The main options for running FLOWCast are controlled from the FLOWCast Toolbar, as shown here:



This section will describe each of the functions available from the toolbar. You can find the name of each icon by moving the cursor over the top of the icon.


Open Model File



This option is used to load a new meshed model into FLOWCast. If you choose this option the system will display a navigation window, where you can find a different mesh file to load. The mesh file will be named mymesh.mno. Normally, this option will not be needed, if you have started FLOWCast from within SOLIDCast. The mesh will be loaded automatically, so you won’t need to specifically select it.


Show current grid parameters



This option will pop up a window, listing the current mesh size, along with the number of casting nodes and riser nodes. An example is shown here:



Save simulation



When FLOWCast is running, the system will automatically save data at prescribed intervals, which, by default, are at every 5% full. You can, however, stop the simulation and save the data to a file. When you select this option, you will see a Save As… screen similar to this:



Type in a file name and click on Save. You can navigate to any folder you wish. If no time step data has been created yet, you will see the following message:



This means that you are too early in the simulation process for any meaningful data to have been created.


If you try to save the data while the simulation is still running, you will see the following:



In order to save data manually, the flow simulation must be stopped. To stop the simulation, click on the stop sign icon on the toolbar. You will need to wait a few seconds for the system to organize its’ data before you can save it out to a file.


Print image



FLOWCast can directly print a copy of the current screen, if you have a PostScript printer. When you click on this icon, you will see the following:



If you say yes, the page will be printed for you. If you do not have a PostScript printer, you can still use the PrtSc key to copy the screen to the clipboard. You can also purchase any number of low cost capture utility programs that will allow you to save one or more screens to files, print directly, etc.






Start/Continue filling simulation



Just click the double arrow button to start the simulation running. If you have previously stopped a simulation, this will start the simulation again at the point where you left off.


Stop filling simulation



Click the “Stop Sign” button. You may need to wait a few seconds for the simulation to actually stop, as FLOWCast needs a little time to organize its data for the stop.


Restart filling simulation



Use this function only if you want to restart a filling simulation FROM THE BEGINNING. If you choose this option, the system will show the following message:



You now have the opportunity to save the time step data produced so far. Once data has been saved, the system will erase the data in memory, and restart the simulation from the beginning.


Reset zoom



When FLOWCast starts, the display is set to full size. That is, the system sizes the picture so that the whole model can be viewed. There are three zoom functions that can be used to adjust this view. The zoom in and out functions increase or decrease the picture by 10% each time their icon is clicked. The Rubber Band Zoom allows you to drag the mouse across the section



you want viewed. The Reset Zoom function will restore the zoom distance and center the model, but will not change the current orientation.


A typical full-size view is shown here:



Zoom In



Each time you click on the Zoom In icon, the screen display will move closer by 10%, as shown here:



Zoom Out



For each click on the Zoom Out icon, the screen view will move back by 10%, as shown here:



Rubber-band Zoom



The Rubber-band Zoom function allows you to zoom up on a specific part of the displayed view. Move the mouse cursor to the lower left section of the box you’d like to display, then click and hold the left mouse button. Drag the box until it surrounds the area you want displayed, and then release the mouse button. The system will size the display accordingly.


Set Zoom and Rotation Centers



This function allows you to choose the point on your model where zooming and rotating take place. To use Set Zoom and Rotation Centers, first click the icon so that it is depressed. Then move the cursor onto the model view window and click the left mouse button at the desired point. This will now become your new point for zooming and rotating.


Rotate Model



The Rotate Model function allows you to drag the model to any arbitrary orientation, similar to what you do in SOLIDCast. To activate Rotate Model, click on the Rotate Model icon so that the icon is depressed. Then move the cursor to any point on the model display window, press and hold the left mouse button and drag the cursor across the screen. Dragging the cursor will rotate the model. Once you have the desired orientation, you can click the Rotate Model icon once again, to lock the model orientation in place.


Pan/Translate Model



The Pan/Translate Model function lets you drag the model back and forth within the existing view window. This will not change the part orientation, only the position in the window. To activate Pan/Translate Model, click on the Pan/Translate Model icon. Then move the cursor into the model view window, press and hold the left mouse button, and drag the cursor in the window. This action will drag the model itself back and forth in the window. Once the model is in the desired location, click the Pan/Translate Model icon once again to lock the model view in place.


Display mold cavity using transparency



The normal display during a filling simulation shows the model in opaque colors, and the filling material is drawn over the top. By selecting this function, you can turn the outside of the casting and risers translucent, and can watch the filling sequence from the outside in. In some cases this may make the colors a bit more difficult to see. However, it gives a more realistic feeling to the filling of the mold. An example is shown here: