Creating a New Project

Let's start creating your first model!

This tutorial won't introduce you to every part of Designer, but it'll cover enough so that, by the end of it, you can start creating your own models. You'll also have the confidence to look up any further information you need in our Help Center.

This tutorial is split across 13 short articles. It'll probably take you about an hour to go through everything, although exact timings will of course vary from person to person. As you go, you may find you'd like to explore certain aspects of Designer further before moving on to the next set of instructions. Feel free!

First Steps

If you've not already, open OnScale.

If this if your first time opening OnScale, click Getting Started. Designer will open and you'll be prompted to log in to your OnScale account. Once you've done this, you'll have the option to open a sample project or import a CAD file. We don't want to do either of those things, so just click Close.

Note: If you have opened OnScale before, you won't see the Getting Started option. Instead, just click Designer to open Designer.

Let's go ahead and create a new project. In the Home tab of the ribbon, click New Project (or else click onscale-button.png > New Project).

You'll see the New Project window:


This asks you for some basic details about the project. Before we enter a name or description, let's take a moment to discuss the model that we're actually going to build in this tutorial and what it is we want to simulate.

Our Model

Our model is going to be of a PZT disk residing in a cylindrical water tank. PZT, or lead zirconate titanate, is a piezoelectric material and can thus deform under a certain voltage.

We'll apply an electrode on each side of the PZT disk and observe the deformation of the disk in relation to the voltage load applied. The water around the PZT disk will vibrate according to the vibration of the disk.

We'll create the model in 2D. However, we'll make our model a 2D axi-symmetric model with symmetry along the Y axis. What this means is that, when the simulation is run, our flat 2D model will automatically be transformed into a 3D model by revolving it around the Y axis.

It's probably easier to understand that idea visually. When we're designing our model, it'll look like this:


When the simulation is run, however, the model will be revolved around the Y axis:


As such, when we inspect the results in Post Processor, the model will be in 3D:


Here the left image shows the full model. The right image shows the PZT disk only. Both are shown cut in half for better visualization (both materials are in fact cylindrical).

Note: This is a pretty cool feature of OnScale! Where possible, consider designing in 2D and using symmetry. It can make the design process quicker.

Creating Our Project

Back to Designer! In the New Project window, do the following:

  1. For Model Name, type PZTDisk (or something similar).
  2. Type a description if you wish. It's optional.
  3. If you want to change the project filename and/or save location, click the details (...) button beside Project File.
  4. For Analysis, select Mechanical Dynamic.
  5. For Model Type, select 2D Axi-Symmetric Model (Y).

    Warning: Be sure to select Y and not X! This setting cannot be changed after the project has been created. You must select symmetry along the Y axis for this simulation to work!

  6. For our project, working in meters won't be practical, so select the Advanced checkbox to show the advanced options.
  7. For Distance, select mm.
  8. Click OK.

A new blank project is created.

What Next?

The first thing we'll want to do in our new project is add the materials that we'll need.