(1) Create a new Project

  • In the top left corner, click on the project dropdown menu next to the Valispace logo (1)

  • Verify that you are in the correct workspace. If you are not, select your workspace from below

  • In the list of projects, scroll down and select + Create new project (2)

  • Enter a unique (not yet existing) project name (e.g. ValiFan) (1) and press Create (2). In the Project permissions, you can choose to use the same permissions as for the workspace, which means that the users who have access to the workspace will also have access to the project. You can also set up custom permissions to select the user permissions yourself. Here, select “Use workspace permissions (No access)” for the Project Permissions

  • Now you can see the Dashboard of your project. Navigate to About (1) in the left navigation pane and feel free to add information about your project. Here, you can also change the name of your project (2) at any time

  • You can always collapse or expand the main navigation pane by clicking on the arrow (3) next to it

(2) Add System Requirements

Most technical developments are designed against strict requirements, e.g. on mass, power consumption and budget. Valispace maintains a complete overview of whether your design is currently fulfilling all of these requirements or not.

  • Go to the Requirements Module by clicking on Requirements in the left navigation pane (1)

  • Click on + Specification (2) and enter Fan_Specs (3) and click Create (4)

  • Click on Fan_Specs (1). Within this specification, click on the blue “+” at the end of the right corner  + Add Requirement (2)

  • In the pop-up menu, verify that you have selected the correct specification. Then, add a unique identifier (1), e.g. R-Fan-001 and type The Mass of the fan should not exceed 300g under “Requirement text *” (2)

  • Using the same method, create another requirement called R-Fan-002 with the requirement text: The Mass of the propeller shall not exceed 50g

Link requirements with parent and child relationships

  • Click on the columns (1) on the right side of the table

  • Verify that the Parents and Children boxes are checked (2)

  • In the requirements table, find the second requirement you created called R-Fan-002. In the parents column, double click on + Add Parent (1)

  • In the pop-up menu, type in R-Fan-001 to link both requirements. Note that the children are automatically added to the requirement R-Fan-001

  • By clicking on the Connections Graph tab found at the top centre of the requirements table, you can see and verify this relationship

(3) Configure the ValiTypes

ValiTypes ensure that every new component you create already contains Valis of a certain type with a default formula and a unit (e.g. Mass, Power Consumption, etc).

Ensure that the correct Valitypes exist

  • In the left sidebar, click on your avatar thumbnail on the top and select Settings from the drop-down

  • Click on the Valitypes (1) button in the navigation pane to see all the existing Valitypes available to the project

  • Now, check whether the following Valitypes exist. To do that, Hover over the Name column header to see the filter option. Click on the highlighted filter icon and enter the following filters by name:

    • Mass in kg

    • PowerConsumption in W

  • If they do not exist, add them by clicking on the + button on the bottom right, below the page heading Valitypes and add the Valitypes with the above names

  • Change the Valitypes properties so that your configuration looks like this:

  • Make sure that both tick boxes Add by Default are ☑ activated (2). Thereby, these Valitypes will be added automatically to every new component you are creating (see step 4 of this tutorial). Be aware that the Default checkbox is a user setting, this will not affect which ValiTypes other users have checked as Default

PowerUserTip: soc() means the sum of children and ensures that by default this Vali adds up Valis which are of the same type in components (1 level) below in the tree.

(4) Add Components to your Project

Let's start building your fan! Every product can be broken down into its subcomponents like a tree. The hierarchical component tree is one of the core features of Valispace.

Create the Fan

  • The Component Tree with all the components and Valis is created and accessed in the components module. In the left sidebar, click on the Components (1) module

  • Use the + Add Component (2) button in the project navigation pane to create a new component. Name the new component Fan (3) and press Enter or Create (4)

  • You can see that the Valis “Mass” and “PowerConsumption”, which we configured in the Valitypes Settings, have automatically been added to your new component. Alternatively, if you had not marked them as "Add by Default", you can always add new Valis to your component by clicking on the "Add Property" button. We will show you in a minute how it works

  • Now, right-click on the new Fan component and select + Add component. Name the new component Propeller. Expand the Fan component to see the new sub-component in the navigation tree

  • Repeat to create the Fan's sub-components MotorSpeed_controller and Structure. You can use the Create & add new option to create multiple components without leaving the popup

  • Your components tree should now look like this:

PowerUserTip: you can drag and drop components in the tree. You can also move components to another project by selecting Move to Project in the right-click menu.

(5) Change the Values

In Valispace, Valis are parameters of components that contain your engineering values. Valis have properties such as formulas, values, history and much more. Your newly created components already contain two Valis, Mass and PowerConsumption. So, let's go ahead and add values to your Valis!

Change the Mass and the Power Consumption Value

  • If you wish to see more information and attributes for your Valis, you can expand the Vali by clicking on the arrow on the left-hand side. You can also edit its formula here. But for now, let's change the values within the list view

  • In the list view, click on the 0g and 0W values for the following components (marked yellow in the screenshot), enter the new values by double-clicking on the cells and press enter:

    • Motor: Mass = 110 gPowerConsumption = 1 W

    • Propeller: Mass = 30 gPowerConsumption = 0 W (make sure to enter "0" instead of "soc()")

    • Speed_controller: Mass = 15 gPowerConsumption = 0.1 W

    • Structure: Mass = 80 gPowerConsumption = 0 W  (make sure to enter "0" instead of "soc()")

  • Note that Valispace has automatically calculated the Mass of the Fan to 235g and its PowerConsumption to 1.1W

PowerUserTip: please make sure to always use dots (.) as decimal separators for your values.

(6) Add a new Vali

You can always add additional Valis you want to track in any component with a formula/value and a unit. You can access Valis in formulas by using the $ symbol in any field.

Add the Propeller Efficiency and Delivered Power

  • Go to the Propeller component

  • Select the + button in the bottom right (1) to open the Create Property dialogue. Select Vali field, type Efficiency (2) in the 'Name' field and 0.85 in the Formula field (3)

  • Leave the unit field empty and click Create (4)

  • Repeat for another Vali with the name power_delivered and add the formula as  $Motor.PowerConsumption*$Propeller.efficiency, a drop-down will appear where you can choose the desired Vali after you start typing the $-sign

  • Leave the unit field empty to be calculated automatically from the formula or specify the unit W, then click Create. The Valis of Propeller should now look like this:

  • You can click on the name of each Vali or click on the details tab to show the Vali’s description and alter its properties. For example, you can change its unit

PowerUserTip: to access a Vali from a different project in a formula or analysis, just type: $Valiname and click on From other projects.

(7) Changing Units of Valis

Sometimes you might have to interface with different units. Valispace has an integrated functionality to recognize different units and compute them correctly regardless of the units chosen.

  • Open the Components Module and select the Motor

  • Change the unit of the Motor Mass from g to kg by clicking on g

  • Go to the Propeller component to verify that its unit remains g

(8) Detail your Design and Reuse Components

After having made a rough design you can always model your product in more detail. If you have components that are (almost) equal, "connected copies" help you maintain them in sync: if you change a property in one connected component, all others will also be updated.

Create three connected rotor blades

  • Right-click on the Propeller component and click + Add component to create a sub-component named Blade1

  • After this component has been created, right-click on it and select Copy & connect. A new connected component Blade2 appears on the same level

  • Repeat the previous step to also generate Blade3

  • Go to Blade1 and select the Blade1 Details tab on top of the screen. In the section "Connected Copies" you can verify that the copies have been correctly created

  • Now, select any of the three blades and change its Mass to 10 and the PowerConsumption to 0. You can verify in any of the other blades that all connected blades now have the same Mass and PowerConsumption


PowerUserTip: you can disconnect Valis or entire components by clicking on the connection symbol next to their names. More details can be found in the connected copies documentation.

Mass Budgets

All Valis with the formula ”soc()”, or Sum of Children, have an associated budget table and chart which can be viewed in the Vali information.

  • Head to component "Fan" and click on the name "Mass" (1) to open the details tab. Click on the budget (2) in the details tab as highlighted below to view a breakdown of your fan’s total mass

  • Head to component "Fan" and click on the name "Mass" (1) to open the details tabs. Click on the pie chart (2) in the details tab as highlighted below to view a breakdown of the total mass of your fan

(9) Make use of Margins

At an early development stage, you are usually not sure about the exact value of any property. This is why you put a margin on top of the value. Valispace takes care of propagating this uncertainty throughout all your calculations.

Add Margins to your Vali Table Columns

  • Click on the Propeller component. In the table, check if the Margin columns are visible. If not, click on the columns tab (on right)

  • From the list, select Margin+ and Margin-

Add an uncertainty margin to the propeller Mass

  • At the early design stages, you might not know the final value for the mass and in most cases, you end up with a mass higher than expected. For these cases, you can add a security margin to your Vali. With the help of this margin, Valispace automatically calculates a worst-case for your Vali. Let's do this for example with the Propeller mass

  • Click on the Propeller component and go to the Mass Vali

  • Add an upper margin "Margin+" (1) to the Vali by clicking the arrow symbol or directly entering a value of 10 (meaning a 10% margin) (2)

  • Open the description of the Propeller Mass (expand the Vali by clicking on the arrow on the left) to see how the worst-case value is changed to 33g due to the addition of the margin (3). If you go to the Fan component, and expand the Fan's Mass, you can also see that the Fan's Mass now has a total margin of +1.28% and a worst-case of 238g

  • Alternatively, you can also add margins within your Vali’s details and you might also consider adding bottom (-) margins to some of your Valis

(10) Tags for your Custom Needs

Tags are a multi-purpose tool for your specific team needs. You can use it to mark Valis, Components or Analyses. Use them to indicate:

  • reliability of a value (assumption / calculated/measured)

  • actions for team members (review: Tom / approval: Christine)

  • any other marking or grouping

Tag the Mass of the motor as a measured value

  • Go back to the Components Module of Valispace

  • Select the Motor component in the product tree

  • In the row of the Mass, double click on the area under the Tags column, type measurement, and hit Enter to add the tag to the Motor

If you want to search and filter for this tag, select the three horizontal lines which become visible when you hover over the header and select the filter option as shown below.

PowerUserTip: if you want to change the colour of the tags, click on your Profile --> Settings and choose a new colour. 

(11) Vali Subscriptions

One of the most difficult tasks in an engineering project is to keep track of all the technical changes in the system which affect your discipline. Valispace makes that easy by allowing you to subscribe to Valis: whenever a value you subscribed to or an input to this value changes, you automatically get a short notification.

Subscribe and get Notifications

  • Open the component Motor

  • Go to Mass and click on the bell symbol to subscribe to notifications

  • Change the value of Mass from 110 to 120. Click on Save

  • In the top navigation bar, a notification pops up to indicate one of the Valis you subscribed to changed

  • Click on the notification to see details. The change will now be marked as seen

  • If you wish to see previous changes, expand the Mass Vali details and click on the History tab

(12) Track your Valis against Requirements

Most technical developments are designed against strict requirements, e.g. on mass, power consumption, budget, etc. Valispace maintains a complete overview of whether your design is currently fulfilling all of these requirements or not.

  • Go to the Requirements tab and click on the specification Fan_Spec

  • Click + Assign component and type Fan to link the requirements to our Fan component (1)

  • In the row of R-Fan-001, on the column Actions, click on the first symbol, Add Verification Method. On the pop-up “Add New Verification Method” select “Rules” and click on Yes

  • Click on the small arrow button near R-Fan-001 (2) and again on the one next to Rules to open the Fan component in the next row (3). In this row, double-click on the area under the closeout reference column to get the pop-up to add your boolean rules (4)

  • In the pop-up, select type $Fan.Mass <= 300 g (1). Click on “Done” (2)

Valispace automatically checks for verification of this rule. The green 1/1 notification indicates that this requirement has been met.

  • You can also always check the status of all requirements and rules of the project by opening the Status tab in the Requirements Module

PowerUserTip: the tracking of the requirements also takes defined margins into account. In case your worst-case value calculated with margins violates the requirements, the tool will let you know if you use the property function i.e. property($<search_for_vali>, worstcase_plus). You can refer to our documentation here.

Next Steps?

Congratulations! You now know how to design a product in Valispace.

Take a look at our Fan Tutorial Part II to learn how to create documentation and analysis on your Desktop fan with only 5 quick steps. 

Spoiler Alert: the documentation automatically updates itself whenever you change a Vali.