SYMMIC Users Manual CapeSym

3D Temperature Distribution

After a simulation run, the solution is displayed as a temperature distribution on the device using a color map. The default color map is usually a nonlinear, multicolor mapping in which red represents hot and blue represents cold, while orange, yellow, green, and cyan are used for intermediate temperatures. A different color map and temperature range can be chosen by clicking on the color button in the Temperature Scale window.


The default temperature scale is set to display exactly the range of the temperatures in the solution. This can be changed by unchecking the box “Set to data range” in the Temperature Scale parameters dialog. When “Set to data range” is checked, the Temperature Scale displays the minimum and maximum temperature over all time points in the solution. So in the above figure, the maximum temperature on the device is 460.546 K, while the minimum temperature is 300 K at the bottom.

Temperature Probes

The middle mouse button (or the P key) can be used to query the temperature at a point on the surface of the solution. This value is calculated from the interpolated colormap. The resolution of the temperature probe is limited by the resolution of the colormap. To increase the resolution of colormap compress the temperature range on the temperature scale so that more colors are used over a smaller range of temperatures.

Essentially, the temperature probe provides a quick lookup of the temperature associated with a particular color on the visible surface of the solution. Interpolated temperatures may not always be accurate (e.g. at anti-aliased pixels near the edge of the solution), so do not rely solely on the probed values to assess the temperature range of components. Use recorded run values or a snapshot for precise temperatures. Because the probe temperature is calculated from a rendering of the solution without wireframes, labels or mesh lines, the presence of these elements will not affect the temperature reading. However, creating probes on top of existing probes does not always produce accurate results on some OpenGL implementations.

The temperature probe can also be used to assess the average surface temperature over an area. The diameter of the spot is set using the Probe spot size... item from the Settings menu. The cursor position locates the center of the spot and the surrounding area of screen pixels is examined to approximate the dimensions of a spot located near the surface of the solution. The minimum number of screen pixels examined is one, so a spot size of zero (the default) reports the temperature associated with the color of just one pixel.


Simulating IR measurements with 3µm diameter probes.

When a non-zero spot diameter is specified, zooming in will result in a larger area of screen pixels being used, but the spot size relative to the surface of the solution will remain fixed, so the average temperature will be approximately the same. Larger spots require more calculations to determine the average temperature value. When the spot size is sufficiently large to define a visible region, it will be indicated by an outline drawn adjacent to the temperature reading. Temperature probes that would contain pixels of the background color (outside of the solution), or that would extend beyond the boundaries of the window, are considered invalid and are not displayed.

All temperature probes will be removed from the display when the window is redrawn, such as during zooming, panning and rotating operations. Thus, probes can be cleared by dragging mouse button(s). To make a record of a set of temperature probes, take a snapshot immediately after creating the probes, or use the Print Screen key to copy the entire screen image to the clipboard.

Mesh overlay

The Settings menu offers a number of options for altering the display of the solution. The Mesh Lines option displays the mesh of the solution overlaid on top of the shaded template model. Toggle back and forth between the mesh overlay and the color surface by using the Ctrl-M keystroke.

Template Wireframe

A solution is normally displayed without a wireframe overlay, but a wireframe overlay can be useful for identifying components. The wireframe can be made visible by increasing the edge width. Change the wireframe edge width by selecting Template wireframe... from the Settings menu. The wireframe can be eliminated by setting the Wireframe width to zero. Set the wireframe color by clicking on the color button to the right of the Wireframe width edit box. The wireframe color is also used for device number overlays.


The width of the wireframe is in microns and so must be sized appropriately for the model and the current zoom. By checking the box next to “Auto adjust width to zoom”, the width will be resized automatically whenever the display magnification is changed in an attempt to maintain a more contant size as measured in screen pixels. When this option is unchecked, the wireframe will be drawn to a constant width (in microns). Consequently, Wireframe width may need to be reduced when zoomed in, to avoid obscuring some features.

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