Vectors Panel

Use the Vectors panel to create a vector entity.

Location: 1D and Analysis pages

A vector represents a three dimensional direction.

In the modeling window, vectors are displayed as an arrow with the letters VEC and their vector size value at the tail end. By default, vectors are displayed using a representation of 100% of their actual length.

You can create several vectors at a time by selecting nodes and either a magnitude, or by deriving them from a line tangent or surface normal. Single vectors can be created by selecting two nodes or by deriving them from the cross product of two existing vectors.

Create Subpanel

Use the Create subpanel to create vectors.

Using base and magnitude, select one or more nodes at which to place vector entities. Specify the vectors by entering x, y and z components or by using the vector method. For the vector method, you must specify a magnitude and a direction. The direction is determined with a standard plane and vector selector by choosing two or three nodes (N1, N2, and N3), selecting a global axis, or selecting another vector. When using the N1, N2, and N3 option, two nodes define a vector along the selected nodes, while three nodes define a vector that is perpendicular to the plane defined by the selected nodes (using the right hand rule).

A vector can also be created by selecting two nodes using the two node vector creation method. No additional input is required in this case.

The cross product option derives a vector from two existing vector entities. The vector will be perpendicular to these vectors. The length can be entered or taken from either one of the selected vectors.

Vectors can also be created using the on geometry option. You can choose to create a vector as a tangent of a line or along the normal of a surface. The resulting vector(s) will be created on all nodes selected in this panel. The length of the vector needs to be entered in vector size % = field or can be calculated automatically using parameterization. For a curve tangent, this is the value of parametric curve derivative; for a surface normal the value is defined by the length of the cross product of the surface parametric derivatives.
 Figure 1. Vector Created on a Line Figure 2. Vector Created on a Surface
Option Action
vector creation method Choose a method for creating vectors.
base and magnitude
Select one or more nodes at which to place vector entities. Specify the vectors by entering x, y and z components or by using the vector method. For the vector method, you must specify a magnitude and a direction. The direction is determined with a standard plane and vector selector by choosing two or three nodes (N1, N2, and N3), selecting a global axis, or selecting another vector. When using the N1, N2, and N3 option, two nodes define a vector along the selected nodes, while three nodes define a vector that is perpendicular to the plane defined by the selected nodes (using the right hand rule).
two nodes
Select two nodes. No additional input is required in this case.
cross product
Derive a vector from two existing vector entities. The vector will be perpendicular to these vectors. The length can be entered or taken from either one of the selected vectors.
on geometry
Choose to create a vector as a tangent of a line or along the normal of a surface. The resulting vector(s) will be created on all nodes selected in this panel. The length of the vector needs to be entered in vector size % = field or can be calculated automatically using parameterization. For a curve tangent, this is the value of parametric curve derivative; for a surface normal the value is defined by the length of the cross product of the surface parametric derivatives.
base node: nodes Select all of the nodes where you want a vector to be created.
nodes
Select individual nodes.
faces
Select all of the nodes on 2D and 3D faces. If there are discontinuities on a 2D face, then only the nodes inbetween the discontinuities will be selected.
2D faces ext
Select all of the nodes on a 2D face that contain discontinuities.
loops
Select all of the nodes on continuous free edges that make a closed loop simultaneously, such as the perimeter of a hole.
Important: Only valid for SHELL elements.
free edges
Select all of the nodes on free edges of elements. If there are discontinuities on an edge, then only the nodes on the free edges inbetween the discontinuities will be selected.
Important: Only valid for SHELL elements.
free edges ext
Select all of the nodes on free edges of elements that contain discontinuities.
Important: Only valid for SHELL elements.
edges
Select all of the nodes on free edges or shared edges (butt joints, L/corner joints, and T-joints) of elements. If there are discontinuities on an edge, then only the nodes on the edge inbetween the discontinuities will be selected.
Important: Only valid for SHELL elements.
edges ext
Select all of the nodes on free edges or shared edges (butt joints, L/corner joints, and T-joints) of elements that contain discontinuities.
Important: Only valid for SHELL elements.
Note: Available when the vector creation method is set to base and magnitude.
face angle / individual selection
face angle
Determines which of the selected support entities will have the panel entity (ex: load, boundary condition, vector, set definition, and so on) applied.
The face angle value is used to determine which faces will be selected based on the angle difference between the selected and adjacent face normals. If the angle between the normals of the faces is less than this face angle value the face is included. This process is similar for edge selection, except that the angle between edges is used instead of the angle between faces.
Important: Only available when the entity selector is set to nodes, and the selection mode is set to faces, 2d faces ext, free edges, free edges ext, edges, or edges ext.
individual selection
Select individual elements on a face or select individual free/shared edges of elements.
Important: Only available when the entity selector is set to nodes and the selection mode is set to faces, free edges, or edges.
edge angle
Split edges that belong to a given face. When the edge angle is 180 degrees, edges are the continuous boundaries of faces. For smaller values, these same boundary edges are split wherever the angle between segments exceeds the specified value. A segment is the edge of a single element.
Important: Only available when the entity selector is set to nodes and the selection mode is set to free edges, free edges ext, edges, or edges ext.
from node / to node
Create a vector by selecting two nodes.
Note: Available when the vector creation method is set to two nodes.
base node: node
Select a node for the vector location. One vector can be created at a time.
Note: Available when the vector creation method is set to cross product.
vector A: vector
Select vector A.
Note: Available when the vector creation method is set to cross product.
vector B: vector
Select vector B.
Note: Available when the vector creation method is set to cross product.
lines/surfaces
Choose whether to derive vectors from lines or surfaces.
lines
Create vectors in the tangent of the line at the selected node position.
surfaces
Create vectors in the surface normal direction.
Note: Available when the vector creation method is set to on geometry.
nodes
Select all of the nodes where a vectors needs to be created.
Note: Available when the vector creation method is set to on geometry.
vector size % = / uniform size =
Choose a method for changing the display size of vectors. This setting does not affect the vector, only the length of its graphical representation.
vector size % =
Set the indicator to a percentage of the actual length of the vector (100% default). This option produces indicators of varying lengths since it depends on the vectors length at any given element.
uniform size =
Set the indicators to a size that you specify, using the same units of measurement as the model. This produces identically-sized indicators whose length is not related to the amount of pressure.
label vector Display labels for each of the vectors in the modeling window.
autoscale Display vectors in relation to the model size. When enabled, the vector size fields are grayed out.
global system / local system

Choose whether the vector is created either in the global or a local coordinate system.

Example: You select three nodes N1, N2 and N3 which define a vector in the global z-direction (normal of the plane defined by these three nodes). If the switch is set to local, the result will be a vector pointing in the z-direction of the local system.
Note: Available when the vector creation method is set to base and magnitude.
vector / components
vector
Define a vector either by selecting three points (N1, N2, N3), using one the global axes, or selecting an existing vector entity.
components
Manually specify the x, y, z components (relative to the base node).
magnitude = / vector A / vector B
Specify the length of a vector.
magnitude =
Specify the length of the vector.
vector A / vector B
Inherit the length from vectors A or B.
Note: Available when the vector creation method is set to cross product.
magnitude = / use parameterization
If a vector is created on geometry, the length can be entered directly or the parametric value can be used.
• For a curve tangent this is the value of the parametric curve derivative.
• For a surface normal the value is defined by the length of the cross product of the surface parametric derivatives.

Update Subpanel

Use the Update subpanel to update all of the parameters of the vector, even its creation method.
Note: A two-noded vector that is updated using base and magnitude loses its head node association.
Option Action
vectors Select the existing vectors to modify.
vector update method Select a method for update existing vectors.
base and magnitude
Update magnitude, direction and system of one or more vectors.
two nodes
Select two nodes defining the new vector direction.
cross product
Enter a node location and two existing vectors A and B to update a vector. The new vector will be perpendicular to vectors A and B.
on geometry
Select a line or surfaces and new nodal locations for the vector you are updating.
base node: nodes
Select a node for the vector location. One vector can be created at a time.
Note: Available when the vector creation method is set to cross product.
from node / to node
Create a vector by selecting two nodes.
Note: Available when the vector creation method is set to two nodes.
base node: node
Select a node for the vector location. One vector can be created at a time.
Note: Available when the vector creation method is set to cross product.
vector A: vector
Select vector A.
Note: Available when the vector creation method is set to cross product.
vector B: vector
Select vector B.
Note: Available when the vector creation method is set to cross product.
lines/surfaces
Choose whether to derive vectors from lines or surfaces.
lines
Create vectors in the tangent of the line at the selected node position.
surfaces
Create vectors in the surface normal direction.
Note: Available when the vector creation method is set to on geometry.
nodes
Select all of the nodes where a vectors needs to be created.
Note: Available when the vector creation method is set to on geometry.
vector size % = / uniform size =
Choose a method for changing the display size of vectors. This setting does not affect the vector, only the length of its graphical representation.
vector size % =
Set the indicator to a percentage of the actual length of the vector (100% default). This option produces indicators of varying lengths since it depends on the vectors length at any given element.
uniform size =
Set the indicators to a size that you specify, using the same units of measurement as the model. This produces identically-sized indicators whose length is not related to the amount of pressure.
label vector Display labels for each of the vectors in the modeling window.
autoscale Display vectors in relation to the model size. When enabled, the vector size fields are grayed out.
global system / local system

Choose whether the vector is created either in the global or a local coordinate system.

Example: You select three nodes N1, N2 and N3 which define a vector in the global z-direction (normal of the plane defined by these three nodes). If the switch is set to local, the result will be a vector pointing in the z-direction of the local system.
Note: Available when the vector creation method is set to base and magnitude.
vector / components
vector
Define a vector either by selecting three points (N1, N2, N3), using one the global axes, or selecting an existing vector entity.
components
Manually specify the x, y, z components (relative to the base node).
magnitude = / vector A / vector B
Specify the length of a vector.
magnitude =
Specify the length of the vector.
vector A / vector B
Inherit the length from vectors A or B.
Note: Available when the vector creation method is set to cross product.
magnitude = / use parameterization
If a vector is created on geometry, the length can be entered directly or the parametric value can be used.
• For a curve tangent this is the value of the parametric curve derivative.
• For a surface normal the value is defined by the length of the cross product of the surface parametric derivatives.

Command Buttons

Button Action
create Create one or more new vectors based on the selected method.
reject Revert the most recent create action. Does not display on the edit subpanel.
review Click review, then click a vector to display the characteristics (for example creation method, magnitude) in the panel fields.