Blender And OpenEMS Teamed Up Make Stunning Simulations

There’s tons of theory out there to explain the behavior of electronic circuits and electromagnetic waves. When it comes to visualization though, most of us have had to make do with our lecturer’s very finest blackboard scribbles, or some diagrams in a textbook. [Sam A] has been working on some glorious animated simulations, however, which show us various phenomena in a far more intuitive way.

The animations were created in Blender, the popular 3D animation software. As for the underlying simulation going on behind the scenes, this was created using the openEMS platform. [Sam] has used openEMS to run electromagnetic simulations of simple circuits via KiCAD. From there, it was a matter of finding a way to export the simulation results in a way that could be imported into Blender. This was achieved with Paraview software acting as a conduit, paired with a custom Python script.

The result is that [Sam] can produce visually pleasing electromagnetic simulations that are easy to understand. One needn’t imagine a RF signal’s behaviour in a theoretical coax cable with no termination, when one can simply see what happens in [Sam]’s animation. 

Simulation is a powerful tool which is often key to engineering workflows, as we’ve seen before.

5 thoughts on “Blender And OpenEMS Teamed Up Make Stunning Simulations

    1. That old Bell labs video is actually much better then this silly simulation. I don’t like this simulation at all. It seems to imply that electrons are moving up and down the wire, and this is simply not true.
      If there is a DC current though a wire, then the actual movement of the electrons though the wire is very slow. Even a mm/s would be a hefty current, but the electric magnetic field moves quite fast at a significant fraction of light speed.

      In the B/W Bell video, the balls are oscillating while the wave travels, and that is a much more sensible visualization.

  1. Thanks for the article. I’ll probably refer to the code soon when I need to render stl files in blender.

    I’ll have checkout openEMS. A few years back when the EM drive was a thing, the NSF (Nasa Space Flight) group was looking to do microwave sims chose MEEP, perhaps more popular and better supported.

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