Screenshot of 3-D mesh controls.

XF's 3-D visualization tool helps users verify that the meshed geometry accurately represents the CAD geometry. It is well suited for checking the connectivity of antennas or transmission lines that cross multiple cutplanes. Users can enable the meshing controls by double-clicking on Mesh in the Project Tree and selecting 3-D Mesh at the bottom of the editor.

Users can control the visibility of mesh materials by right-clicking on a material in the Definitions branch of the Project Tree and selecting either Set Visible to view a previously hidden part, or Set Invisible to hide an obstructing part so that the embedded part can be seen.

Viewing Modes

A single finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) cell contains 12 cell edges and six faces, which are rendered according to the 3-D Mesh Viewing Modes drop-down menu selection.

The visible edges and faces vary with each of the four modes:

Screenshot of 3-D mesh modes.
Screenshot of 3-D mesh holes.

A face without a dominant color is rendered as a hole when the viewing mode includes faces. This is because XF cannot assign more than one color to a single face, and cannot eliminate a color by determining its value relative to another color. Adjacent cell edges of different colors create a hole where a face belongs, as shown in the image, where each of the four holes has two green cell edges and two red cell edges.

The holes do not generate an error during the FDTD simulation because the fields are computed on cell edges. The 3-D mesh face colors are for visualization purposes only.

Cropped View

Screenshot of 3-D mesh crop controls.

Time spent rendering the entire mesh is unnecessary when users want to verify only a specific region. Users can specify a cropped area by unchecking the Entire Mesh option in the meshing controls, and then defining the bounding box using a combination of methods.

Two methods are used to define the cropped view:

Multiple cropped regions can be stored using the Add Bounds icon. button, and recalled using the button's drop-down arrow.

0:27 Uncheck Entire Mesh. 0:42 Bound to Selection. 1:25 Set material invisible.