This Week in CFD

Meshing

  • Siemens PLM Software is celebrating 30 Years of Femap with a brief video history. [I remember seeing some of those early ads in print magazines.] Congratulations to our meshing friends from the structures side of the CAE world.
  • In a discovery said to be similar to finding a new subatomic particle, mathematicians have identified a type of irregular pentagon (see image below) capable of tessellating a plane. [How long before we start meshing with these types of cells?]
You can add this newly identified irregular pentagon as one of the types of polygons able to tile a plane. Image from HuffPost Science. See link above.

You can add this newly identified irregular pentagon as one of the types of polygons able to tile a plane. Image from HuffPost Science. See link above.

Events

Business

  • The global market for CAE software (including CFD) is forecast to grow 11.34% over the period 2014-2019 according to one report. [I’m baffled by the desire/need to publish a growth percentage with two digits to the right of the decimal point.]
  • The U.S. Army seeks someone with a PhD to do CFD at their Biotechnology High Performance Computing Software Applications Institute in Maryland.

Software

  • CAESES 4.0 includes many new capabilities for axial blade design.
  • simFlow 2.1 was released with four new solvers, support for large meshes, and more.
  • In other FLOW-3D news, they’ve decreased the runtime of their solver by more than 50% in some cases.

Applications

CFD for the Batmobile courtesy of Autodesk Simulation. Click image for video.

CFD for the Batmobile courtesy of Autodesk Simulation. Click image for video.

  • There will likely be a need for CFD to evaluate the impact of closed cockpits on Formula 1 cars.
  • Intelligent Light shares their thoughts on the visualization aspects of the CFD Vision 2030 Study.
  • STAR-CCM+ was used to model blood flow for a new stent design.
Software Cradle shares a case study of the use of scSTREAM for architectural design. Image from Software Cradle. Click image for article.

Software Cradle shares a case study of the use of scSTREAM for architectural design. Image from Software Cradle. Click image for article.

Unbounded Grids

I first discovered Ben Butler’s room-sized grid on Colossal and immediately began looking forward to my next trip to Houston so I might see Unbounded myself at the Rice University Gallery. This immersive sculpture retains an organic feel because of its irregular shape and because of its material (over 10,000 pieces of poplar wood) and despite being composed of simple, regular, repeated shapes.

Ben Butler, Ubounded, 2015. Image from Colossal. See link above.

Ben Butler, Unbounded, 2015. Image from Colossal. See link above.

Once you’ve gotten a good look at Unbounded, head over to Butler’s website and take a look at his drawings and prints such as Invention #58 (detail) shown below. These make me wonder how we can make the Pointwise software do that.

Ben Butler, Invention #58 (detail), 2011. Image from BenButlerArt.com. See link above.

Ben Butler, Invention #58 (detail), 2011. Image from BenButlerArt.com. See link above.

BONUS: The science of melting cheese. Because delicious.

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This Week in CFD

News from Pointwise

  • At the end of his presentation at AIAA Aviation 2015 on the evolution of Pointwise’s T-Rex hybrid meshing technique, Dr. John Steinbrenner showed what he called “gratuitous pictures of grids” because grids will soon be invisible if the CFD Vision 2030 Study turns out to be true. To ensure that we all can ogle grids all day every day, we’ve launched the Wallpaper Contest. Submit your best-looking mesh images formatted for use as desktop wallpaper, we’ll vote, and the winner gets a box of goodies in addition to being downloaded the world over. Every entrant gets a t-shirt.
  • There are plenty of upcoming training courses from Pointwise, including new 1-day courses on advanced topics.
    • 15-17 September = Glyph Scripting
    • 07 October = Advanced Structured Meshing
    • 20-22 October = Pointwise Standard Training
    • 10 November = Advanced Glyph Scripting
    • and more
  • Come visit with us at these upcoming conferences:
    • 15-17 September = Metacomp Symposium
    • 12-14 October = International Meshing Roundtable
    • 22-24 November = American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics Meeting

Masthead-Wallpaper-Contest-790x150

Your Weekend Reading

Computing and Events

Visualization

  • The most significant developments in visualization during the first half of 2015 according to Visualizing Data.
  • Intelligent Light and Applied CCM cooperated on the use of FieldView to visualize the results of an OpenFOAM simulation of  V8 Supercar external aerodynamics. See image below, see video at the link.
Surface pressure and streamlines are shown in this FieldView image of an OpenFOAM simulation. Image from Intelligent Light. See link above.

Surface pressure and streamlines are shown in this FieldView image of an OpenFOAM simulation. Image from Intelligent Light. See link above.

Software

  • Just in time for the start of the academic year comes ANSYS Student, a free introductory CFD package for 64-bit Windows platforms that’s only limited by problem size (512,000 cells/nodes).
  • NASA has put their CFD Utility Software Library on Source Forge. The 30 libraries and 100 applications cover a wide range of functionality.

Applications

  • It is an imperfect science, CFD is.” A flaw in computer simulations (leaving out important details?) led to poor results for NASCAR’s Rousch Fenway Racing team. [Mind what you have learned. Save you it can.]
  • Luxury yachts benefit from the use of CFD – in this case, X-Flow.
  • But as imperfect as it may be, CFD can solve critical problems of the day such as this use of FloEFD to guide hand placement for hot air hand dryers. Before clicking through to read the results guess what works better: horizontal, vertical, or rotating hand position. [Here’s some related content:]
Screen capture from a video of a FloEFD simulation of hand drying. Color indicates film thickness, red to blue where blue is dry skin. See link above.

Screen capture from a video of a FloEFD simulation of hand drying. Color indicates film thickness, red to blue where blue is dry skin. See link above.

Serenity in Meshing

This image of Jack Tworkov’s Alternative IX landed in my inbox this week via an announcement for Jack Tworkov Mark and Grid 1931-1982, an exhibition coming next month to Alexander Gray Associates. As soon as I saw this image I knew I had to share it here. I find it to be a serene balance of calmness and motion, a feeling we often don’t get from a mesh.

Jack Tworkov, Alternative IX, 1978. Image from Alexander Gray Associates. See link above.

Jack Tworkov, Alternative IX, 1978. Image from Alexander Gray Associates. See link above.

Without making it seem like a stretch, I find many parallels between mesh generation and Tworkov’s approach to painting. In no particular order:

  • Tworkov felt a bit alienated and blazed his own unique trail in painting. He’s quoted as saying “Style is the effect of pressure.”
  • He wanted to break away from abstract expressionism’s overt focus on the subjective and wanted instead to be more objective in his approach, similar to how we strive to move meshing from an art to a science.
  • His works rely heavily on geometry and mathematics but retain a very human touch. “The limits impose a kind of order, but the range of unexpected possibilities is infinite” he said. What we say is “form is liberating.”

P.S. Sorry about the digression with the hand dryers.

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I’m Daniel LaCroix and This Is How I Mesh

Daniel LaCroix, Senior Engineer on the Technical Support Team.

Daniel LaCroix, Senior Engineer on the Technical Support Team.

I’m sure there are ways to add drama and intrigue to my upbringing, but I don’t know them. I was the third of four children, born and raised in the suburbs of Dallas/Fort Worth. My father was an athlete and my mother a musician, so I devoted time to both. I played the piano and as many sports as I could. After high school, I went to Trinity University in San Antonio to study engineering and play football.

I played football for all four years (started for 3) and found engineering to be rewarding due to the amount of knowledge I was attaining. Despite all of the good stuff I was learning, I remember taking fluid mechanics and thinking, “That’s an awful large amount of assumptions we’re making to solve what looks to be a relatively simple problem.” This led me to apply to grad school.

I chose Texas A&M because of their strong Mechanical Engineering program, but also because I would be a 4th generation Aggie (whoop!). My Ph.D. advisor was a man named Kumbakonam Rajagopal, a giant within the field of mechanics. Under his tutelage I learned to analyze and ask questions that had never occurred to me before. After completing my dissertation, I taught undergraduate courses for a few semesters before leaving academia. I knew I wanted a position where I could use my technical knowledge, but could also interact with people. I found that opportunity at Pointwise and have been here ever since.

  • Location: Fort Worth, TX
  • Current position: Senior Engineer in Technical Support
  • Current computer: Win 8.1 and CentOS
  • One word that best describes how you work: Smart (or at least I try to)

What software or tools do you use every day?

The standards: Pointwise, Outlook, perhaps some Microsoft Office tools.

I use XWin Server to access other computers and execute processes from the command line. Also, it’s amazing how useful WordPad and Notepad can be.

What does your workspace look like?

Daniel's current workspace.

Daniel’s current workspace.

Lists! Lists are everywhere, often scattered about in an organized mess.

Perhaps you saw Michael Mirsky’s “This Is How I Mesh,” and he discussed the quiet calm of the Developer’s office. Working in Technical Support, we are decidedly NOT quiet- we are constantly on the phone, asking opinions, and involved in open discussion.

What are you currently working on?

Right now I’m focusing on quality assurance (QA) for a few new features being implemented in Pointwise. I run them through a variety of tests and report back to the developers to let them know what looks good, but what could also use some improvement.

What would you say is your meshing specialty?

I don’t know if I have one specialty, but recently I’ve been gravitating towards structured meshes. They present an interesting challenge in how to organize a geometry to accept structured domains and blocks.

Though I realize it’s not meshing per se, I also have experience creating plugins for Pointwise. For this reason, questions about creating a plugin tend to get funneled to me- which I like!

Any tips for our users?

Whenever we release a new “dot” release (17.2, 17.3, etc.) we introduce new features and these features are highlighted in webinars shortly after release. For an update on what’s changed, and how it can be used, check out the webinar!

What project are you most proud of and why?

One summer, an intern for one of our customers was writing a script to mesh a geometry with some pretty tough nuances. Through a series of back and forth emails, I was able to help him through the necessary steps to make a good mesh. It was rewarding to help a relatively new user tackle some of the tough issues he was facing.

What CFD solver and postprocessor do you use most often?

Going back to my graduate work, I have the most experience with OpenFOAM and ParaView. As a result, they are still my preferred solver and post-processor.

Are you reading any interesting technical papers we should know about?

Next-Generation CFD for Hypersonic and Aerothermal Flows, by G.V. Candler and CFD Vision 2030 Study: A Path to Revolutionary Compuational Aerosciences, Slotnick et. al. both of which deal with the current issues facing CFD, one in a generic manner and the other with regards to a specific case.

Do you plan on attending any conferences or workshops this year?

Going to shows is something I really enjoy because I enjoy technical conversations. I have already attended ASME TurboExpo in Montreal, AIAA SciTech in Orlando, and AIAA Aviation in Dallas. I don’t think I’ll be going to any other shows or conferences this year, but I’m always up for it!

What do you do when you’re not generating meshes?

Lately I’ve started to experiment with sous vide cooking. I also enjoy playing Destiny on my PS4, working out, and playing the guitar.

What is some of the best CFD advice you’ve ever received?

Have you tried Pointwise?

If you had to pick a place to have dinner, where would you go?

The last great meal I had at a restaurant was at a place called Clay Pigeon in Fort Worth. The roasted bone marrow was killer. Generally, I like local places and try to avoid chains as much as possible.

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This Week in CFD

News From the Big Guys

  • CD-adapco announced Prague as the location of the STAR Global Conference 2016 on 7-9 March. Deadline for presentation abstracts is 30 November 2015 with acceptance notifications sent in December 2015 or January 2016.
  • In other CD-adapco news, their 2016 Calendar Contest is accepting entries through 31 August and you might win an Apple Watch.
  • ANSYS 16.2 was released and includes many upgrades to Fluent’s meshing and CAD handling.
  • In other ANSYS news, they had a good Q2 (revenue of $235 million). Monica Schnitger delves into why and mentions “the company is increasingly reaching the VP level in its dealings with customers, meaning it’s becoming a more strategic partner and is not simply a selling a point tool or two that no one except the user really understands.” [Sigh. Tell me about it. Meshing. Yes, it’s our problem to solve.]
Use of ANSYS for high lift wing design. Image from ANSYS. Click image for article.  (I chose this image solely because it displays Eigen Helicity Density.)

Use of ANSYS for high lift wing design. Image from ANSYS. Click image for article. (I chose this image solely because it displays Eigen Helicity Density.)

Applications

  • Read about how Femap is used by PaxOcean to mesh and preprocess complex marine and offshore geometries for simulation.
  • Disney shares their work on OmniAD for modeling the aerodynamics of rigid objects using spherical harmonics.
  • EASA shares its thoughts on the “appification” of CAE backed up by several presentations referencing that topic from the NAFEMS World Congress. Appification refers to the creation of small, single-purpose CAE apps as opposed to large, general-purpose applications. [Because I poke fun at the term democratization, people assumed I’d also mock appification. But it actually is decipherable and means something.]
Wellscope is a new CFD-based process for modeling a well and near-wellbore. Image from Offshore Engineer. Click image for article.

Wellscope is a new CFD-based process for modeling a well and near-wellbore. Image from Offshore Engineer. Click image for article.

CAD and More

  • Shapeways, the 3D printing folks, share their top, free, cloud-based CAD software. [Yes, Onshape is on the list.]
  • Speaking of Onshape, download their Instructor Kit to begin teaching Onshape to your students.
  • Are you planning on buying a new computer workstation for CAD and CAE? Desktop Engineering’s Answers to Your Workstation Questions might help.
  • Tech Clarity wants to know how you use simulation to develop more competitive products. Take their CAE Survey.

Reading, Reading, Reading

Visualization

Award winning visualization of a thunderstorm simulation. Image from isgtw. Click image for article and video. (Reminds me of the cover of Tufte's Visual Explanations.)

Award winning visualization of a thunderstorm simulation. Image from isgtw. Click image for article and video. (Reminds me of the cover of Tufte’s Visual Explanations.)

  • ParaView 4.4.0 will be released “in the next month or so” and includes a new color map that’s more amenable to those with color blindness and an interactive point and selection mode.
  • Here’s the best of the visualization web for June 2015 from Visualizing Data.
  • The Khronos Group announced updated standards for Open GL ES 3.2 for graphics on embedded devices and Vulkan for graphics on GPUs.

Projects

  • You can read about SimBest, a project designed to collect and share simulation and modeling best practices. SimBest targets small and mid-sized enterprises and hopes expand their use of simulation. The project’s final report is due in March 2016.
  • I’ve recently become aware of Benefunder, an online site that connects philanthropists with researchers. For example, several professors at my alma mater are promoting their research on the site including Dr. Melissa Green’s work on drag and vortices.

How Much More Grid Could This Be?

The answer is none. None more grid.

Grid paintings are one of the most directly parallels between painting and grid generation yet also – due to their relative geometric simplicity – one of the most derided. Gerhard Richter’s 4900 Colours is shown below. The work consists of 196 panels of 25 colored squares each. So the analogies with grid generation are:

  • They both contain quadrilateral cells.
  • They both contain multiple zones or blocks (i.e. the panels serve as a domain decomposition).
  • The colors of the squares and their arrangement were randomly chosen by a computer program (i.e. programming is involved).
  • Both are mocked.
Gerhard Richter, 4900 Colours, 2007. Image from the artist's website. See link above.

Gerhard Richter, 4900 Colours, 2007. Image from the artist’s website. See link above.

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I’m Michael Mirsky and This Is How I Mesh

Michael Mirsky, Product Development Engineer

Michael Mirsky, Product Development Engineer

OK, I’ve got to come clean. I don’t rigorously mesh that often. As part of the product development team, the grids I spend most of my time with are those meshes submitted by our talented users. They are typically ones that expose, ahem, “new features” in Pointwise that aren’t quite ready for the limelight. Joking aside, the meshes that I do see remind me regularly that Pointwise is used by many incredibly gifted individuals across the world. It’s one of the most gratifying feelings as a software developer to know that your software is genuinely helping people.

As for some background on myself, I was born and raised in Texas – more specifically, a suburb of the city of Tyler in East Texas. They call Tyler the “Rose Capital of the World.” I suppose because “Rose Capital of the Universe” sounded too presumptuous. That said, I do love Texas, and I hope to spend as much of my life here as possible. My only complaint is that there are still a few days out of the year when it’s cold.

I am one of those peculiar individuals who knew very early on what I wanted to be. In my youth, access to my family PC unlocked a fascination with computers that has never faded. My curiosity frequently got me into trouble however. As the third of four children, I often bore the blame whenever the family computer acted up. Perhaps the consternation that I was bested by a machine inspired me to devote my life to its mastery. Whatever the case, I began teaching myself to program in C++ by my early teens. I was hooked. In 2012, I graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Dallas. Shortly after, I landed an excellent job at Pointwise. I’m fortunate enough to work daily with some of the most gracious and intelligent individuals in CFD and software.

  • Location: Fort Worth, TX
  • Current position: Engineer, Product Development
  • Current computer: Windows 7 workstation: Intel Xeon CPU E3-1270 3.50 GHZ, 16 GB DDR3 RAM, 500GB hard drive + 300 GB SSD, NVIDIA Quadro 600, ASUS PB278Q 27-inch (2560×1440), ACER G246HL 24-inch (1920×1080).
  • One word that best describes how you work: Cheerfully

What software or tools do you use every day?

I’m glad you asked! Unquestionably, the most important tool I use is my text editor. I would be performing a disservice to my profession if I did not take this opportunity to excessively extol the virtues of my editor of choice – namely, vim.  My first taste of vim came during a lecture from one of my college professors. I was shocked to see how quickly and effortlessly he manipulated his code without touching the mouse. This was magic. I had to learn these secret arts. Since then, I’ve discovered that learning vim is a bit like climbing a mountain: daunting at first, a long way down, and full of endless wonder! (He’s still talking about a text editor, right?)

Paired with vim, I use Microsoft’s magnum opus that is Visual Studio for code compilation and debugging. I use Cygwin for tools like grep, find, rsync, and xterm. MaxTo is an excellent window management tool I use to organize windows on my desktop. I also use Perforce for software versioning and revision control. Finally, I will give major kudos to AutoHotkey for enabling me to fill in all the small gaps that aren’t covered by dedicated software.

What does your workspace look like?

Michael's current workspace.

Michael’s current workspace.

I work in a cozy cubicle located in one of Pointwise’s first floor offices in Fort Worth. This particular downstairs office houses only developers. We lovingly call it “the developer dungeon.” In practice, however, it is probably more like a library as often only the sound of keystrokes break the silence. On more than one occasion, I’ve noticed guests in our downstairs office feel the curious need to whisper while here.

As for my desk, I try to keep things organized. I use two monitors: one in landscape and the second in portrait. My keyboard is the Das Keyboard 4 Ultimate. Its distinguishing feature is that its keys are completely blank and very clicky. I use a completely vanilla dell mouse as I’ve yet to find a wired, left-handed mouse that is more useful. For audio, I use Audio Technica’s M50 headphones – highly recommend for the price! The keen observer will also spot an aging Mac-mini that I occasionally use for odd jobs related to development. Other than that, I’ve got the basics: a phone, a notepad, a notebook, and a fountain pen.

What are you currently working on?

Recently, I have been working on upgrading Pointwise to use Qt5. For the unaware, Qt (pronounced “cute”) is a platform agnostic framework that is used for application development. While Qt’s most recognizable feature is its platform appropriate graphical user interfaces, it also provides low-level cross-platform features such as an extensive set of data structures and utilities. Pointwise has used Qt4 until this point. When my work is complete, Pointwise will employ Qt’s latest and greatest offering that is Qt5.

Other than that, I’m juggling several bugs that are assigned to me. I prefer to have several ongoing tasks. Having the ability to switch to something new should I hit a rough spot on a current task is often helpful. Commonly, I find that a good way to solve a tough problem is to give yourself some space and revisit it later with a clear mind.

What would you say is your meshing specialty?

As a product developer at Pointwise, I am more focused on maintaining and improving our code than specifically meshing. To that end, I have the fortunate position of being able to work on many aspects of the software. Therefore, I don’t have a “specialty” per say. I try to keep myself as well versed on as many aspects of the code as possible. I enjoy learning new things, so I am always eager to take on new challenges. Pointwise is really fascinating software in that it employs a wide range of software techniques and disciplines.

Any tips for our users?

Personally, I enjoy figuring out new software. However, even I find the process intimidating at the outset. My personal recommendation when learning any software is to never be afraid to explore it. This also applies to Pointwise. Don’t hesitate to try a feature, task, checkbox, etc. just because it is unfamiliar. It might be exactly what you need! Very often, the only way to truly understand how a tool works is to use it frequently and try it across varied scenarios.

To this end, Pointwise even gives you a leg up. It may sound simple, but Pointwise offers task selection sensitivity. That is, tasks are enabled only for entity selections that make sense. This very quickly pares down the number of options you have to explore. For example, you might select a connector and explore all the tools that work with a connector. While exploring, you might just find something you didn’t know Pointwise could do!

What project are you most proud of and why?

A good candidate would be the Align View to Surface task. It may seem deceptively simple, but a fair amount of work was done behind the scenes to keep this task running smoothly. My work on this is particularly gratifying as it is quite handy tool. I’m also a bit biased because this particular task was quite enjoyable to work on.

A close second would probably be the work I did to improve the Orient task for structured domains. Previously, it could be quite difficult to determine orientation of complex structured domains – even more confusing when multiple domains enter the picture. Therefore, I added code to draw inset, surface aligned arrows indicating the I,J, and normal directions of the domain. This seemingly trivial task held a few challenges that I enjoyed facing.

Honorable mentions would probably go towards my work on the Y+ Calculator App, the Leap Motion controller, and the upgrade to CGNS 3.1.4. Each one was a fairly involved undertaking and therefore felt rewarding to work on.

What CFD solver and postprocessor do you use most often?

Aside from demo scenarios, I’m not sure if I’ve ever run a solver to completion. Typically, my focus with solvers and post processors is to check the validity of the grids Pointwise exports. As I am one of the developers responsible for maintaining our ANSYS Fluent plugin, I am familiar Fluent’s case file format and the import process. ParaView is another tool I am familiar with and often use it to help verify a number of other file formats.

Are you reading any interesting technical papers we should know about?

No technical papers, but I am reading several technical books in my spare time. At the moment, I am dividing my time between three: Real-Time Rendering by Tomas Akenine-Möller, OpenGL 4.0 Shading Language Cookbook by David Wolf, and finally Real-Time Collision Detection by Christer Ericson.

Do you plan on attending any conferences or workshops this year?

Yes! Earlier this year, I attended AIAA’s Aviation 2015 conference in Dallas, Texas. Later, I will be attending the 24th International Meshing Roundtable in Austin, Texas. I’m looking forward to gaining more insight into the meshing community at the upcoming event.

What do you do when you’re not generating meshes?

When I’m not helping to create the best meshing software in the world, I divide my time between several things: church, family, friends, hobbies, and pastimes. As alluded to earlier, most of my family lives in Tyler, Texas. I enjoy visiting them when I can, and the two-hour trip from Fort Worth is easily manageable over a weekend.

As for hobbies, I unfortunately have too many. I dabble in 2D vector graphic art as well as 3D renders. I’m also an amateur digital music composer with slight experience as a pianist. One of my more outlandish hobbies is repairing and modifying video arcade cabinets.

Unsurprisingly, I also like programming in my spare time. Sadly, I have a proclivity for starting more projects than I can finish. Thus, there are too many to name individually. However, one of my more current software projects involves integration with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

When time affords, I also enjoy traveling. I especially enjoy visiting national parks. A friend and I recently made a hectic eleven day road trip across the western United States. Starting from Fort Worth Texas, we were able to cram in visits to Sequoia National Park, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, Redwood National Park, Glacier National Park, Devil’s Tower, Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park.

Near Beartooth Pass Summit in Wyoming.

Near Beartooth Pass Summit in Wyoming.

What is some of the best CFD advice you’ve ever received?

“Everyone has different opinions on what a makes a good mesh. There isn’t a single answer. An ugly grid, however, likely has problems.”– John Chawner

If you had to pick a place to have dinner, where would you go?

Every so often, I get tired of burying all my excess cash in the backyard. On those days, I enjoying eating a nice steak at the Reata Restaurant in Fort Worth, TX. I have eaten few steaks that come close to matching the excellence that is a Reata steak.

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This Week in CFD

News

  • It seems that President Obama is also a fan of the CFD Vision 2030 Study as it is cited in the Whitehouse’s recent announcement of the executive order creating the National Strategic Computing Initiative, a research program intended to push U.S. HPC into the exaflops and exabytes realm.
  • A new CAE (i.e. FEA and CFD) market forecast predicts growth of 11.34% during the period 2014-2019. [Sadly, I’m way too jaded to take most of these forecasts seriously.]
  • GrabCAD does a good job of describing up and coming discrete geometry (aka 3D printing) file formats: AMF vs. 3DF.
Sample computation from Beta CAE's new Epilysis FEA solver. Image from ENGINEERING.com. See link below.

Sample computation from Beta CAE’s new Epilysis FEA solver. Image from ENGINEERING.com. See link below.

Software

  • MSC Apex Diamond Python [wow] was released and includes advances in mid-surface modeling.
  • Beta CAE System included a new FEA solver, Eπilysis [ωοω], in release 16 of their software suite.
  • OpenVSP 3.2.0, the open source parametric aircraft geometry tool, was released.
  • Feature detection (mesh to surfaces and features) is coming in the next release of Polygonica as we see from this article in DEVELOP3D.
  • Updated versions of MicroCFD are now available.
  • Kitware shares information about Computational Model Builder, their framework for end-to-end simulation support including preprocessing.
Part of a nuclear reactor mesh generated using components of Kitware's CMB. Image from Kitware. See link above.

Part of a nuclear reactor mesh generated using components of Kitware’s CMB. Image from Kitware. See link above.

Events

Meshing

Guitar body geometry displayed in Pointwise for the 23rd International Meshing Roundtable meshing contest.

Guitar body geometry displayed in Pointwise for the 23rd International Meshing Roundtable meshing contest.

What If Your Mesh Came to Life?

When it comes to abstract painting, not every horizontal line is a horizon and not every vertical line is a person. But it seems to me that every triangle, square, tet, or hex is a mesh. Because that’s the first thing I thought of when I saw 1024 architecture‘s video The Walking Cube.

Screen capture of 1024 architecture's video The Walking Cube. Click image for video.

Screen capture of 1024 architecture’s video The Walking Cube. Click image for video.

In fact, I find the video oddly nightmarish – a Frankensteinian hex mesh cell come to life, awkward yet menacing. Is this what happens to cells inside mesh generation software when they’re being generated and stretched and skewed and sized to our specifications? It looks tortuous. Maybe this hex has escaped the mesh to seek vengeance for how it has suffered.

Or maybe I just need a good night’s sleep.

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This Week in CFD

News

  • Readers of FYFD [the best blog with a name I can’t say to my mother] are invited to participate in a reader survey.
  • The National Science Foundation is sponsoring the Beauty of Computing campaign and asks that you post “computer generated images that bring science to life” using the #beautyofcomputing hashtag.
  • MAYA has several job openings in CFD and CAE.
DEVELOP3D reviewed ANSYS AIM 16.1 for multiphysics simulation. Image from DEVELOP3D. Click image for article.

DEVELOP3D reviewed ANSYS AIM 16.1 for multiphysics simulation. Image from DEVELOP3D. Click image for article.

Applications

ENGINEERING.com has a nice article on the CFD of racing bikes including the effect that a trailing automobile can have on a cyclist's finish. Image from ENGINEERING.com. Click image for article.

ENGINEERING.com has a nice article on the CFD of racing bikes including the effect that a trailing automobile can have on a cyclist’s finish. Image from ENGINEERING.com. Click image for article.

  • Jaguar Land Rover is using STAR-CCM+ as part of a coupled multi-physics simulation of vehicle wading (i.e. driving your car through water of various depths). [Ask me about the time I was driven through water deep enough to flow over the hood of a rental car.]
  • CFD contributed to the design of a next generation LNG carrier ship (8% more energy efficient, 5% more cargo) via the LNGreen Joint Industry Project.
The folks at CFD Support have been working on transient simulation of a sports car with rotating wheels in OpenFOAM. Click image for web page and video.

The folks at CFD Support have been working on transient simulation of a sports car with rotating wheels in OpenFOAM. Click image for web page and video.

Software

Events & Reading

An interesting slide from Airbus' presentation on HPC needs of simulation in which we see that "one night batch capability" for CFD based noise simulation is coming in early 2020. Image from ThePlatform.net. See link above.

An interesting slide from Airbus’ presentation on HPC needs of simulation in which we see that “one night batch capability” for CFD based noise simulation is coming in early 2020. Image from ThePlatform.net. See link above.

Music, Physics, Physics, Music

For the third time, the Montreux Jazz Festival featured a workshop on The Physics of Music and the Music of Physics. The former revolved around work done on sonic spatialization (i.e. multidimensionality of sound) while the latter centered on a piano improvisation by Al Blatter with accompaniment by sounds synthesized from collisions in the Large Hadron Collider.

Jazz pianist Al Blatter performing a live improv to sounds from the LHC. Image from Int'l Science Grid This Week. See links above.

Jazz pianist Al Blatter performing a live improv to sounds from the LHC. Image from Int’l Science Grid This Week. See links above.

(Originally seen on International Science Grid This Week.)

Bonus: For those of you addicted to meshes and geometry in art I share Jiyong Lee’s stunning glass sculptures from his Segmentation series. While the artist’s inspiration for these works is the biological process of cell division, I can’t help but see 3D domain decompositions. I checked into pricing for these works and the numbers are well into the 5 figure range. I’m not even a huge fan of sculpture in general but these works make me want to hold them.

Jiyong Lee, White Axial Cuboid Biaxial Segmentation, 2014. Image from the artist's website. See link above.

Jiyong Lee, White Axial Cuboid Biaxial Segmentation, 2014. Image from the artist’s website. See link above.

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