Simcenter STAR-CCM+ version 2020.3 news – Part 1

Last week, Simcenter STAR-CCM+ version 2020.3 was released. Just as we did after the previous release, we will in this and upcoming blog posts present and highlight news that we consider relevant. This time around a lot of focus has been put on multiphase modelling, but in this first blog post we will look at some of the user experience updates together with some new 3D-CAD features.

Asynchronous post processing

One useful new feature that has been asked for in Ideastorm is asynchronous post processing for design manager. In previous releases you had to define scenes and plots before the study was run. But it is usually hard to know beforehand what to specifically evaluate in terms of scenes, views and so on. This has been remedied and it is now possible to update your post processing without the need to rerun your study. Any change propagates to all the selected designs. The pictures below are from a simulation at Volvo cars where the aim was to optimize the mirror shape to reduce film build-up. Here, in the right picture, created after the study, much better visualize the spread of the fluid film. This compared to the left picture where the distribution of the fluid film is harder to perceive.

1 Picture1 asynchronous post processing DM

gPROMS coupling

For simulations of general process modelling gPROMS is a strong tool. What you can do now is to use your high-fidelity 3D-CFD model to calibrate your gPROMS model. This is done by dividing your CFD model into clusters. Next, the gPROMS network region is being created automatically together with a gPROMS link. We then reduce the geometric order from three to zero dimension, by computing the fluxes between the clusters. Then we export the flow results on the network model to a file. The flow data from this file can be imported to gPROMS to be used for subsequent simulations. This can be seen as a flow model order reduction and the process is described in the picture below.

1 Picture2 gPROMS

CGNS import export

CGNS (CFD General Notation System) is a standard data format that can contain both mesh and solution data. Starting from this release you can import CGNS data, such as meshes and solution fields, into Simcenter STAR-CCM+. The import is accessible in the simulation tree via a link. You can use the CGNS file to exchange data between one sim file and another, between a sim file and another Simcenter product such as for example Simcenter 3D and between a sim file and a third-party tool. By using this format, you can easier collaborate with your colleagues and improve the turnaround time for your multi-physics projects together. The video clip below shows the setup procedure from an empty file.

User experience

There are some updates related to user experience that are worth mentioning. The custom tree has been around for a while, and it allows you to create a tree in which you decide what parts of the tree that should be included. What is new however is the possibility to have a custom tree as the initial tree when you start your GUI.

1 Picture4 custom tree















There is new function related to Simulation operation. You can now validate the setup by right clicking on your simulation operation and select validate. The output window will then show warning messages if your simulation operation is defined incorrectly . The video below shows how it’s done and what it might look like.

Another minor update for the Simulation operation is that the residual plot now opens automatically when executing the solve continua action. That was not the case before.

In the picture below you can see an update regarding global parameters. It is now possible to perform ´in line expression evaluation´ (direct evaluation) of the parameter and values. You can now evaluate the values directly without the need for reports that evaluate parameter expressions. Also, incorrect expressions are reported in the output window and highlighted to draw your attention.

1 Picture6 paramters evaluation

CAD interoperability

The table below shows the latest CAD interoperability version support. Another update is that a CAD-exchange license is no longer needed when exporting STEP files. Note that from version 2021.1 of Simcenter STAR-CCM+, CAE mode (the ability to setup a simulation in the CAD package environment) will be retired.

1 Picture7 CADinteroperability


There has been a speedup in the preparation and handling of 3D-CAD graphically. It is now feasible to deal with up to 5000 bodies simultaneously, an improvement from before when the practical limit was around 1000 bodies. The geometry preparation has also become faster in this release. In an example of preparing a 3200 body model there is a 2-3 factor faster end-to-end clean-up & preparation, when compared to version 2020.2

The interactive modelling in 3D-CAD has been improved, you can directly pull and push using arrow for extrude, extend solid and thicken. Distances and parameters are automatically updated. Improvement has also been applied in the face defeaturing capabilities.

Additionally, it is now possible to create helix and spirals in the 3D-sketch mode. The feature now supports creation of heat coil, suspension spring, helix blade in machinery or spiral wound battery. The picture below shows some examples.












New predicates have been added to the 3D-CAD search tool in 2020.3. Bounding box can be used to find an entity within a defined box or plane. Radius predicates to find holes in the model. You can now also easily create a 3D curve by combining two sketches.

We hope this has been useful. For more extensive information on all the topics and examples you are recommended to review the detailed new features presentations. In the coming weeks we will continue to present relevant news from the latest release of Simcenter STAR-CCM+ version 2020.3. As usual, do not hesitate to reach out with questions to

Read also:
Release update on Simcenter STAR-CCM+ 2020.2 part 1
Release update on Simcenter STAR-CCM+ 2020.2 part 2
Simcenter STAR-CCM+ version 2020.3 news – Part 2
Templating, an internal flow example

Scroll to Top