Advanced Visualization Techniques in Postprocessing

March 22, 2013

Looking for ways to cut down on the time and computer memory required to run your simulation? Does your model exhibit some form of symmetry — axial symmetry, lines or planes of symmetry, or antisymmetry for example? Or perhaps your model exhibits periodicity? If you answered yes to those questions, you’re in luck. You can model symmetry or periodicity in COMSOL Multiphysics easily by either using a 1D or 2D axisymmetric dimensional simulation or by incorporating boundary conditions that represent a symmetry or periodic condition.

Video Guide to Advanced Visualization Techniques in Postprocessing

Utilizing symmetry inevitably involves simulating only a portion of your geometry, but you will likely want to see what the solution looks like on your full geometry to get a more intuitive feel for “what’s going on” in the model. To facilitate this, COMSOL offers many different visualization options in postprocessing that will allow you to plot your results on a “recreated” version of your full geometry. Below I have created three videos explaining how to take advantage of some of the most popular visualization options available to you in COMSOL Multiphysics.

How to Use the Revolution Data Set to Create a Full 3D Plot

The first video demonstrates how to use a Revolution data set to visualize results from an axisymmetric model. It shows you how plotting with this data set type is the same as plotting on a full 3D geometry:

Creating a Plot using Mirror, Extrusion, and Sector Data Sets

The second video demonstrates how to use a Mirror or Sector data set to view results from a model with reflection or rotational symmetry, respectively. This video also includes a demonstration of the Extrusion data set, showing how you can better visualize the evolution of your results over time in a transient model:

Viewing Simulation Results with Periodicity Beyond Original Geometry

In the final video I show you a neat trick for visualizing your results in a periodic model:

Further Reading on Symmetry and Periodicity

In one of our knowledge base entries, you can find some tips on utilizing your symmetries in COMSOL. Similarly, you can find guidance on implementing periodic conditions in your model by consulting one of our sample models in this area. One example models the propagation of an electromagnetic wave through a plasmonic wire grating and another simulates the propagation of an acoustic wave through an elastic panel.

Comments (3)

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Nadine Hassan
April 18, 2015

Is is possible to 3D mirror particle trajectories? I have half a pipe with particle trajectories and tried doing that but it only mirrors the pipe and not the particles in it. Did I miss anything?

Viktoriia Rutckaia
February 23, 2018

In the last video about visualizing periodic structures, is it possible to make an array of plots instead of copying them one by one?

Ruud Borger
March 9, 2018

Hi Viktoriia,

Thank you for your question. Yes, this is possible for sure. You can right-click Results, then go to “More 3D Data sets” and add “3D Array”. An example can be seen in this model: