Orcina news

Here you will find the latest news on the development of OrcaFlex. Alongside our LinkedIn page, it is a valuable source of information about what we are up to!

Keyboard shortcuts for rotation

One of the changes we made in OrcaFlex 9.1 was a re-mapping of keyboard shortcuts. Mostly this was motivated by a desire to map CTRL+S to File | Save and CTRL+O to File | Open.

To make room for these changes we had to rearrange a number of other shortcuts. In particular the shortcuts to rotate the 3D View were changed to CTRL+ALT+ ← → ↑ ↓. Shortly after releasing version 9.1 we began to hear reports from some users that their laptop screen would suddenly be displayed upside down, or on its side, after using one of these shortcuts.

After a little detective work we have traced the issue to a piece of Intel software that is stealing these keyboard shortcuts before they reach OrcaFlex. The solution is as follows:

  1. Open the Control Panel and make sure it uses Classic View.
  2. Double click the Intel GMA Driver for mobile icon.
  3. Select the Hot Keys page.
  4. Deselect the “Enable Hot Keys” option.

This will fix the problem for Intel graphics cards, but there may be similar problems for cards from other manufacturers, or even for different Intel cards. I’m guessing that similar solutions will be available and that the steps described above should help you solve such problems.

Possible changes to modelling of hollow spar buoys

This article proposes some possible changes that we are considering, to the way OrcaFlex treats the water inside a hollow spar buoy, i.e. where a spar buoy object in an OrcaFlex model has a non-zero ID specified for one or more of its cylinders. We would welcome feedback from OrcaFlex users (and potential users) on whether the change that we are considering would be a useful.

The existing OrcaFlex treatment of hollow spar buoys is aimed at modelling hollow axi-symmetric structures that flood and drain very freely in the axial direction. But it is less suitable for hollow objects that do not flood and drain so easily, and these proposals aim to address this.

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Whole System Statics

Many of the software support questions we receive concern statics convergence. Before the release of OrcaFlex 9.0 we would regularly employ a host of methods to deal with stubborn cases. The problem cases would usually involve 6D Buoys.

OrcaFlex 9.0 introduced a new statics method called Whole System Statics (WSS) which provides a great leap forward in terms of robustness and speed of convergence. Practically all support queries relating to statics convergence are now solved by switching to use WSS. So what makes WSS so much better than the old method?
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Effective Tension Validation

Orcina have recently carried out a validation of the way OrcaFlex handles buoyancy forces and pipe internal contents pressure effects, and the resulting effective tension and wall tension that OrcaFlex reports. We have validated these OrcaFlex results against results presented in Nigel Barltrop’s well-respected book “Dynamics of Floating Structures: a guide for design and analysis. Volume 2”. The OrcaFlex results matched the Barltrop results very well, confirming that OrcaFlex models buoyancy and internal pressure effects correctly.

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Welcome to the OrcaFlex Blog

Welcome to our new OrcaFlex Blog!

We’ve been contemplating writing a blog for some time now and have finally decided to take the plunge. The idea is to try to encourage the development of the OrcaFlex community. Our annual User Group Meetings are a big part of this, but a blog can be more immediate and interactive. There are hundreds of active OrcaFlex users in the world and we hope that this blog will help bring them closer together.

As you will hopefully be aware we have recently released OrcaFlex version 9.1. There are lots of useful new features in 9.1 and we’ll be writing about the more significant of these here.

Of course, having completed work on 9.1, thoughts immediately turn to the next version. When designing new features for OrcaFlex it is important to try and get good user feedback. Our in-house consultancy group are excellent at providing this, but we would really like to gather more input from users outside Orcina. Much of what we write here will concern upcoming features and we hope that this will stimulate some interesting thoughts from all you OrcaFlex users.

We also plan to write about some of the more interesting work that our in-house consultancy group are doing with the program. Hopefully we can share some ideas and tips for getting the best out of OrcaFlex.

We’ll have our first proper post published very soon. Please check back soon, or subscribe to the blog using the RSS feed.