Simcenter Testing Solutions Simcenter 3D Driver for Simcenter Testlab

Simcenter Testlab



If you are a test engineer and recognize the following situation, you really need to check out the rest of this blog!

“You receive 3D simulation data from your colleagues in preparation of a test/processing to confirm their results or to provide test data for the model updating process. It all starts with visualizing the simulation data…
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To accomplish this mission, you can count on the Simcenter 3D Driver installed next to Simcenter Testlab Desktop Neo or Simcenter Testlab Standard or Advanced 2021.1.

The Simcenter 3D Driver allows the reading of simulation data like:

Download & Compatibility

In a first step, you need to install the Simcenter 3D Driver next to Simcenter Testlab Neo or Classic. The Simcenter 3D Driver can be found in the Simcenter Testlab Driver section on the Siemens Support Center (

There you find the latest Simcenter 3D Driver which is compatible with all versions of Simcenter Testlab starting from 2019.2.  Some functionalities however, like the reading of Order Sections, is also linked to the Simcenter Testlab Neo or Classic version. The recommendation is to use always the latest driver, just like a driver of a printer you can install and upgrade to the latest version.
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Simcenter Testlab Driver Download on Siemens Support Center

For more information about downloading Simcenter Testlab and the 3D driver, see the article: Simcenter Testlab 2021: Download and Install Instructions

Supported Formats

The Simcenter 3D driver enables direct reading of the following simulation file formats as of Simcenter Testlab 2021.2:
File FormatFile ExtensionGeometry and ModesSpectral DataTime Data
Simcenter 3D Motion *.mresnot relevantnot relevantyes
Nastran output2 (binary)*.op2yesyesno
Nastran punch (ascii)*.pchnoyesno
Ansys results.rstyesnono

The table shows next to the file  extension also which type of data is supported for which file formats.

So before continuing, verify with your simulation colleagues which type of data: FRF, Spectrum, Time, Mode, etc that they have provided. If the type of data is not supported in the delivered file format, you can request to your colleague(s) the needed file format supported by the Simcenter 3D Driver.

User configuration mechanisms

At the moment you received from your colleague(s) the correct file format for the data at hand, you need to make sure you see understandable point IDs, reference point IDs and correct units in Simcenter Testlab.

Some file formats store clear point IDs, reference point IDs and correct units, so no extra effort is needed there. The FE units will be mapped to the Simcenter Testlab units automatically.

However other file formats, like Nastran .pch files, don’t always contain clear info and therefore two configuration mechanisms are put in place:

1.    Unit manipulation based on the FEDefaultUnits.xml file
2.    Point Information mapping based on the FEPointMap.xml file

Both files need to be stored in a user-created 3D Driver folder in your user configuration folder. 
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Simcenter Testlab viewing Nastran op2 file with geometry (lower left) and FRFs (lower right)

Check "Tools -> Options -> User Configuration" to see the user configuration directory name.


A configuration mechanism is in place to specify units for the file formats that have quantity information but do not have specific unit information: Nastran op2 and pch files, Abaqus odb files, and Ansys rst files. 

By default, the Simcenter 3D driver uses a mapping table to map the known FE quantities to the relevant units. The file is named FEDefaultUnits.xml and is typically located on C:\Program Files\Simcenter\3DDriver\Configuration. 

The syntax is as follows:
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And shows e.g. that all data values with quantity FE “force” will be interpreted as “N”.

Note that also the unit for values of the phase information can be defined in this file.
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In case you want to use different units then the defaults, copy the file directly under your local directory:

C:\Simcenter\UserConfiguration\$username\3DDriver (This folder needs to be created by the user)

And apply your personal default units. 

  • Default unit files will only work on geometry (length) and Spectral data
  • Sim3D Motion files already come with a unit so the mechanism does not apply there
More about Simcenter Testlab units in the knowledge article: "Simcenter Testlab Units".

Point Ids

The FEPointMap.xml file can be activated to replace the point and reference point ID information coming from FE data formats by clear and understandable IDs.

It is possible to replace point and reference point id information coming from FE data formats. 

In the TestLab central configuration directory (C:\Program Files\Simcenter\3DDriver\Configuration), you can find the FEPointMap.xml file. You can copy this file to the TestLab group or local configuration directory (C:\Simcenter\UserConfiguration\$username\3DDriver. This folder needs to be created by the user) and modify it to your needs. 
  • This file contains 2 lists, one for the point id and one for the reference point id
  • Each list contains 2 columns. 1 column with the original value and 1 column with the alias value.
The 3D driver reads the original point id from the $point_id variable in the file, looks up this number in the FEPointMap.xml file and replaces it by the alias value. 

The 3D driver reads the original reference point id from the $Label variable, looks up this number in the FEPointMap.xml file and replaces it by the alias value. 

When aliases are defined, they will show up in all Simcenter TestLab applications in the properties, columns, legend,….
The point id property and reference point id property will be replaced, but also the label and (reference) dof id will have the alias value.

The syntax is as follows: 

    <PointID  OriginalPointID="11"       AliasPointID="Body:11"/>

    <PointID  OriginalPointID="3501"     AliasPointID="Body:3501"/>

Nastran pch files

The title, subtitle and label information of the pch file is concatenated to
  • In Classic, the property: “User comment”
  • In NEO, the property: “User Channel ID 2”

The Subcase_ID of the pch file is mapped onto:
  • In Classic, the property: “User Channel ID”
  • In NEO, the property: “User Channel ID 1”
  • Point Mapping only applies to spectral data to specify the DOF Id and Reference DOF Id. It will have no effect on imported geometries and modes.
  • This will allow a FRAC (Frequency Response Assurance Criteria (FRAC) calculation and displayed with a Matrix Heatmap display.

KB Article ID# KB000046525_EN_US



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