometry import, small triangular surfaces meshing to a single element did not use the surface name, if defined
- fixed case where iges file with both surfaces and curves failed to mesh with new mesher
- implemented Ply Pools, with import from Layup files
- implemented Element Set Pools, with import from Layup files
- implemented Offset mirroring
- implemented mirroring of multiple sets
- speeded up ply/set/offset mirror/clone, also fixed progress bar behaviour
- added support for plygroup move up/down in tree
- added option to colour exploded / inplace layers by material index
- added option to export specific sets to ses or fem
- added buttons to select all/none sets in set pick window
- allowed plies to be deleted even if used in the layup
- enabled layup layers deletion directly from tree
- allowed offset names with spaces
- allowed set definition overwrite on import from session file or layup file (but not if importing entire layup)
- implemented automatic move of ply application point if associated set is manually modified (or imported) and apppt/appdir projects outside coverage (move to nearest node)
- implemented associated set edit directly from ply properties window
- allowed creation of empty element set
- mirroring sets: if suffix is _RHS or _LHS, all sets with opposite name ending will have mirrored name ending, not with suffix appended
- added element set selection as optional target in ply/set/offset mirroring
- mirror and clone dialogs, saved relative tolerance for re-use
- supported ply and material name field in quotes, for add-ins and automation (name to include spaces)
- fixed error of allowing sublayups when no layup exists
- fixed crash due to layer "move to end of sublayup" menu incorrectly available under plies
- fixed bug of not allowing discontinuous plies to be added to the layup
- fixed bug of layer color wrong after sublayup move/delete
- fixed bug when multiple ply edits caused crash next time layup was examined (if a ply was in the layup)
- fixed duplicate plies being created via COM
- fixed possible crash if modifying sublayup when scope global ply list is displayed
- fixed bug, broke ply-set association for discontinuous plies when set was edited or imported
- fixed crashes when editing multiple plies together and a simulation failed, also revised check boxes in dialog to non-tristate
- fixed bug of multi-ply edit element coverage being added instead of replaced
- fixed bug where ply-set association reporting could cause crash if another set is deleted (index vs. id mismatch)
- enabled non-legacy export to Nastran and Ansys via COM
- enabled non-legacy output to Optistruct fem
- added check for overlapping offsets in laminate creation
- allowed registry string AbaqusHourglass (default=STIFFNESS) to define section hourglass parameter in INP file export
- increased the suggested first created lam id to max pshell id + 1, to avoid id clash on export to Nastran with original lines
- fixed bug of trimming trailing zeros for reals in bdf writer, even if exponent
- added support for Abaqus State Variable SDV1
- implemented tensor plot for Principal Element Forces / Moments
- implemented option in plot window to do envelope for ALL loadcases for fi/ms/rf/sdv
- added support for ODB Azzi-Tsai-Hill theory failure indices
- added support for all available failure theory indices to load from ODB
- added user option to load more OP2 results without overwriting old ones with same id
- added advanced user option to use auto-detected ODB version when reading ODB files
- added support for Abq2019
- speeded up ODB reader, especially when not all of the results components are imported
- fixed error in loadcase combine, where incorrect results were calculated if the complex loadcase preceded the non-complex one(s) in the list to combine
- fixed error where combine loadcase method failed to reset factor to zero for previously non-zero value for a loadcase
- fixed popup windows display error for Stress Plot results when critical theory is Larc05 or Addin
- during layup import, enabled the import of phasebook information if no existing layup
- phasebook definition: allowed manual edit of logo path/name, relative path works
- fixed error of phasebook corruption when deleting any plygroup
- fixed error of incorrect phasebook when moving sublayup down
- enabled smooth surfaces view option
- added cross-section plot for a plygroup or sequence
- added mass, area and cog for a plygroup or sequence
- added 3D dotted line from window top to picked element, for easy locating
- modified distance measure tools to snap to nearest edge or node
- added keyboard shortcut option to reset rotation centre, defaults to F5
- implemented tree tickmark for a set that is associated to the selected ply, and vice-versa for plies when a set is selected
- in 3dshading window, added an Apply button
- allowed mesh from results files to load with VIEW module
- supported Nastran input INCLUDE paths spread over multiple lines
- allowed material names in $HMNAME to have spaces
- separated the preferences windows to individual menus
- fixed error in Hdf5 reader where some layers were missed from the layup
- fixed bug of not reading relative path for INCLUDE files, in Abaqus INP with Distributions
- fixed bug where layup tree would not update if multiple ply ref angles were modified
- fixed bug of not clearing existing tree tick marks, when disabled
- fixed bug of not updating properly Ply Geometry Extension Type drop down list if Forming
- added support for new camera types
- added support for native Sentech SDK
- (fixed cam) added outer tolerance edit box, missing in options dialog resource
New features in Laminate Tools version 4.8 (first release, since previous version)
- implemented totally new surface mesher, faster and better, with new user options when opening CAD files
- added second level for geometry healing, for C0 edge continuity (sharp corners)
- implemented saving of geometry import parameters for re-use (auto-adjust to model size)
- updated embedded interface support for Rhino v6
- fixed error of mesh nodes that have been merged and are duplicate, not being deleted
- implemented show of geometry import dialog with automation, setting registry DWORD AutomationShowImportDlg to non-zero
- implemented draping option for Forming
- implemented import of additional new mesh from Layup file (nodes of same ID must coincide, elements must have different IDs)
- added HDF5 ply writer
- implemented pick by paintbrush, added button to toolbars
- allowed multiple ply additions to the layup in one go (layup builder)
- implemented window to modify some properties for multiple selected plies together
- mirroring plies: if suffix is _RHS or _LHS, all plies with opposite name ending will have mirrored name ending, not with suffix appended
- implemented layup mirroring (all plies duplicated, user defined mirror plane)
- implemented sublayup (sequence) mirroring (all plies duplicated, user defined mirror plane), if sequence name ends in _RHS or _LHS it will be switched, otherwise "_mirror" appended
- added command to export all element set definitions to FEM file
- added command to create sets for selected plies, and associate
- implemented command to create element set from layup coverage
- allowed deletion of multiple sequences together
- allowed deletion of multiple plygroups together
- added model units strings display/edit in model info window - NOT saved but used in HDF5 writer
- implemented context menu entry to copy ply or set element ids to clipboard
- corrected ply mirroring reference angle to change sign
- corrected display of orange/grey selection for exact surface export, when element top/bottom sides are coloured in identical shade
- corrected default options when changing projected ply to draped
- when mirroring or cloning plies, excluded discontinuous plies gracefully (previously "internal error")
- fixed crash when deleting an offset but another offset has no elements or eye outside mesh
- fixed error where imported offsets for which names already exist, end up with blank name
- fixed focus behaviour when editing a ply that is selected inside the layup, now works even for name/angle changes, or sublayups
- added HDF5 zone writer
- speeded up INP export for sections or distributions
- saved Nastran include lines option in registry, default "original"
- in INP writer, exported material name alone if properties unspecified
- in INP writer, removed zero_blank entry for laminate layer plyname if no global layer id available
- changed default laminate prefix to prop_
- disallowed laminate prefix to end in numeric digit
- in the Nastran export window, changed BEGIN / END string to BEGIN BULK / ENDDATA
- fixed HMNAME reading/writing for long format
- fixed INP writer not to export sections without layers (elements with no laminates)
- fixed INP writer to omit element ids from sets when skipping elements without laminates
- fixed issue of BDF writing ENDDATA twice if unprocessed lines are only BEGIN and ENDDATA
- fixed issue of adding $HM lines to unprocessed ones for Nastran re-export
- added support for H3D results import (static, dynamic, complex, forces, stresses, indices, displacements)
- added support for combining subcase results, from subcases that include Forces/Moments
- implemented export to Excel from "all layers - worst elements" window
- added option to export to H3D the current results, but detailed per loadcase
- in export to H3D, updated strings for loadcase names and result type in the output
- added support for Abaqus 2018
- allowed failure calculations with pcompg results if using new reader (anaglyphLayupCreateResultsFailure)
- allowed abaqus stress complex calculation, disallowed any abaqus stress calculation if reading ODB directly and all laminate layers have t=1 a=0 (Distributions)
- corrected the "most recent" subcase filename+path shown in context menu, to "original"
- enabled the popup info window for the "all layers - worst elements" window (problems?)
- added COM command to export specific results to H3D
- added COM command to create failure results and export to H3D
- added COM command to import results file
- added COM command to unload all results
- allowed results to be loaded with COM command "file open"
- added option in Plot window to auto-scale while ignoring interlaminar failure results
- added OP2 datablock OUG1 to processing, for MSC Nastran displacements
- changed feedback/error messages if op2 file is read or imported but finds no results
- fixed bug of exporting incorrectly FI/MS/RF combinations to H3D on new failure results (CLayupDoc::OnNewResFail)
- fixed occasionally missing loadcase names when generating new failure results
- fixed error of not reading Nastran exponential reals 123.+12 correctly
- fixed error of some op2 results blocks being skipped occasionally
- corrected the "most recent" subcase filename+path shown in context menu, to "original"
- allowed file share when checking for Abaqus odb version
- added option to show global axes in phasebook graphics
- added ply name to material column in phasebook templates, as an option
- added option to show ply and layer names in larger font in phasebook graphics
- changed column widths in phasebook template 3
- disabled ply application vector in phasebook graphics, if exploded layer also drawn
- phasebook view definition dialog: hidden check boxes for plies and layers if it is a cross-section view type
- fixed bug of incorrectly opting to draw points and curves in phasebook views
- disabled single flat pattern export options for projected plies
- fixed exploded arrow length in phasebook, for parameter arrow length proportional to window size
- added HDF5 ply / zone readers
- implemented slider for cross-section offset in Plot Options windows, Layer Control tab
- implemented layup or laminate mass and COG output, +plot
- implemented ply COG output, +plot, but not for discontinuous plies
- allowed solid surface graphics for sublayups
- added area and mass output in expected m2 and kg format
- added option to switch Primary and Secondary button roles for graphics
- changed default graphics button to secondary
- changed look of global axes graphic
- added menu item to switch to module-based menus
- added message in Summary when "Act on selection" is disabled
- added preference to show full path on title bar
- in LT INP reader, initialised the material analysis name when found in a section
- prevent numerous unwanted popup messages for bad data input in dialog windows
- implemented separate tolerances for inner and outer 3D extended boundaries
- implemented fast picking for boundary and fibre angle inspection
New features in Laminate Tools version 4.7 (first release, since previous version)
Version 4.7 introduces totally new FEA file read / write interfaces. The functionality at this stage is largely identical to what was
available up to version 4.6, introducing several important additions and fixes, while this important change will allow further
new feature developments and customisations in the future.
- added user preferences for legacy readers/writers on/off, default off
- added second results tab to plot options window, to select complex stress calc method
- changed order of tabs in plot options window, custom views is now first
- supported reading PSHELL from BDF and OP2, as a standard laminate with a single layer
- supported Nastran INCLUDE statement in BDF reader
- enabled reading of Temperature field in Abaqus INP EXPANSION commands
- enhanced reading of ODB material data
- fixed Nastran reader for HM SETs when no space between element id fields
- fixed Nastran reader to ignore PCOMPP cards
- fixed OP2 reader for PCOMPG entry
- fixed OP2 reader for double precision CORD and GRID entries
- fixed Abaqus INP file INCLUDE statement to work with filename in quotes
- fixed Abaqus INP file MATERIAL import for data formatting from HM
- fixed version update check procedure to properly retrieve the next update time from the registry
- modified ply arrows to be scaled properly for automated sessions
- fixed occasional error in updating ply coverage with automated sessions
- implemented automatic meshing over holes for CAD or FEA files, user options on File Open dialog
- added options to control projected ply creation/modification regarding discontinuous patches
- added options to control discontinuous ply application direction based on element normal
- allowed discontinuous ply modifications when used in the layup
- modified layup build window to include user-sorted columns
- implemented button to import material type and property values for individual material states, from a layup file
- fixed bug of incorrectly saving layer colours when discontinuous plies exist in layup, if layup is not modified during session
- new FEA file export implementations
- FEA file export now checks for material id conflicts
- fine tuned Abaqus INP writer for separating start/end part commands and extras output, moved element sets inside part definition, and more
- enabled writing of Temperature field in Abaqus INP EXPANSION commands
- modified .fem export $HMSET card to have type 2 rather than 10
- new FEA file import implementations
- added option to plot results on deformed shape (OP2, ODB), added scale options in plot options window
- implemented reading complex results from Nastran (force, stress, displacement), whether real/imag or magn/phase (excludes F06)
- implemented reading complex results from Abaqus (force, stress, displacement)
- implemented reading of Abaqus ODB continuum shells as thin shells
- added support for Abaqus 2017
- extended LAP forces export to include real and imaginary complex components, separately
- FI Envelope plots may specify single layer, and shear=0 ellipse shown in the same plot
- implemented elliptical failure index envelope plot per element for some stress-based criteria
- improved handling of reporting interface FI past the last layer for an element
- added SMAExternal subfolder to Abaqus 2017 bin folder
- corrected the ODB reader to read results for single-layer laminate elements
- hardcoded automatic flat DXF label size based on model units, to be 10mm
- added option to have a photo or graphic as a phasebook view
- enabled phasebook row selection/deselection for output
- changed phasebook layer angles to include the layup layer angle offset
- fixed phasebook tables not respecting layer sequence when grouping in a row
- changed behaviour when removing sublayups, instead of full phasebook deletion to keep its general definitions
- fixed bug of not propagating a ply rename to phasebook view data
- added support for gigabit camera
- introduced registry DWORD navrg for number of averaged readings (default=5)
- modified xbox behaviour to emulate video invert (Y)
- fixed error of losing video on file close and re-open
- fixed error of missing ESC when mouse picking ply boundary etc
New features in Laminate Tools version 4.6 (first release, since previous version)
- enabled a user-abort when picking elements delimited by curves
- added support for discontinuous projected plies
- implemented dynamic ply application point, exclude plies used in layup for now, as ILayup crashes
- added offset flag option Application Side (dialog, and automation keyword appside)
- implemented basic model spatial transformations
- implemented automatic Layup generation from Laminates (projected plies from global-id laminate layers)
- allowed full layup edit when using sublayups, but not to change the sequence
- added the layup (or sequence) mass in the layup edit window
- added columns for plygroup and sequence names in the full layup edit table
- added menu to rename Layup directly
- revised and speeded up layup import (added small temporary nudge to mesh)
- implemented PSHELL/PCOMP element property retention when exporting to Nastran and merging with file (element thickness must be defined in PSHELL)
- in Optistruct export, if the failure theory is defined, the PLY SOUT option is set to YES
- enabled use of global layer ids in PLY card for Optistruct export, if all non-zero
- revised logic to catch reverse element normals for Optistruct optimiser export
- added ply names (with global id appended) in Optistruct export
- corrected a formatting bug in the use of global layer ids in PLY card for Optistruct export
- forced material ids to become non-zero on laminate creation, on analysis exports and on layup/lt file save
- removed Ansys CDB duplicate element set export
- added support for Abaqus 2016
- implemented plot window cloning
- made element picking easier for plot windows
- added option to set post-processing scope by plygroups or sequences
- added the most recently imported results filename to the context menu of subcases
- added info messages for results files successfully imported
- added a browse function for the exported filename for new failure results as .h3d files
- added the loadcase name to the exported default filename for new failure results as .h3d files
- changed default results shading to ON
- when importing multiple ODB files, implemented option to use the same user-confirmed ODB version for subsequent files
- implemented the cross-section view option for phasebooks
- allowed import of phasebook definitions on single layup fle import
- in phasebook cross-section views, layers are shown only up to that phase
- enabled phasebook export even without sublayups
- made phasebook surface smooth shading a user option, default off
- added point cloud export option as STL
- added point cloud export option as Nastran Shells
- added registry string Point Density to limit the minimum point cloud density in exports, issued warning
- added custom thickness and ply count spectra, revised ply count plot for discrete numbers up to 30, scales now ascending upwards
- added options to customise 3D shading
- supported child window position restore on multiple monitors
- allowed multiple ply selection graphics, but no outline or flat pattern, limited arrows
- supported reading of Hyperworks element sets (SET in bulk data)
- enabled reset of toolbars position back to default through menu View/Toolbar
- added missing theta orientations when reading layup files
- improved screen pick/calibration zoom popup window
- (fixed cam) added support for Xbox gamepad controller
- (fixed cam) enabled mouse wheel zooming at cursor, maintained F4/pan functions
- added popup message showing max possible texture size
- allowed video to use native buffer for zoom popup
- (full) added option to ignore CAD/CMM incompatible data (OK/Cancel)
- (full) added filter to skip rogue CMM vector data
- (full) changed texture size to 2048 (was 2592)
- (fixed cam) fixed calibration calc when zoomed in using mouse
- (fixed cam) disabled context menu while picking calibration points
- (fixed cam) added registry option DWORD max_wheel_zoom_x10, default 20, test with graphics card!
New features in Laminate Tools version 4.5 (first release, since previous version)
- enabled import of free points when importing curves
- added capability to associate one element set with a ply
- implemented mirroring of multiple plies in one operation
- enabled options to stop at branches and to calculate angle change locally, when picking by similar orientation
- added menus to randomize exploded/inplace layer colours in layup definition window
- added context menu item for individual ply rename
- added option to change new ply name root in the advanced general preferences
- enabled ply edits to keep highlight on data tree layer child, except on name or angle change
- supported recursive *INCLUDE for Abaqus INP files
- supported orientation distributions for Abaqus INP files
- supported laminate offsets for Abaqus files
- supported material orientations for Abaqus files
- enabled reading a specific instance from INP files
- enabled Nastran output options for Nodes/Elements/Materials/Properties
- added option to remove BEGIN BULK / ENDDATA in Nastran export
- enabled automatic ODB version match from those installed
- in plot windows, made the WORST CASE theory to be default option
- added both laminate and layup angles in stress plot view popup info window
- for custom spectra with specified limits, made behaviour similar to default spectrum for FI MS RF (transparent "low" values)
- implemented manual failure calculations for Abaqus
- fully implemented engineering strain for failure calculations based on strain
- changed default filename for the simple H3D export to include the loadcase name
- fixed RST reader to work with partial results
- updated RST reader to support recent ANSYS versions
- added support for Abaqus 6.14 ODB files
- fixed bug of reading all result types for subsequent (multiple) op2/f06/odb files, once user selects not to show the selection window again
- supported reading forces from ODB files (allows interactive calculations)
- supported reading failure indices from ODB files
- supported reading subcase names from ODB files
- implemented PhaseBook export to Microsoft Word
- added user option to ignore thickening when exporting exact layup surface as point cloud
- implemented dense point output option for mould surface
- implemented dense point output option for exact layup surface
- fixed bug of missing flat pattern DXF label when exporting multiple plies in plybook export
- added COM function SetGuideCurveEnds and updated LTAddPly to include guide curves (used by Rhino5 addin)
- added new layer-count distribution plots for layup and laminates
- enabled type-related icons for materials and plies in tree
- added Advanced Options window in General Preferences
- added area and mass output to the individual set summary
- added data view button to collapse tree
- added INP and ODB to registered file types
- added element set context menu item to control visibility method
- fixed laminate graphics logic for hidden elements
- increased the ply boundary line width for printed graphics
- softened the diffuse and specular light in model graphics, to improve shaded results
- added registry DWORD parameter "CustomSpectraTransparentGoodFIMSRF" to control how to colour FI MS RF results
- added registry DWORD parameters "Spaceball Translation Speed pc" and "Spaceball Rotation Speed pc" (default 100) to customise response speed
- reduced spaceball response speed
- implemented extended 3D ply boundary graphics with user-defined tolerance
- improved calibration logic to adjust CMM points 2 and 3 for better results
- fixed occasional OpenGL error when drawing splines
- added better support for IGES colour
- added code to manually plot any complex NURBS properly (IGES)
New features in Laminate Tools version 4.4 (first release, since previous version)
- enabled geometry healing as a user option on file open, to correct common surface defects
- added option to grow or shrink plies by one row of elements around the outer boundary
- implemented ply Guide Curves,to include important curves in the flat patterns
- implemented ply Vector definition (Application and Reference) by picking imported geometry Points
- added function to mirror the Layup about the XZ plane
- enabled Slide type plies to have seed curves
- added a menu/button to easily reverse the ply or offset Application Direction
- added option to import element sets together with a layup
- added user option window to allow material Analysis ID import
- implemented interface to export layup plies to XML (facets, warp/weft, thickness, sequence), for copying to compatible applications
- corrected Abaqus export interface for Distribution Tables
- added option in Nastran export to skip elements without properties (eg cutouts; tip:merge with original data to get these elements back with their original properties)
- added option in Abaqus export for Part Name, otherwise Flat deck
- added option in Abaqus export to skip all mesh
- added option in Abaqus export to skip elements without properties (eg cutouts)
- added option in Abaqus export to skip element Sets (unless used in section definitions)
- added option in Abaqus export to skip Material definitions
- added option in Abaqus export to use default Laminates or Distribution Tables
- added option in Abaqus export for the number of integration points
- made export windows remember user selections
- corrected Abaqus export using default Laminates for models having elements in the YZ plane
- enabled multiple file import for results, in one operation
- added worst-case failure result plot, in layer by layer plot window
- implemented showing critical failure theory and mode per layer in plot window pop-up
- enabled reading specific instances from Abaqus ODB files
- implemented reading loadcase names from Abaqus ODB files
- implemented flat pattern output as spline curves
- added feature to export IGES points cloud for mould surfaces
- implemented layer range selection by ply group, for plybook export
- enabled separate CAD pattern files for ply instances (duplicates) with registry parameter word CadPatternInstances=1
- allowed element set Show/Hide by clicking on tree icon
- revised the storage of user options (including custom spectra) for compatibility with admin rights in Windows 7/8 (may still override with Lamtools.ini)
- implemented interface to inspect ply boundary using tactile probe, for deviation measurements
- implemented interface to inspect ply fibre angles, for misalignment measurements
- enabled model view modes Shaded and Custom for the Camera view
- popup zoom method on ply inspection now controlled by registry parameter
- fixed calibration error for special case of 2nd and 3rd calibration points on YZ plane
New features in Laminate Tools version 4.3 (first release, since previous version)
- improved geometry translation, with additional control parameters and faster sewing
- added split curve meshing option to disable the automatic connection of continuous curves
- implemented reading units from STEP/IGES models for correct display of coordinates - new behaviour
- implemented reading units from STEP/IGES curves for correct match with model coordinates - new behaviour, model+curves do not need to be in mm now
- implemented optional conversion of CAD file units to mm for backward compatibility
- enabled CAD file nodes merge for all nodes by default (was for free edges only)
- improved split curve meshing
- fixed an error in identifying curve splits intersecting ply free edges
- fixed crash where phantom curves were added via Rhino STEP files
- fixed problem with NEiFusion STEP files missing set names, cutouts and all plies not supported
- enhanced Abaqus INP and ODB import functionality
- added toolbars to pick dialogs
- implemented named offsets
- implemented layup edit command to remove ply multiple instances (simplify)
- changed ply graphics button in layup definition window to be a check box (on/off)
- implemented picking of polycurves for splits and boundaries
- implemented multiple curve/polycurve picking by rectangle (splits, boundaries)
- allowed picking by named Offsets
- implemented auto-extend for splits and seed curves
- picking: allowed Shift to switch behaviour to "remove" if in "add"
- added option to change pick-by-normal angle tolerance in GUI
- implemented fast picking for elements or sets, enabled by default with registry parameter "Pick Fast" = 1
- implemented fast picking for node selection
- implemented fast picking for individual element edge selection, saves only one element side of the edge
- implemented Optistruct export to work with any laminate generation method
- disallowed Optistruct export reverse STACK card
- fixed bug in Optistruct optimiser SET export command
- added COM interface to define offset
- added COM function to select split curves
- added COM command to delete ply
- added COM command to delete offset
- if not safe draping, on ply creation, if draping is unsuccessful the ply is still added to tree (errors shown), and split curves are now applied, expecting a successful draping
- corrected behaviour of "set face" by offset in the definition for exact layup surface
- fixed bug of failing to use some curves as splits
- fixed occasional stack overflow error in picking by boundary curve
- fixed error of layup export to Excel where compressed format index ranges were occasionally incorrect
- fixed errors in ply mirroring
- changed default setting for Safe Draping option to FALSE (for new installations)
- disabled safe draping for non-draped ply types
- implemented interactive global layer post-processing
- added post-processing option to display along global fibres
- added support for Abaqus transverse shear stresses, including for interactive maximum criterion
- added option to plot layer stress/FI results by ignoring layer thickness
- upgraded custom failure criterion to LTf3.dll (LTf2.dll used if LTf3.dll not found) - applies to interactive calcs
- changed behaviour to automatically apply restricted scope after defining it
- disallowed import of results from different solvers
- allowed the processing of results if more elements exist in the results file cf. model mesh
- fixed the stress plot window popup info not appearing on multiple monitors
- fixed bug of not actually deleting individual loadcases internally in memory
- fixed occasional non-showing of material or ply names in popup of stress plot window
- fixed F06 import of results
- supported plies with curve splits in Flat pattern window
- fixed Virtek output filenames
- added custom curves colour
- disabled toolbar layout saving on exit for automated sessions
- fixed toolbars repositioning to left when automated session was minimised
- fixed occasional bug where menus did not reset on file close
- modified file/open behaviour for correct preview on Windows 7/8
- modified GUI behaviour on file/close or exit with unsaved changes
- allowed use of LamTools.ini in application folder if it cannot be created in Windows folder
- added registry DWORD parameter ElementPriorityVisible, default 0, to control element set show/hide priority
- fixed multi-selection for data tree on XP, Vista and 7 32/64 with manifest
- added Help menu commands for User Manual and Tutorial
- changed the reported Layup API version to that of the DLL
- added option to disable OpenGL hardware acceleration in the registry
- enabled deviation measurements for non-fixed application as well
- enabled automatic restart of video recording every half hour, or on resize
- fixed error of averaging fixed camera upright angles close to +/-180
- fixed a crash for new camera type zoom window with offscreen coordinates
- fixed bug of pause description not showing if text wider than video window
New features in Laminate Tools version 4.2 (first release, since previous version)
- greatly improved geometry translation, with additional control parameters and faster sewing
- when loading named surfaces, element sets are also created for the component surfaces of merged surfaces, for easy picking
- implemented material/ply/layup export to spreadsheet, to be used for re-importing onto a morphed or translated mesh
- added option to import material/ply/layup from spreadsheet onto a translated mesh
- implemented ply mirroring and cloning
- implemented element set mirroring and cloning
- enabled auto merge of material properties on layup file import (by name, if existing type is undefined)
- implemented draped pattern outputs (incl. exact) for projected type plies (ply boundary)
- added option to import layup file for one element set only
- added option to define ply or offset vectors by picking nodes
- changed usage and naming convention for imported PlyMaster materials, to reduce number of materials added
- modified COM command "layup define/append" to generate global ids
- added COM automation function SetSplitEdgeIds
- added COM automation function SetMaterialStiffness
- added support for Abaqus files (INP, ODB stress)
- added option to export generated failure calculations to Hyperworks H3D file format
- updated Nastran OP2 support for new element type storage
- added support for Ansys RST files for version 13 or later
- implemented subcase deletion, fixed multiple loadcase deletion in a single operation
- updated LAP export format for transverse loads and offsets
- implemented SigmaNEST spreadsheet output in Ply Book export
- implemented data export for automated Robotic ply placement
- added cut-out boundaries to Assembly Guidance laser export data
- enabled the specification of text height in flat DXF pattern files
- added support for software based licence keys
- improved Windows 7 compatibility, including 3D mouse usage
- added COM automation function GetDrapeVectors
- revised and improved default GUI graphics colours
- plus numerous fixes and performance improvements.
- implemented automatic recalibration for mirrored parts
- implemented optional display of tool probe together with model
- added ability to pan when zoomed in
- allowed the application of a new probe configuration without soft restart
- implemented interface to inspect ply placement, calculate and export deviations
- added hardware support for Windows 7
- implemented fixed calibration method with 6 points
- improved fixed camera calibration method with 4 points, allowed individual selection of any successful solution
- added ability to save calibration for multiple fixed cameras
New features in Laminate Tools version 4.1 (first release, since previous version)
- enabled the import of 3D curves from CAD, and other geometric entities for future enhancements
- implemented new embedded SolidWorks interface, for easy ply definition
- enabled ply Split (dart) definitions as curves unrelated to the mesh, for easier generation of accurate flat ply patterns
- added method of area picking bounded by an imported Boundary curve
- added method of area picking by similar element normal orientation
- enhanced the area picking method by visible element set
- added support for import/export of element sets in Session files
- enabled Boundary curve definitions for easy and accurate flat ply outline pattern generation (incl. cutouts)
- easy ply drop-off flat patterns now possible via imported boundary curves
- added ply name to flat pattern DXF file, as a new pattern export option
- introduced option to control the default exported IGES file extension name, for improved compatibility
- enhanced the Nastran export "merge" feature, to scan the mesh and property ids for best merged results
- added support for the new Ansys element shell type 281
- enabled Ansys properties export including global ply definition (zero thickness at drop-off)
- added Laminate Tools material names to Nastran export files, for easier identification and re-use
- Enabled basic output ofgenerated failure results to the Altair HyperWorks H3D format, with further enhancements under way
- implemented COM Server Automation functionality, for remote control via custom client applications
- enabled user-selected licence at launch, useful for multi-licence sites
- several bugs corrected, and processing improved
- software updates in line with PlyMatch 2010 system upgrade, communication with the hardware re-engineered
- enhanced error reporting, to troubleshoot operations
- recording timer shows permanently during recording, and is stamped in the recording
- increased best recording quality to 15 frames per second
- available probe files now appear automatically in selection boxes
- relaxed tolerance of camera movement, for smoother animation
- relaxed default calibration tolerance for easier setup
New features in Laminate Tools version 4.0 (first release, since previous version)
- new module, introducing new functionality with potential for many further features
- new STEP and IGES file format import capability
- automatic mesh conversion with surface sew function
- automatic Element Set creation for imported surfaces, for easy selection
- added draping warp and weft angle deviation graphics
- implemented Element Set picking in graphics
- corrected problems with Reverse ply application in Layup
- re-introduced STL format import node merge tolerance, added edge sew tolerance
- added support for generation of exact innermost / outermost layup surfaces as point clouds
- improved exact flat pattern calculations by preserving surface normals at ply edges
- implemented surface offset extrusion for Nastran solid elements
- supported sandwich configurations for solid element extrusion with 3 elements through thickness
- automated the 3D solid element stiffness property calculation and export
- enabled Nastran/Optistruct exports to merge with any Nastran data file
- upgraded Optistruct SET export format
- forced laminate angles within -90..+90 for the Nastran First Ply option
- improved support for Ansys LOCAL axis systems and Ansys Existing laminate generation
- improved stiffness calculations for anisotropic materials, for interactive calculations
- improved automatic min-max range for stress or strain contour plots
- enabled all windows to be considered when optimising desktop layout
- added gradient background colour in graphics windows
- allowed the opening of multiple files via Windows Explorer, in separate threads
- added diagnostics for licencing operations
- implemented licence update via user interface
- improved status bar update for progress messages
- implemented custom toolbar positioning
- implemented html help in addition to standard Windows help
- added numerous visual and efficiency improvements
- relaxed tolerance of camera movement for graphics update, for smoother animation
New features in Laminate Tools version 3.4 (first release, since previous version)
- implemented safe draping simulation method, to prevent unexpected crashes
- implemented view filter for plies in layup builder window
- added Delete Laminates menu command
- added support for generation of exact flat patterns, taking layer offset into account
- added Ply Area and Mass to the available plybook export columns
- new Optistruct optimiser export interface
- enabled 3 user-defined spectra for results post-processing
- added global ply id and ply name to results summary report
- added ply name to plot window popup for a layer
- implemented interactive LaRC05 failure criterion
- implemented interactive Cowin failure criterion
- implemented interactive Hankinson failure criterion
- implemented interactive Hoffman failure criterion
- implemented partial, user controlled, result type import from op2 or f06
- added post-processing support for SOL103 eigen value, SOL111 (incomplete) modal frequency response, and SOL112 modal transient response dynamic results
- implemented new failure results generation for a single element set only, as an option
- introduced parameter to control the maximum lines in the results list feedback (default=50)
- added Show ALL button in setting results scope window, to easily disable view filter
- added separate call of user-defined criterion for layer interfaces
- saved plot windows to desktop layout
- implemented 64-bit version
- enabled multiple instances on same machine for each licence
- added ply node under each layup ply node, for easy graphics and modifications
- enhanced Ansys material data import
- improved automatic web updates checks
- upgraded installation environment
- blocked calibration if coordinates differ by given tolerance
- implemented better feedback for error situations
- made dialogs large size, to view from a distance
- implemented fixed camera option
- allowed the option of no tool probe being used
- added support for user-defined line thickness
- added keyboard shortcut for open calibration file function
- enabled targeting the tool probe for easy calibration / check
New features in Laminate Tools version 3.3 (first release, since previous version)
- implemented dual sub-layup level for compatibility with Catia layups (PlyGroups and Sequences), with backward compatibility support, and layup file import functionality
- layup import now reports unmapped elements in feedback window
- implemented creation of one element set for each selected ply
- implemented layup changes log
- implemented layup export to excel
- implemented layup layer highlighting and also used in layer graphics
- introduced Show/Hide/Toggle options in element sets context menu
- speeded up pick by application of 2D pattern in dxf, introduced 3 methods in menu
- saved Ansys Solid95 and Beam189 information in Layup file
- allowed manual edit of external material ids for FEA
- implemented PlyMatch interface
- supported laminate creation with material shear states (Nastran)
- added option to generate laminates for visible elements only
- implemented LaRC02 criterion for interactive calculations
- implemented Puck 2002 criterion for interactive calculations
- supported Simulayt Addin
- implemented popup window with information for layer post-processing plots
- implemented laminate directional stiffness plot
- implemented fully Camera mode (Fly-by) as an option on each model window
- supported 3Dconnexion devices in Model or Camera mode, with disable option
- implemented Ansys Beam189 element display
- implemented reading of HyperMesh material names
- implemented custom function key and mouse assignments
- implemented automatic software update notifications
- numerous performance enhancements and support for latest graphics hardware.
New features in Laminate Tools version 3.2 (first release, since previous version)
- enabled sub-layup hierarchy import on Layup Import.
- implemented separate import of layup sets, as an enhancement to Layup Import.
- implemented separate import of layup materials, to easily re-use and share material data.
- implemented element sets output to Ansys CDB files, as with Nastran files.
- added PlyMaster layup import functionality.
- enabled multiple material shear states, whereby the correct mechanical properties can be assigned to different shear states of scissor materials.
- implemented the display of Ansys Solid95 elements, as an option.
- implemented micro-strain post-processing for Model, Info, Worst Elements, and Plot windows.
- implemented user-defined global ply view filter for restricted scope post-processing, as a selection aid.
- implemented transverse shear calculations by NEiNastran method, as a user option.
- supported post-processing of imported results that are already sorted by global ply.
- modified global ply results text output per element, to be sorted by laminate ply, reflecting the actual laminate sequence.
- added Margin of Safety to the lists of possible imported components to be post-processed.
- added PUCK criterion to the possible failure theories exported in PCOMPs.
- implemented a new Flat Pattern window, where multiple two-dimensional user-defined patterns can be applied to the model, with support for overlapping strip calculation, highlight and export (2D or 3D), pattern vertex pick and drag in 3D model window, and element selection (pick) by application of 2D pattern.
- implemented flat pattern extension (growth) by given amount around the calculated boundary, for later trimming.
- implemented the selection of which DXF flat pattern details to be exported, for individual plies or for the plybook.
- added support in plybook export for selection of layer ranges by sublayup.
- implemented distance measurement as traced along the visible surface.
- implemented option for multiple visible straight-line distance segments.
- implemented user option for scaling the spread of exploded layer graphics.
- implemented custom colours for sets, pick area, 2D pattern DXF outline, 2D pattern DXF strips, and many more.
- implemented user option for drawing or not of the semi-transparent dark background behind spectrum legends.
- enabled highlight for hidden elements of selected element set, and any current element selection.
- allowed multi-selection of element sets, showed set coverage filled and shaded.
- added pick command to hide all unselected elements, using an element set.
- implemented "from Selected Elements only" option for picking.
- implemented picking by bounding coordinates box (within xyz ranges).
- added ".fem" to the supported file formats (Hypermesh).
- implemented $HMSET card in .fem files for element set name definition.
- enabled resizing for worst elements - all layers results window.
- numerous performance enhancements and support for latest graphics hardware.