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What you asked us in September 2020

By Marshall Williams 14 October 2020

Welcome back to our monthly review of your support questions! Let’s take a look at the common support questions from September.

Can I create new materials using Youngs Modulus and Poisson’s Ratio?

OnScale accepts material properties for isotropic materials in two primary formats: as bulk and shear wave velocities and as bulk and shear modulii. Unfortunately, many manufacturers do not provide data in either format, requiring conversion before use.

The Material Conversion tool, which can be found in Analyst, can be used to convert your material properties into a format supported by OnScale.

Support Questions

Material Conversion Tool


All you need to use the tool is the density of the material, which should be given in the datasheet, and two other properties of your choice. The tool will then provide the remaining properties. The code at the bottom can be copied into your script to create the material.

My estimate has failed, what do I do?

Before running a job on the cloud, you are asked to estimate before submitting to the cloud. If your estimate fails, and you see the following error, that means there is a syntax issue with your model.

Model Error

Model syntax error

If this error message appears you should open the print file generated with the format inputfilename-estimate.flxprt. Print files are the best way to debug an issue as it gives you the error message and location of the error. If you open this file and scroll to the bottom you should see the message.

Support Questions

Print file containing error message


In the above case, you can see that the error is in the site command and the error message is ‘Unknown material – water’. This means I have not defined a material with that name. If you are unsure what an error message means check out our Troubleshooting errors article containing some common error messages.

How do I load an edge in my Designer model?

In Designer, our GUI, models can be loaded via two methods:

  • Surface –add load to selected surface
  • Geometry Interface – add load between two materials

However, it is possible to load an edge on a geometry. You can do this by creating a load using Geometry Interface and then minimizing the Interface Definition. For example, in the model below, I have created a 1 x 1 x 1 mm steel cube and loaded the highlighted edge by creating a load between the maximum Y boundary and the cube primitive. I then changed the Interface Definition of this load so that Z minimum and Z maximum were the same value (1 mm).


Example of cube with edge load

Is there a quick way to add keypoints to models with complex geometry?

Keypoints are a crucial step in the model creation process but can take a bit of time to set up for complex geometries. Here are a few tips to speed up this process in the different OnScale modes.


In Designer, if you have a 3D CAD model, you can automatically detect keypoints using the Detect Keypoints button in the Home tab of the ribbon.

Note: This is only currently supported for 3D CAD.

Support Questions

Example of automatic keypoint detection in Designer


In Analyst you can use #keycopy to copy out periodic keypoints. See Command Reference (Analyst > Help > Command Reference) for more details.

MATLAB® Toolbox

Our new MATLAB® toolbox has an autoKeypoints() function to automatically detect and apply keypoints to all types of models (2D, 3D, sliced).

That is all for this month. If you have any questions that have come out of reading this blog post, feel free to ask them on our forum!


Marshall Williams
Marshall Williams

Marshall Williams is a Digital Marketing Intern for OnScale. He's a student of AeroSpace Engineering and Economics at Georgia Tech, with experience in growth focused copywriting, specializing in marketing for startups and nonprofits.

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