This Week in CFD

Software

Meshing improvements are included in HyperWorks 13. See link above. Image from TenLinks.

Meshing improvements are included in HyperWorks 13. See link above. Image from TenLinks.

Applications

Events

  • The first UK FOAM/OpenFOAM User Day will be held on 20-21 November at the Bristol and Bath Science Park. [Wouldn't that make it User Days?]
  • I had no idea there was a literature database for discrete element methods but there is and it has achieve the 5,000 user milestone.

Wonderful CFD Redux

  • Just in case you missed it, the recording of The State of Simulation: It’s a Wonderful Time to Be Using CFD is now available online. (Registration required.)
  • This article was linked to last week and referenced in the webinar and I’ll link to it again because it’s good for anyone who’s considering getting into CFD: How to Form an Engineering Simulation Plan.
  • Along the same lines, if you’re new to CFD here’s a nice video that introduces CFD in the context of the BLOODHOUND supersonic car.
  • Not mentioned during the webinar but definitely a welcome perspective is this article by CD-adapco’s Bill Clark on the third age of CFD.

News

CFD modeling of data centers. Image from Data Center Knowledge. See link above.

CFD modeling of data centers. Image from Data Center Knowledge. See link above.

  • What will $861 million of revenue get you? If you’re ANSYS, 105th place on Software Magazine’s annual Software 500 list of the world’s largest software companies. [If you're thinking what I'm thinking, the answer is no.]
  • “We do not have a robust pipeline of young people with the right skills and training coming into the [aerospace] workforce,” said the head of aerospace’s main trade association. Perhaps not portraying new graduates as units being pumped out of a skill factory would be a good place to start fixing this. Just maybe.
  • Oklahoma State University seeks to hire an assistant professor with a background in computational thermal/fluid sciences.

Halftime Tet Meshing

If I had seen this only a few years ago I would’ve suggested it to the band director at my boys’ high school.  Brief online research says this is a performance by the Carolina Crown drum corps at a Drum Corps International competition not too long ago. First found by me here.

What music do you think they were playing? A quar-tet perhaps?

Mesmerizing. I. Can’t. Look. Away.

3d-tet-marching-band

Bonus points if you can guess what instrument I played in high school marching band. There are 3 correct answers so your odds are good.

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This Week in CFD

Hardware

  • The U.S. Congress is getting involved in exascale computing through the House’s passing of the American Super Computing Leadership Act by which the Dept. of Energy is tasked with advancing U.S. supercomputing via a number of methods including establishment of at least two gov’t-academia-industry partnerships. (Note: The Senate still needs to consider this act.)
  • The future of simulation driven product development resides in the cloud says the CEO of Hi Tech CAE because of the high demand to be placed on computing resources.
CFD solution for an F-1 race car from the CFD is the Future website. See link above.

CFD solution for an F-1 race car from the CFD is the Future website. See link below.

Software

  • Version 0.3 of SpeedIT FLOW is now available. This RANS solver (appears to be based on OpenFOAM) runs entirely on the GPU.
  • Rhino users can now generate NACA airfoils using the SeaHorse Foils plugin.
  • Autodesk is currently testing Project Arro, a new tool for cleaning up CAD geometry so that it’s ready for simulation.
Preview of Autodesk's Project Arro, specifically the stitch function for finding gaps in geometry. See link above.

Preview of Autodesk’s Project Arro, specifically the stitch function for finding gaps in geometry. See link above.

Getting Started in Simulation

After reading How to Form an Engineering Simulation Plan by the president of CAE Associates in R&D Magazine I was like, “Dang, there goes one-third of my content for next Tuesday’s webinar.”

For those of you new to simulation (or CFD specifically), the article goes into detail on how to bring simulation into your organization. Here are the highlights [as paraphrased by me].

  1. Start simple. Computing a time-dependent simulation of multiple moving bodies in reacting flow might not be the best “out of the box” test.
  2. Know what you want from the simulation. “Color pictures” is a valid answer, just not a good one.
  3. Stay narrowly focused on what you want to simulate.
  4. Train everyone on the simulation tools. They are not black boxes.
  5. Understand what your success criteria are.
  6. Know the limitations of your design and the tools.
  7. Validate, validate, validate. Can’t emphasize this enough. Running validation benchmarks is a great learning exercise and confidence builder.
  8. Allocate the appropriate resources.
  9. Be flexible.

If you’re still interested even after reading the article, join me and ENGINEERING.com’s Shawn Wasserman next Tuesday, 16 September, at 2:00 p.m. eastern for a wide-ranging conversation about why It’s a Wonderful Time To Be Using CFD.

Applications

Meshing

  • An improved orthogonal grid generation method for solving flows past highly cambered airfoils with and without roughness elements. (Registration and fee required.)
  • LearnCAx wades into the mesh quality debate with the article “A good-looking mesh isn’t always the best.”
A good mesh sometimes looks not-so-good or so says LearnCAx. See link above.

A good mesh sometimes looks not-so-good or so says LearnCAx. See link above.

Events & More

Abstractly Systematic

A valued reader (thank you) emailed me a link to the Systems Art blog and website, an online forum for exploring the use of systems theory for looking at extant works and creating new ones.

I bet you can appreciate how systems theory can be applied to certain types of geometric abstractions: Mondrian, for example.

Three excellent examples of Mondrian's painting. Click image for source (a very nice article unto itself).

Three excellent examples of Mondrian’s painting. Click image for source (a very nice article unto itself).

But I suppose the works of Jackson Pollock might challenge any systematic attempts at understanding. However, on the Systems Art blog you can read about “random regularity” and how his paintings (and those of others) can be interpreted.

Author Aldous Huxley once asked rhetorically how Pollock knew when he was done painting. Whether in response to Huxley or someone else, Pollock reportedly answered “How do you know when you’re done making love?”

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What Does CFD Body Language Look Like?

Most of the time, my jokes are greeted with polite laughter or uncomprehending stares. Certainly no one wants them to be repeated. So when someone asked me to blog about this little cartoon I had to jump at the chance before they changed their mind.

As part of our wellness program we had a lunchtime presentation on fitness from an exercise physiologist and one of the handouts he distributed illustrated stretches you could do while seated in front of your computer.

Well, I didn’t see people stretching. I saw people doing CFD. Hence, CFD Body Language.

CFD-Body-Language

I can see the uncomprehending stares now.

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This Week in CFD

News

Use of ANSYS for mixing simulations is the subject of an article on the Leap CFD blog. Click image for article.

Use of ANSYS for mixing simulations is the subject of an article on the Leap CFD blog. Click image for article.

Software

  • Photogrammetry is now free for everyone courtesy of Acute3D. At SIGGRAPH 2014 the company announced Smart3DCapture Free and Basic editions (the latter costs 199€). Photograph an object from as many angles as possible and use the desktop software to turn them into a 3D model. [Gonna have to try this.]
  • Polygonica is software for working with faceted geometry data.
  • FlowVision is a finite-volume CFD solver written in C++ and delivered in both serial and parallel version.

Technology

Meshing the Walls

Part interior design, part sculpture, all mesh. The basic forms of this wall-mounted tet mesh seem easy enough to build and install but if you watch the video you’ll see that the manner in which it is lit is an entirely different story. It’s all from an artist group called Antivj.

Light Sculpture by artist group Antivj. Click image for source.

Light Sculpture by artist group Antivj. Click image for source.

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Webinar: It’s a Wonderful Time to Be Using CFD

ENGINEERING.com‘s Shawn Wasserman and I will chat about the state of simulation in the upcoming webinar “It’s a Wonderful Time to Be Using CFD.”

CFD solution for the DrivAer benchmark geometry computed in OpenFOAM on a mesh generated by Pointwise with results visualized in ParaView.

CFD solution for the DrivAer benchmark geometry computed in OpenFOAM on a mesh generated by Pointwise with results visualized in ParaView.

Day: Tuesday 16 September 2014

Time: 2:00 p.m. EDT (GMT -4)

We’ll talk about the industry, the technology, and the future of CFD. There should be time for audience Q&A so you can challenge anything stupid that I might say. But this should be of interest to anyone who’s questioning whether CFD is right for them. Hope to see you online in a couple weeks.

Registration is required so don’t put it off.

action-register-today-200x50

 

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This Week in CFD

CFD 2030 in Aviation Week – Again

As promised, Aviation Week’s technology editor Graham Warwick has delved deeper into the issues identified in NASA’s CFD 2030 study. From the 11-18 Aug 2014 issue…

  • In the article Model Future (page 49) he introduces the concept of maintaining a “digital twin” of a real aircraft in order to simulate its performance throughout its lifespan. This article also seems to be based, in part, on the panel discussion held at AIAA Aviation 2014.
  • In the article Quantum Shift (page 53) he delves into the futuristic topic of quantum computing as a means of meeting the computational requirements of CFD in 2030.
Geometry, mesh, and CFD solution. Image from Aviation Week.

Geometry, mesh, and CFD solution. Image from Aviation Week.

Good Reading

  • DEVELOP3D shares a nice overview of Autodesk’s acquisition and inclusion of NEi’s NASTRAN.
  • The CAD Insider is also thinking about Autodesk and NASTRAN.
  • Issue 36 [Why not a month and year?] of CD-adapco’s Dynamics magazine is available online.
  • Are you an OpenFOAM beginner? Here are 101 things to read. [101 things seems daunting to me in any list. I asked this on Twitter and I'll ask it again here: how many items in a list-based article is too many? As you are probably aware, I have a thing for the number 8.]
  • The Leap CFD blog has a great story about the use of CFD to design James Cameron’s DeepSea Challenger which he rode to the bottom of the Marianas Trench (11 kilometers down).
CFD simulation of DeepSea Challenger's thrusters. Image from the Leap CFD blog. See text for link to article.

CFD simulation of DeepSea Challenger’s thrusters. Image from the Leap CFD blog. See text for link to article.

Events

ugm2014-badge-date-180x180

Software

  • Is Autodesk Flow Design really the “easiest CFD program ever?” At $210/year it may be the least expensive (open source excepted, obviously).
  • Symscape shares tips for getting rid of acute angles in your geometry and mesh.
  • The CFD World blog has compiled a list of CFD codes for marine applications.
  • Autodesk Meshmixer v2.5 is now available.
  • When it comes to scripting languages, engineers seem to love Python. If you’re like me and don’t know it, here’s how you can learn beginning with An Intro to Python Scripting.
  • Speaking of Python, here’s a nice overview of PyFR, a Python-based CFD framework.
Flow simulation by PyFR over a 90 degree spoiler. Image from TechEnablement.com.

Flow simulation by PyFR over a 90 degree spoiler. Image from TechEnablement.com.

Applications and More

  • Visualization is such a huge part of CFD. Let’s see if you can be a winner. You have a little more than a week to submit your entry for the Information is Beautiful 2014 Awards, sponsored by Kantar.
  • Buried about a third of the way down in the SIGGRAPH 2014 review article in upFront.eZine is a tantalizing teaser about a potential solution to the fat-finger problem for tablet usage of CAD.
  • For more about SIGGRAPH, check out this summary from Desktop Engineering: Wowing Them in Vancouver. [If you do nothing else, watch the Best in Show winning video called Box.]
  • The second edition of I do like CFD is available in both print and PDF formats.
  • All the presentations from the OpenVSP Workshop v3 are available for you to download and read. [Don't miss Travis Carrigan's presentation on VSP to CFD with Pointwise.]
  • Read about a unique application of CFD in Improved performance of partly pit exhaust systems in pig housing. (From today’s #SimulationFriday on Twiter.)
  • Wind tunnel and CFD study of the natural convection performance of a commercial multi-directional wind tower.
CFD and experimental results for a wind tower. From the article cited above.

CFD and experimental results for a wind tower. From the article cited above.

Gridding for the Cycle

From Buffalo’s Albright-Knox Art Gallery [well worth a visit if you're in the area] comes this 3D surface grid – otherwise known as Cycle by Sopheap Pich. He draws inspiration from his native Cambodia and his painful memories of the Khmer Rouge to create modern forms that reflect organic shapes. These shapes, simultaneously human and digital, are made from materials such as bamboo that are native to his homeland.

Sopheap Pich, Cycle, 2011

Sopheap Pich, Cycle, 2011

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This Week in CFD

Hardware

Screen capture from Alex Haldane's winning entry in CD-adapco's academic simulation contest. (See link below.)

Screen capture from Alex Haldane’s winning entry in CD-adapco’s academic simulation contest. (See link below.)

  • An overview of how the U.S. government will push, prod, and pull us toward an exascale computing capability.
  • When it comes to simulation in the cloud you need to ask Which Cloud. Read more from Desktop Engineering. [Yes!]
  • MAINFRAME2 promises to “run any software in a browser” and offers Autodesk Inventor as proof of a CAD application. [Does anyone have experience with this cloud platform?]
Using overset grids in STAR-CCM+ to simulate gear lubrication. Image from Design World.

Using overset grids in STAR-CCM+ to simulate gear lubrication. Image from Design World.

Applications

cfd-cardio-disease

Velocity vectors for four aspects of a Fontan circulation. Image from the paper on cardiovascular disease cited above.

Software

CFD solution for an F-15E computed using MicroCFD's 3D Virtual Wind Tunnel.

CFD solution for an F-15E computed using MicroCFD’s 3D Virtual Wind Tunnel.

Events and Other News

  • Convergent Science posted the agenda for the upcoming CONVERGE UGM 2014. [PDF]
  • A student from the University of Warwick was named the winner of CD-adapco’s Academic STAR Simulation Contest for his work on LES simulations of poppet valves.
  • Papers from AIAA’s 1st Sonic Boom Prediction Workshop are available online.
  • CAD interoperability problems are a chronic condition; they can’t be cured, only managed. So says one contributor to Desktop Engineering’s article on the CAD interoperability monster.
  • Dassault Systemes has done a lot of work preserving the engineering that went into D-Day. [This is a very good thing for them to be doing. I can't find whether the models they produce will be available for download.]

Unstructured Seating

Faceted forms truly are taking over the design world. The latest I’ve discovered is Konstantin Grcic Industrial Design’s Chair_ONE. Someone  please try this and let me know how comfortable it is. I’m certain if you sit it in long enough you’ll have some very interesting impressions.

Chair_ONE from Konstantin Grcic.

Chair_ONE from Konstantin Grcic.

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