This Week in CFD

All The News

Meshmixer 2.6 was released earlier this month and includes a feature for adding tubes to your 3D models so you can print a Stanford Bunny that shoots water from its eyes. Image from Autodesk 123D blog. Click image for article.

Meshmixer 2.6 was released earlier this month and includes a feature for adding tubes to your 3D models so you can print a Stanford Bunny that shoots friggin’ laser beams water from its eyes. Image from Autodesk 123D blog. Click image for article.

Go Mesh Yourself

At first glance it’s not obvious what artist David Adey’s Hide is. From the closeup detail below you can definitely see triangular faceting.

David Adey, Hide (detail), 2013

David Adey, Hide (detail), 2013

When you take a step back and look at the work in its entirety you still probably won’t have a clear idea of what he’s done.

David Adey, Hide, 2013

David Adey, Hide, 2013

This is a 3D laser scan of the artist’s body (75,000 triangular facets) that has been unwrapped, cut and flattened. You can read more about his intent and process here.

Sooner or later I’m going to have to delve deeper into this trend toward digitization and faceting in art and design.

No This Week Next Week

Everyone from Pointwise will in Anaheim, California next week for the Pointwise User Group Meeting 2014 followed by a fun celebration of Pointwise’s 20th anniversary.

So next Friday morning when I’d normally be writing This Week in CFD I’ll be…

  1. Exhausted
  2. At Disneyland
  3. Unthinking
  4. All of the Above

This Week in CFD will return the following week along with other blog content.

Please keep in mind that next week our response times to your sales and support questions will be longer than usual due to decreased staffing levels. And next Friday our offices are closed.

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This Week in CFD

NASA

Various

From Plastics Today comes this article about resolving boundary layers for mold filling simulations with Moldex3D. Click image for article.

From Plastics Today comes this article about resolving boundary layers for mold filling simulations with Moldex3D. Click image for article.

Computers and Computing

  • Between mobile devices and the cloud you can argue that most everyone is walking around with a supercomputer in their hand. Because of that, two things become important in this age of pervasive supercomputing: a fundamental understanding of computational principles and sufficient network capacity.
  • On a related topic, COMSOL provides an intro to parallel computing.
  • Here are six myths of high performance computing: Part 1 and Part 2.
  • Ribbonfarm manages to weave together a tale involving flow pacing (the manner of injecting chemicals during water treatment), software delivery (the “UX of time”), and an original piece of music in The Rhythms of Information. [And don't forget to listen to the music.]
  • Autodesk plans to convert all customers to subscription licensing over the next couple of years. Two notable factoids from the article are 1) the subscription model gets all customers on the most recent versions as opposed to perpetual licensees who are several versions behind and 2) for their entry level products the subscription model represents a 30% increase in revenue over current licensing.
  • “Ultimately, it is likely that much more engineering design and computation will occur in the cloud.” True?
  • More news on the quantum computing front.
  • DNS of Turbulent Flows with Parallel Algorithms for Various Computing Architectures
A profile of CFD work at Mercury Marine. Image from Resolved Analytics. Click image for article.

From a profile of CFD work at Mercury Marine. Image from Resolved Analytics. Click image for article.

Visualization

News From the International Meshing Roundtable

A poster illustrating CD-adapco's winning entry for the IMR's Meshing Contest. This year's geometry was London's Tower Bridge.

A poster illustrating CD-adapco’s winning entry for the IMR’s Meshing Contest. This year’s geometry was London’s Tower Bridge.

  • Winner of the Meshing Maestro was CD-adapco with the entry shown above.
  • Winner of the Meshing Contest (contest geometry = London’s Tower Bridge) was INRIA.
  • Best technical paper was Sieger et al “Constrained Space Deformation for Design Optimization”
  • Best technical poster was Ruiz-Girones et al “Optimizing mesh distortion by hierarchical iteration relocation of the nodes on the CAD entities”
  • This year’s IMR Fellow is Paul-Louis George.
  • Next year’s IMR will be in Austin, Texas. [Yee haw, just a couple hours drive south.]

Thanks to @zaidedan for live tweeting the event from which many of theses news items were gleaned.

Grab Bag

A preview of enhanced morphing in STAR-CCM+ v9.06. See link above.

A preview of enhanced morphing in STAR-CCM+ v9.06. See link above.

Hand Knitted Mesh

Artist Alyson Shotz was a recent guest on The Modern Art Notes podcast and I really need to find the time to listen to her episode, especially after being greeted by this image when visiting her website.

The home page of Alyson Shotz' website.

The home page of Alyson Shotz’ website.

The image above seems to be a computer model of her piece Untitled, 2013 made from hand-dyed yarn and pins on wall from an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver.

Alyson Shotz, Untitled, 2013

Alyson Shotz, Untitled, 2013

P.S. I feel compelled to apologize for the “hot mess” that his post is. Next week might not be any better and there will not be a post on Halloween because we’ll all be basking in post user group meeting glory and beginning a weekend celebration of Pointwise’s 20th anniversary.

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This Week in CFD

Pointwise User Group Meeting 2014

The Pointwise User Group Meeting 2014 will soon be here – 29-30 October in Anaheim, California. To celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary the event is free – but you still have to register, please.

ugm2014-banner-790x200

What’s in it for you?

  • An OpenFOAM Master Class on Monday 27 October conducted by Applied CCM.
  • A full day of seminars on the latest and greatest Pointwise capabilities including a preview of the new overset grid assembly feature suite and the special short course –  chosen by you – on advanced structured grid generation.
  • A full day of presentations on applied CFD and meshing from experts around the globe.
  • Previews of what the future holds for Pointwise mesh generation.

Won’t you join us? Register today.

action-register-today-200x50

And now, one long list.

  • Learn more about EnSight with this slide deck from CEI China.
  • Kitware champions open source in the context of a recent DoE report on high performance computing.
  • FEA for All blogged about Midas NFX for simulation of structures and fluids and claims it’s the “first online FEA.” [Is this correct?]
  • NAFEMS is conducting a survey on the use of computer based design analysis tools. You have until 31 October to participate.
  • Motorsport team Prodrive has chosen Altair’s AcuSolve for their CFD simulations.
  • ParaView 4.2 is now available and includes over 200 resolved issues.
  • Is D-Wave‘s quantum computer the next big thing?
Computational simulation helped explain why there are so many spiral galaxies. Click image for article.

Computational simulation helped explain why there are so many spiral galaxies. Click image for article.

This mesh is from a profile of "CFD icon" David Gosman in HPC Today. Click image for article. Registration required.

This mesh is from a profile of “CFD icon” David Gosman in HPC Today. Click image for article. Registration required.

Screen capture of a video showing simulation of a car fire in a parking garage performed using FLOW-3D. Click image for video.

Screen capture of a video showing simulation of a car fire in a parking garage performed using FLOW-3D. Click image for video.

Embroider a Mesh on Your Notebook

Etsy seller Fabulous Cat Papers is offering notebooks hand-embroidered with meshes (and other designs).  You’ll be the envy of the office or classroom with one of these.

A mesh embroidered on a notebook cover from Fabulous Cat Papers. As original seen on This is Colossal.

A mesh embroidered on a notebook cover from Fabulous Cat Papers. As original seen on This is Colossal.

P.S. Please pardon the relative lack of posts in general and the rough formatting of this post in particular. It’s been a hella week, as the kids say.

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CFD Market Report Apology

In Friday’s edition of This Week in CFD I linked to an article that discussed a report from Reportstack entitled Global Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Market 2014-2018 in which the market is forecast to grow at 12.85%. I wrote that I thought that number was contrived.

Upon reflection, that comment is unwarranted and I apologize for impuning the integrity of Reportstack. I have no reason not to believe their forecast. Please note that I’m doing this proactively – no one from Reportstack or anywhere else called me out. I identified my own mistake.

What I should’ve written was that quoting growth rates in a market forecast to two decimal places makes me think the authors don’t understand the concept of significant digits and are trying too hard to make their forecast appear rigorously analytic and believable. What’s wrong with just saying 12%?

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This Week in CFD

Applications

  • Argonne National Labs shares this video of a 50-million cell, high fidelity CFD simulation of a diesel engine. You can read more about it here.
  • The Maritime Research Institute of the Netherlands has a new 4,000 core cluster on which customers can run their CFD code ReFRESCO.
This Ohio State Univ. designed car set a land speed record of slightly over 212 mph. Image from International Science Grid This Week. Click image for article.

This Ohio State Univ. designed car set a land speed record of slightly over 212 mph. Image from International Science Grid This Week. Click image for article.

 

Hardware

  • How would you like to have 36 cores on your desktop? You can with the new Intel Xeon E5 v3 if you have two.
  • The Call for Papers is open for Nvidia’s 6th GPU Technology Conference.
  • What CAD/CAE/PLM providers made the list of the top 500 cloud apps? Autodesk was ranked highest at 120.
  • If you like your CAD free and in the cloud, try the beta of Honeycomb3D. It’s designed for 3D printing.

Visualization

This oil saturation plot is an example of one new feature available in Tecplot RS 2014 R1. Image from Tecplot.

This oil saturation plot is an example of one new feature available in Tecplot RS 2014 R1. Image from Tecplot.

Things to Read

  • Siemens PLM opens the discussion on CAD/CAE integration by saying it’s the key to effective simulation driven design, especially early in the design process. Do you agree? Watch for follow-up posts on this subject including the people, process, and technology issues. [This article is the first time I've ever encountered the word "centisecond."]
  • It’s nice to see Prof. ZJ Wang blogging again about high order CFD.

Annoying Things

  • The SolidSmack CAD blog surveyed CAD jockeys to find out what they find most annoying. It should not surprise anyone that the most annoying thing in CAD was “Getting 3D data from one CAD app to another.” You might be surprised by #2.
  • The worldwide CFD market is forecast to grow at 12.85 percent by the year 2018. This is great news because it exceeds the projected growth rate of the entire simulation and analysis segment (7.5%) which in turn exceeds the overall PLM market (5%). [What's annoying is that the growth rate is presented to two decimal places which makes me automatically reject that number as contrived.]

Deals

  • How good of a deal is an undergraduate engineering education? Of all majors surveyed, engineering has the best ROI at 21% versus an average return of about 15%.
  • Boeing’s use of products from MSC Software will extend through four decades with the recent agreement to a 5-year extension of the licenses.
  • FS Dynamics will be using CD-adapco‘s software for another 3 years according to a recently signed deal.

Let Your Problems Melt Away

We have each experienced times when we’re so frustrated with our work that we’d like to toss it all in the trash or burn it.

Artist Roger Hiorns has elevated such destruction to fine art by atomizing an entire jet engine. He started by melting the engine and spraying the resulting liquid through a nozzle where it mixed with water. This caused the liquid engine to condense into droplets that became a fine powder. Therefore, you can say that fluid dynamics was involved in the process.

The result, shown below, was a candidate for the Turner Prize in 2009.

It’s kind of a cross between those “Will it Blend” videos and those pictures of disassembled objects with all their components neatly arrayed.

Roger Hiorns' atomized jet engine. Originally seen on Today and Tomorrow. Image from BBC News Magazine.

Roger Hiorns’ atomized jet engine. Originally seen on Today and Tomorrow. Image from BBC News Magazine.

I’m certain that my friends at General Electric, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce, and the other engine manufacturers will enjoy this. In fact, this would be a good piece to install in the lobby of their corporate headquarters.

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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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