OpenVSP 3.21.0 Released

Have you checked out the OpenVSP Ground School yet? You should.

When Justin suggested we should pull together the pending changes and roll another release, I don’t think either one of us expected there to be this much. While the world is social distancing, enjoy this release – it has more than expected.

The significance of the first change can not be over stated. OpenVSP can now output trimmed surfaces to STEP and IGES files. This can form a watertight BREP solid! This capability extends to the structures models though those aren’t technically BREP solid models.

Trimmed structure to CAD via STEP.

This capability is very tricky to get right and different programs import these files with varying degrees of success. So, please try it out and report any success or failure to the Google Group. With your help, we can make this feature the best it can be.

The second big change is the extension of the VSPAERO GUI to cover all the features of the recently upgraded VSPAERO v6. This includes built-in support for unsteady rotors and props. Analyzing your VTOL multi-rotor has never been easier.

A bunch of propeller improvements — new shape functions for axial and tangential (alternatives to rake and skew) as well as precone. Props designed in a BEM code and imported often have blade curves with many control points. There is now a way to approximate those curves. Also, improvements to prop skinning when TE thickening and certain airfoil types are used.

Lots more improvements across the board — too many to detail here.

There are some things to keep an eye out for. The default Set is now the Shown set instead of All. This change should be more intuitive for general use.

The recently released smart edit feature relies on the std::regexp library which has only been supported by gcc since version 4.9 (ca 2014). So, if your machine can only have a compiler older than that (you know who you are), this feature is now conditionally compiled to support those machines.

Many bug fixes all around while we’re at it.

This version has exciting features for just about everyone. Pull it down, try it out, and stay safe.


  • Add export of trimmed CAD files for structure and OML
  • Update VSPAERO GUI to support recent improvements
  • Update VSPAERO to 6.0.2 see release notes
  • Default Set is Shown instead of All
  • Mass properties includes HumanGeom
  • Calculate volume and density of HumanGeom
  • HumanGeom and MeshGeom support for DegenGeom via MESH_TYPE
  • Axial and Tangential blade shape control for propellers
  • Precone shape control for propeller
  • Approximate Cubic Bezier operation for propeller blade curves
  • Add simple Plot3D import
  • Change order of modifications in WireGeom – patch after skip and stride
  • Misc. additions to the API
  • Full CST support for Stack, BOR, and Fuselage
  • Expand Parm info in link screen
  • Improve link editing and highlighting
  • Resize parm link browser columns
  • Add current Geom name to Geom screen title bar
  • Smart edit conditional compilation to help on gcc <4.9


  • Update LibIGES to fix NURBS curve problem
  • Update Nanoflann to 1.3.2


  • Many improvements to surface intersection quality and robustness
  • Improvements to STEP/IGES output
  • Fix problem with prop surface waves due to thickness and airfoil mods
  • Improve scale independence of curve approximation
  • Fix problem with Python tools on Windows
  • Do not load variable preset on file load. Only on Apply.
  • Account for vertical scroll bar width in CurveEditor
  • Fix airfoil extraction for BEM files.
  • Clean up fineness ratio use in drag buildup
  • Fix errors in Schmenesky form factor in drag buildup
  • Fix labels and table headings in parasite drag file
  • Fix CEDIT aspect ratio load from file
  • Silence compiler warnings
  • Fix colorchooser behavior when entering numbers
  • Fix for VSPAERO viewer with new MacOS and retina display

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