Courses: Introduction to GoldSim:

Unit 5 - Understanding and Working with Elements

Lesson 9 - Unit 5 Summary

In this Unit, we discussed some of the fundamentals of working with elements in GoldSim:

  • The easiest way to create an element is to use the context menu that appears when you right-click in the graphics pane. You can also use the Element toolbar.
  • Element names can be fairly long (up to 30 characters), and must follow certain rules (can only include letters, numbers and the underscore character, cannot start with a number, and cannot include spaces).
  • By default, all element names must be unique (i.e., they are global variables), but an advanced feature (to be discussed in a subsequent Unit) allows you to create local variables with non-unique names.
  • The outputs of all elements in GoldSim have three attributes: a type (value or condition), an order (scalar, 1-D array or 2-D array) and dimensions (e.g., length, area, length/time).
  • One of the most powerful features of GoldSim is that it is dimensionally-aware. GoldSim has an extensive internal database of units and conversion factors. You can enter data and display results in any units. You can even create your own units.
  • Input fields in GoldSim can accept values (or conditions), links to other outputs, or expressions (made up of links to other outputs).
  • When editing an input field in GoldSim, GoldSim provides a number of tools to make the task easier. The most important of these are tools to help you find and insert links to other elements.
  • GoldSim provides a number of built-in functions (e.g., sin, cos, log) which can be used to build expressions.
  • Data elements are intended to represent constant inputs to your model.
  • An Expression element is perhaps the most commonly used element in GoldSim. It simply provides a way for you to build a mathematical expression. 
  • When you create a link between elements, GoldSim draws an arrow between the elements in order to graphically indicate that the elements are linked. These arrows are referred to as influences. Influences can be curved, segmented straight lines, or orthogonal lines.

Now that we have covered this basic material, you should be a bit more comfortable with navigating the GoldSim user interface and creating and manipulating elements.  We did build a simple model, but this was just a static calculation, as opposed to a dynamic (predictive) simulation.  In the next Unit, we will start to explore GoldSim’s actual raison d'être, dynamic simulation.