SonoAnalyzer Pro, OE and Free - version 2.0.7 pre-release PR2

A quick update release of SonoAnalyzer version 2 is now available to download in the usual Pro, OE and Free editions. It's still nominally a "Pre-release" (PR2) but now close to full functionality. As always though, if you do discover an issue please let me know.

This update includes some bug-fixes and new features, as follows.

New tetrahedral meshing options (user-provided / STEP geometry):

The standard meshing parameters set by the "Very fine" to "Very coarse" mesh size options were found not to work well for some larger sonotrode designs, producing meshes that were too coarse in some regions and too fine in others. New options "Large, very fine" to "Large, very coarse" have been added, giving a more uniform distribution of element sizes that tend to work better for large models. For ultimate control a new "User defined" option has also been added which allows the user to specify NetGen parameters directly in the advanced Pro-Options dialog.

Sectional views:

Supporting sectioned views for tetrahedral elements required the development of new functions to calculate the intersection of the elements with a cut plane. This is now available in version 2.0.7. However, since this causes some disturbance in the exterior faces of the elements it's not always desirable. A new checkbox "Enable sectional view" is now included on the Outline tab of User Geometry models for users who wish to use it. Note that the breaking up of elements at the cut-plane is purely a viewing artefact - the original analysis is unchanged.

Sectional views can be chosen through the menu at Display -> Sectional display and Display -> Core display. In earlier models (stepped, conical, exponential and user-defined with core) the sectional views could be set automatically by leaving the menu settings at "Auto" and selecting different tabs from the model, eg. selecting the "Hole" tab would show the sectioned sonotrode without the core; selecting the "Core" tab would show the sectioned sonotrode with core. This obviously doesn't apply to the user-geometry models so a new control has been added: double-click on the graphics screen to toggle through available sectioned views. If the model doesn't feature a core this will switch the sectional view on and off with each double-click. For models that have a core defined the view will cycle from solid to sectioned (core not shown), sectioned (core solid), sectioned (core sectioned) and finally back to solid. Note that the menu option must be set to "Auto" in order to use double-click control.

Bug-fixes / improvements in user-geometry processing:

In the previous version, large models would show "Geometry complete" for a significant length of time while the program remained unresponsive. During this time the program was reading the mesh and constructing a surface mesh for display, and with a large number of elements the process can be slow. In version 2.0.7 the status updates after every 1000 elements are read, showing "Reading geometry files (x100 elements)" to give the user a clear indication of what it's doing.

The program performance during the process of reading large meshes has also been improved, a speedup of about 25% compared to version 2.0.4.

New "Native FEA server" available for download:

For the convenience of users wishing to run their own analysis server I've assembled a new package of the open-source components used to run this natively under Windows 64bit: Cygwin, CalculiX, NetGen (NGSolve) and FreeCAD (opencascade). This is similar to the earlier package but is now packaged as a Windows setup.exe along with a small utility program which is intended to run once (on install) to set an environment variable with the location of the install. SonoAnalyzer (from version 2.0.7 on) will check for this environment variable and if found will prompt the user to set up the server automatically.

So now the installation process is radically simplified to:

  • Download SonoAnalyzer-setup.exe and install.
  • Download FEAServer-setup.exe and install.
  • Run SonoAnalyzer, wait for the prompt "Do you want to install FEAServer and set it as default" and click "Yes".

This applies to all three versions but with only demo functionality on SonoAnalyzer OE and Free. It's possible to re-run analyses already done and create stress / amplitude plots but new geometry or materials cannot be analyzed.

When installing the new FEAServer the suggested location will be in the root of your system drive - typically C:\FEAServer. Users can choose to install in a different location but please do NOT install this under Program Files. Windows applies special security to folders there which block write-access for users, which will prevent the normal operation of this application.

Bug-fixes related to Pro FEA servers:

A misconfigured or disconnected FEA server was incorrectly showing as connected for a period on startup and changing model.
On first startup SonoAnalyzer could become deadlocked checking for a connection to a new FEA server.

Miscellaneous changes and other bug-fixes:

In the Pro FEA servers dialog, the "New V1 server" option has been removed. The older servers don't support tetrahedral meshing or STEP export (NetGen / FreeCAD) so should not be used with this version.

I rotated the demo user-geometry model so it's now aligned on the y axis, like other SonoAnalyzer models, so that the "Reset model" function will work correctly. Geometry aligned on x or z is still supported but following the y-axis convention is recommended.

The menu option File -> Reset model now correctly resets material, core material and all forms to defaults in addition to the model geometry.

Package inclusions and file sizes:

In version 2.0.4 many results were included in the package to provide demonstrations of the new capabilities. This resulted in large file sizes for all three versions (Pro, OE and Free) - all around 500MB. For this release only SonoAnalyzer Free follows that pattern. SonoAnalyzer Pro and OE are packaged with minimal results and along with some other tidying this has reduced their file sizes to around 60MB. If you already have version 2.0.4 installed its files are compatible with this version so installing this without uninstalling the 2.0.4 with give you the advantages of both.

Longer term I'm not comfortable with this approach and plan to replace it with something more efficient and flexible.

Information for new purchasers (Pro):

New purchases will be provisioned with version 2.0.7 software and version 2 analysis server. Version 1 can be provided on request but is no longer recommended.

For information on all available products please see the purchase page.

Information for new purchasers (OE):

New purchases will be provisioned with version 2.0.7 software as standard but version 1 can be provided on request.

STEP export is supported on SonoAnalyzer OE version 2.x for current OE models but the new STEP-imported models are only available on SonoAnalyzer Pro.

For information on all available products please see the purchase page.

Information for current license holders (Pro or OE):

Updates are included with your original purchase for one year. The new download can be found in your user account under the "Files" tab. On Pro, the new file is named "SonoAnalyzerPro2-setup.exe". On OE the new file is named SonoAnalyzerOE2-setup.exe.

Upgrading from version 2.0.4:

Version 2.0.7 can be installed on top of 2.0.4, to take advantage of the larger cache of results files in the previous version. Your license should be detected automatically. As the changes are mostly in the Pro models, OE users may prefer to wait for a later update unless they want to view the Pro model examples.

Upgrading from version 1.x:

If you have version 1 installed and your license is activated, SonoAnalyzer version 2 should pick it up automatically on the first run after installation. In the event that this doesn't happen it will ask you to register again - you can copy the same key from the "Product keys" tab of your user account.

Version 1 should be uninstalled to clear all old files. You should also clear the user cache to save some disk space - the new version should read the old results but will prompt you to rerun the analysis anyway, so the old cached files are of little use with this version. From the menu choose Options -> Cache -> Clear cache.

The new version also connects to new external servers to perform the FEA and meshing functions. If you choose to use the cloud server provided with the software, this should update automatically but it may take a few minutes after you first run the program.

If you prefer to download and install a server locally, please use one of the downloads for SonoAnalyzer version 2, here.