Visualizing and interacting with engineering analysis results can provide valuable insights into a system's performance and aid in engineering decision-making. Currently, the majority of analysis codes are developed as isolated solutions focusing only on the most prominent physical influence to a system, such as thermal, structural, fluid, etc. Frequently, more than one of these physical influences combined to force engineers to evaluate complex, coupled systems. Coupled analysis codes are becoming more common place tools for engineers demanding high fidelity simulations of complex systems. External code coupling solutions are emerging to permit generic coupling of separate, world class CAE solvers thus providing a more general class of multidisciplinary simulations. The true value of an engineering analysis is determined by the accuracy of the analysis code and the ability to interpret all of the significant information contained in the analysis results. Post-processing visualization tools have long been valued for their ability to aid engineers in interpreting all of the significant information contained in non-coupled CAE analysis results. The tie between non-coupled CAE solvers and post-processing visualization tools is poorly defined and currently few general post-processing visualization tools exist capable of interpreting a wide range of differing CAE results. The few tools capable of general post-processing require extensive development of dozens of data readers or translators to accommodate the slew of varying CAE data formats. As coupled CAE solutions emerge, a need exists to standardize the data exchange between CAE solvers and post-processing visualization tools. A format for this standard CAE data exchange, similar to IGES for CAD/CAM data, is proposed. The object of this research is to bridge the gap between external code couplers and post-processing visualization tools to initiate visualization and interaction with these externally coupled results. This fusion of two dissimilar technologies affords a greater level of result interpretation to support engineering decision-making. A general integration architecture is presented and a proof of concept with industry leading tools is developed to demonstrate the benefits of a tight integration between external code couplers and post-processing visualization tools. Examples are presented of visualizing externally coupled results. This research lets the engineer significantly interact with and visualize more complex problems, solved in preferred world class tools, in a timely and streamlined manner.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





visualization, coupled analysis, multi-physics, virtual engineering