OpenVSP 3.17.0 Released

OpenVSP 3.17.0

Once again, it has been about half a year since the last release — that seems to be about the cadence these days. This version includes some cool features and fixes some longstanding bugs. Hopefully it will be a good step up for everyone.

conformalOpenVSP to CHARM export scripts. This release includes a set of Python scripts that will generate the geometry input files to run CHARM – the comprehensive rotorcraft analysis tool. These scripts debuted at the OpenVSP/CHARM/PSU-WOPWOP eVTOL acoustics short course at the VFS conference earlier this year.

Transparent screenshots – we now export screenshots with the background made transparent (no more off-white box screaming VSP). Even translucent components maintain their translucency.

Cutting planes that define a structure can now be exported as STEP and IGES files. Note, these are accessed through the main File-Export menu, not the FEAMesh menu.

Improvements to STL export for unintersected geoms with better tags. Also allow export of propellers relocated at the origin — these options were preferred for some CFD workflows.

Support design lift coefficient for four-digit airfoils. The design lift coefficient is now calculated — and the option exists to set the camber to achieve a desired design lift coefficient. This brings a more useful and modern parameterization to the old classic airfoil set.

Lots of propeller improvements — Instead of discrete airfoils at stations, propellers can now be defined in terms of distributions of thickness-to-chord and design lift coefficient. This will result in smoother propeller lofts better able to match design intent (and to recreate the geometry of many published props). Also calculate integrated design lift coefficient for props (already calculates activity factor). Add control of feather axis location and feather offset – should help with modeling rotors and some novel prop designs. Also add the option of a disk model for every propeller.

Faster surface evaluation — a few improvements to the way surface points (and normals) are evaluated to speed refreshes. OpenVSP should be noticeably faster feeling.

Two really significant bug fixes (along with a bunch of smaller ones). The ‘Unexpected ResetRemapID’ warning with models including conformal geometry is fixed. This should also help fix the destruction of links when opening models.

The file corruption bug where the decimal separator was switched to a comma has been fixed. This only happened for users with a non-default locale, who saved the VSP file after exporting an IGES file. It was a bug in the IGES library. Sorry for the pain this one has caused.

Overall, this should be a great release — and perhaps the only one for six months or so.


  • CHARM Python export scripts
  • Transparent screenshots
  • Border toggle in menu
  • Improved show axis toggle
  • Export structure surfaces to IGES and STEP
  • Design lift coefficient support for four-digit airfoils
  • Propeller definition by thickness and CLi distribution
  • Calculate integrated design lift coefficient for props
  • BEM files in terms of thickness and CLi distribution
  • Feather axis and offset control for propeller
  • Implicit disk model for propeller
  • STL solid names include tag number
  • Tag unintersected triangles for STL export
  • Increase tessellation limits
  • Option to export props at origin (unintersected STL and STEP/IGES)
  • Batch evaluation of Bezier surface points and normals (faster refresh)

Library updates:

  • FLTK to 1.3.5
  • Eigen to 3.3.7
  • LibXml2 to 2.9.9
  • LibIGES to version that respects locale
  • Code-Eli to version that supports latest Eigen and other improvements.


  • Restore visualization of CFDMesh sources and wake
  • Don’t crash when BOR XSec changed to Bezier
  • Don’t crash when reading Lednicer airfoils
  • Import v2 multi-section wings properly
  • Make key-corner default for rounded rectangle
  • Reverse props with shifted construction line built correctly
  • Don’t allow insertion of XSec at negative index from API
  • Don’t allow comma as decimal point marker; fixes file corruption.
  • Fix writing excressence drag label to XML file
  • Fix unexpected ResetRemapID in files with conformal geometry

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