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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This Week in CFD

Software

Autodesk Project Ventus

Autodesk Project Ventus

  • Autodesk Project Ventus [likely a variation on the Latin ventum meaning wind] is now available to shrink wrap a model and create a CFD quality mesh for their Simulation CFD product. Watch a video about it here.
  • If you have point cloud data you need converted to geometry, in early 2015 you’ll be able to try Thinkbox’s recently announced Sequoia.
  • Meshmixer v2.5 is now available.
  • I can’t tell whether this is a new project or not, but on SourceForge you can get OpenFOAM for MS Windows.
  • In case there was any lingering confusion about Autodesk’s acquisition of NEi Nastran [or parts thereof or whatever], Autodesk Nastran 2015 has been announced.

Applications & Other News

This LES computation of the wake behind SWiFT wind turbine was computed using the VWiS code from U. of Minnesota. Image from Windpower Engineering and Development. Click image for article.

This LES computation of the wake behind SWiFT wind turbine was computed using the VWiS code from U. of Minnesota. Image from Windpower Engineering and Development. Click image for article.

Reading

  • This is the best [only?] resource on hexagonal grid generation I’ve ever seen. [Not hexahedral grid generation.]
  • CD-adapco wrote about their global academic program which I think is great. We have a very large academic program as well. But one statement in the article got my attention: “Employers want engineering graduates to have experience using the same engineering tools they themselves use.” As you can see from the comments, if an engineering degree is about learning specific tools we’ve reduced it to a trade school.
  • Symscape takes a page from FYFD’s playbook with fluid visualization in nature. And they also published their newsletter for August 2014. [I like the heading "Design is Compromise."]
  • The Gothenburg Region OpenFOAM User Group Meeting will be held on 12 Nov 2014.

Not Meshing – Metaphysics

This video by Ben Ridgway has absolutely nothing to do with mesh generation or CFD but I thought I’d share it anyway. Cosmic Flower Unfolding investigates “the metaphysical features of reality.” For those of you who grew up in the 1970s like me, some of these visuals might be familiar – if you know what I mean.

Cosmic Flower Unfolding by Ben Ridgway. As first seen on Colossal. Click image for video.

Cosmic Flower Unfolding by Ben Ridgway. As first seen on Colossal. Click image for video.

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This Week in CFD

Exascale on Your Desktop by 2020

Remember the CFD 2030 Vision Study and its identification of exascale computing as one of the pacing technologies for advancement of CFD over the next decades?

How about 17.1 exaflops by 2020 all while using power from your normal wall outlet? That’s the claim from Optalsys and their optical processor. Targets are 340 gigaflops by 2015, a few petaflops by 2017, leading to the exaflop model in only 6 years. The company is specifically targeting CFD.

Read more about Optalsys from HPC Wire.

Software

  • Pointwise V17.2 R2 was released with a major enhancement to hex layer extrusion in T-Rex plus other new capabilities.
  • CEI released EnSight 10.1 including native polyhedra support.
  • Materialise released 3-maticSTL 9.0 for working with faceted geometry data.
  • MSC Software released Marc 2014 which includes CAD and meshing improvements among other things. [PDF]
  • Siemens PLM Software released Parasolid v27.0 [Note: NOT Parasolids]
  • Desktop Engineering wrote about Tecplot’s ability to visualize a billion cells on a workstation.
An example of native polyhedra support in EnSight 10.1. Image from CEI.

An example of native polyhedra support in EnSight 10.1. Image from CEI.

Events

Applications

Maybe someday we'll find grids the way Yobi3D finds geometry. Here's what I got by searching for "landing gear." Click image for website.

Maybe someday we’ll find grids the way Yobi3D finds geometry. Here’s what I got by searching for “landing gear.” Click image for website.

Business & Other News

  • ANSYS continues to make money like they have a printing press in the basement: $232 million for 2014 Q2.
  • From sourceflux comes this 1-page OpenFOAM Cheat Sheet.
  • Lifecycle Insights provides a video preview of and a full e-book about design data exchange (i.e. 3D model exchange).
  • Crazy Aircraft Creations is the Shapeways on-line store of Mihai Pruna where you can buy 3D printed aircraft and CFD related jewelry and trinkets. [I like the Fluid Flow Around a Sphere in Color but it's a bit out of my price range.]
SolidWorks Flow Simulation of an espresso maker brew head. Image from the Solid Notes blog. Click image for article.

SolidWorks Flow Simulation of an espresso maker brew head. Image from the Solid Notes blog. Click image for article.

Wireframe Furniture

“Let’s admit it: wireframe views in CAD are awesome.”

So says the SolidSmack blog and I’ll agree and expand the scope of that statement to CFD software too.

I’m gonna run out of room in my office if I keep buying everything that reminds me of a mesh, but Noiz Architects and their line of wireframe furniture is pretty tempting. While you’re on their site, find the “strata fields” chandelier.

And why is it that architects are always designing chairs (e.g. Gehry, Lebeskind, Jacobsen)?

Noiz Architects presents their line of Wireframe Furniture, perfect for any CFDers office.

Noiz Architects presents their line of Wireframe Furniture, perfect for any CFDer’s office.

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This Week in CFD

Thoughts

The Virtual Engineer ponders whether we need more standards for CAE interoperability and emphasizes the possible benefits for mobile visualization.

The author answers his own question: “of course.” That’s the wonderful thing about standards – there are so many of them.

There are CAD standards like IGES, STEP, and JT. And we know how well that’s worked out. We could spend days talking about why we still have CAD interoperability problems. [tl;dr Standard files are neither written nor read properly.]

There is a great CFD standard – CGNS. I beg all of you to start using it. But it too has issues. [tl;dr What makes for great portability doesn't necessarily yield great performance.]

And there are all your de facto standard formats: PLOT3D for structured grid CFD results, NASTRAN for FEA results, STL for faceted geometry, etc.

I don’t know enough about visualization standards to know whether we need (another) one. But for CAD and CFD, use the ones we have, and use every ounce of your influence to ensure that everyone uses them correctly, and contribute to the standards organization to ensure the standard is maintained and updated.

What do you think?

News

  • New website ConSelf (Consulting by Yourself) urges us to “be prepared for the next CFD solution.” [Mysterious]
  • New web search tool (currently in beta) www.3dshap.es promises to help you find 3D designs to print.

Events

Videos

Viscous Stanford Bunnies Falling Into a Pile. Screen capture from the video illustrating multimaterial mesh based surface tracking cited below.

Viscous Stanford Bunnies Falling Into a Pile. Screen capture from the video illustrating multimaterial mesh based surface tracking cited below.

  • While “multimaterial mesh-based surface tracking” may seem dry, you have to watch this video (and jump ahead to the 5 minute mark if you’re impatient). Then you can read about this “non-manifold triangle mesh tracking method to simultaneously maintain intersection-free meshes and support the proposed broad set of multimaterial remeshing and topological operations” developed by researchers at Columbia.
  • You can watch a video about what’s coming in Autodesk Simulation CFD 2015.
  • Another video, this one on CloudFlow, CFD in the cloud.

Meshing and Football?

You never know where meshes are gonna pop up. This past week a group of us from the office took the guided AT&T Stadium Art Tour. Yes, that’s right – an art tour inside the Jones family’s monument to Dallas Cowboys football.  (If you click on the link you’ll see a photo with a nice gray-haired lady at the bottom. That’s Sue. She was our tour guide.)

But the family, with the assistance of outside advisors including Michael Auping, chief curator at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, have amassed an extensive collection of contemporary art installations. Most of these pieces are visible to everyone who attends an event at the stadium (some hang above the concession stands).

So where does meshing come in to play? Jim Isermann’s Untitled (2009-2010) is 4,000 square feet of vacuum-formed styrene mesh loveliness.

Jim Isermann, Untitled (2-009-2010)

Jim Isermann, Untitled (2009-2010)

020

028

We’ll post more of the photos from our tour on our Facebook page soon. In the meantime, there’s an app for iOS that will give you a virtual tour of the artwork.

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8 Reasons to Come to the Pointwise User Group Meeting

ugm2014-banner-790x200

The Pointwise User Group Meeting 2014 is approaching faster than both you and I think. This is our premier networking event and your best opportunity to learn how to make the software do what you need it to do on your CFD projects.

I invite you to join us in Anaheim on 29-30 October.

Need help deciding? Here are 7 good reasons and 1 kinda questionable one.

1. It’s Free

That’s right, the registration fee for all events is precisely zero. It’s Pointwise’s 20th anniversary and we’re celebrating by eliminating fees as a roadblock to your participation.

Stop reading and register right now. (Yes, it’s free but we still need you to register so we know who’s coming.) Don’t delay – the hotel’s block of specially priced rooms expires on 27 September.

2. You Could Win The Meshy

Close your eyes.

Imagine being envied by your coworkers. Feel the thrill of shaming your competitors.

How you ask? The winner of The Meshy Award not only receives an engraved Meshy Award trophy  to take home but their mesh appears on the T-shirt that all meeting attendees will be wearing.

The Meshy Award Winner from 2013

The Meshy Award Winner from 2013

So enter your finest mesh in our contest for The Meshy Award. What makes for a winner? “visual appeal, originality and uniqueness.”

Enter today. But don’t be late – entries are due by 15 September.

3. It’s Our 20th Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been earning a living doing mesh generation for 20 years. That’s 30 years for Dr. Steinbrenner when you account for the pre-Pointwise days.

logo-pw-20th-bw-t

So come hear us wax nostalgic about the past two or three decades, retelling some stories for the hundredth time. See the toll that a couple of decades of mesh generation will take on a person.

Hmm. Probably not a strong selling point – moving on…

4. Anaheim Is Lovely That Time of Year

After hosting the past decade’s worth of events in our home town of Fort Worth, Texas, the Pointwise User Group Meeting 2014 will held on the west coast in lovely Anaheim, California.

Come for the meshing. Stay for the mouse.

5. Become an OpenFOAM Master

You can become not just a user but an OpenFOAM master by taking the special colocated OpenFOAM Master Class taught by Dr. Darrin Stephens of Applied CCM. Not only is Dr. Stephens extremely well-versed in OpenFOAM, but he’s also the Pointwise distributor for Oceana.

Register for this course – appropriate for intermediate and advanced OpenFOAM users – today.

6. Learn From Us and Each Other

Yes, you can learn from us with a full day of training courses on the latest tools, techniques, tips, tricks, and best practices in Pointwise. And you get to tailor the training to your needs by voting on the topic of a special short course we’ll offer. (But don’t delay – short course voting ends on 11 August.)

But you will also learn from each other, from discussions during the breaks and in the evenings.

And certainly the formal presentations of CFD work based upon Pointwise meshes will be a focal point of the information sharing. There’s still time to submit an abstract – they’re due 12 September.

7. See Other CFD Software

We’re fortunate to have several of our partners join us for this event, giving you the opportunity to learn more about how their products can work with Pointwise and your applications of CFD.

The current list of exhibiting partners includes:

  • ADS, a provider of design and analysis software for the turbomachinery industry
  • Applied CCM, an engineering software development company
  • CEI, developers of a visualization software package called EnSight
  • Intelligent Light, a provider of post-processing, data management, and big data visualization capability
  • Tecplot, developer of data visualization and analysis software

8. Monica Says So

In writing about SolidWorks World 2013, Monica Schnitger eloquently made the case for attending software user events. Let me quote her directly:

“Do it. Even if you’re not a joiner, go. Even if you don’t think you have anything to offer (you’re dead wrong, you do), go. Even if you didn’t organize it, go. Trust me. It’s very rarely not worth the effort and often you get out far more than you put in.”

You can read the rest of her words in The Power of Community.

I hope to see you in Anaheim this October when our community gathers.

[Update: 30 July 2014] Added CEI to the list of exhibiting partners.

[Update: 11 August 2014] Abstract due date is 12 September.

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This Week in CFD

Big Things in CFD

  • Mentor Graphics has appended five new ones to their list of CFD Myths. I won’t spoil the surprise for you but will cite Myth #8: Experts Are Needed To Get Accurate CFD Simulation Results. [I recommend that you download, read, and start a discussion.]
  • CIMdata published their simulation and analysis market report in which they illustrate that the S&A market grew by 7.1% from 2012 to 2013 ($4 billion to $4.3 billion) and project compound annual growth of 7.7% leading to a market size of $6.2 billion in 2018. The report can be purchased here for $3,000.
  • Remember the CFD 2030 Vision Study and its estimate of an exascale computer’s power requirements? In a letter to the editor of Aviation Week magazine, a reader proposes powering this machine with a dedicated, modular, nuclear reactor. [Booyah!](Registration required.)
Using geometry from CT scans, this modeling of blood flow with CFD is one example of computational medicine. See associated text for link. Image from International Science Grid This Week.

Using geometry from CT scans, this modeling of blood flow with CFD is one example of computational medicine. See associated text for link. Image from International Science Grid This Week.

Software

Spider Man vs. Venom. Because mesh. Click for source.

Spider Man vs. Venom. Because mesh. Click for source.

Turbulence

  • To understand turbulence we need the intuitive perspective of art. [Factoid: Werner Heisenberg's - Nobel prize winner for quantum mechanics - doctoral thesis was on turbulence.]
  • On a related topic, FYFD‘s Nicole Sharp authored The Beautiful Unpredictability of Coffee, Clouds, and Fire.
"CFD is perhaps the most colourful technique used in engineering," is one quote from this article about CFD for a triathalon bicycle. 72% of the drag comes from what? Think before clicking the image for the article. Image from New Scientist.

“CFD is perhaps the most colourful technique used in engineering,” is one quote from this article about CFD for a triathalon bicycle. 72% of the drag comes from what? Think before clicking the image for the article. Image from New Scientist.

Applications

The effect of cooling fins (below) on the temperature of a hammer housing. Image from Mentor Graphics.

The effect of cooling fins (below) on the temperature of a hammer housing. Image from Mentor Graphics.

Space versus Place – The Grid in Painting (Again)

Another artist expanding upon use of the grid in abstract painting is Bill Mazziotti. By combining the grid with his organic elements of scraping the canvas and overpainting he creates a stabilized tension.

Grid-based paintings by Bill Mazziotti. Image from Donald S. Kolberg Sculpture and Painting.

Grid-based paintings by Bill Mazziotti. Image from Donald S. Kolberg Sculpture and Painting.

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