This Week in CFD

Events

  • The agenda for next month’s COFES (Congress on the Future of Engineering Software) has been announced and includes 2.5 hours dedicated to reviewing and moving forward with the issues identified during January’s Analysis, Simulation, and Systems Engineering Software Summit (ASSESS).
  • Altair announced the keynote speakers for the 2015 Americas Altair Technology Conference.
  • The International Conference on Fan Noise, Technology, and Numerical Methods will be held 15-17 April 2015 in Lyon, France.
Come for the cool images. Stay to learn about random dense packings. Image copyright (c) 2006 pack-any-shape.com. Click image for website.

Come for the cool images. Stay to learn about random dense packings. Image copyright (c) 2006 pack-any-shape.com. Click image for website.

Software

  • simFlow announced RapidCFD: OpenFOAM running on the GPU.
  • MSC Software announced the “Cheetah” release of MSC Apex, their next-generation CAE platform. This release includes, among other things, improvements to geometry modeling and meshing on which “55% of engineers spend more than 40% of their time.” [That has to be an FEA-centric view because I bet if you asked CFDers the percentage would be more like 75% of their time.]
  • Autodesk has made Project Harmony, an automatic mesher for Moldflow, freely available through Autodesk Labs.
  • Pixar’s RenderMan is now freely available for non-commercial use. [I know, not really CFD. Just really interesting.]
  • Creative Fields offers cfSuite, a GUI environment for OpenFOAM.
  • Does it make sense to run CAD on mobile devices? This free report from Lifecycle Insights delves into this issue. [This is of interest to me because we’ve put Pointwise on a Windows tablet.]
  • CFD Support launched a suite of Paraview plugins for turbomachinery, Turbo Blade Post.
  • MixIT is Tridiagonal’s new analysis software for stirred tanks.

Applications

SABIC's CFD-designed and 3D-printed roof reduces drag. Image from pddnet.com. See link below.

SABIC’s CFD-designed and 3D-printed roof reduces drag. Image from pddnet.com. See link below.

  • SABIC used CFD to help design and 3D printing to help manufacturer a prototype roof that reduces vehicle drag by 6%, and important step toward meeting emission standards to be set in mid-2016.
  • Peterbilt used CFD to achieve 14% fuel efficiency improvements on one of their latest truck models.
  • Comparison of CFD-Based Simulation of External Fuel Tank Separation to Flight Test, co-authored by Pointwise’s John Dreese. [available for purchase from AIAA]
  • Improving air disperser performance with CFD.
  • CFD was used to gain insight into vortex-induced motion of oil rigs and other offshore floating structures.
  • Velocite, CFD, and design of the latest model of Syn aero road bike.
  • CFD for design of air intake and exhaust systems for wind farm service vessels.
  • By using CFD to understand the airflow in S-ducts, researchers at Virginia Tech have 3D printed the StreamVane, a distortion reducer tailored to the flowfield. [Propulsion CFD is where I started my career so I have a fondness for this type of stuff. I remember examining CFD results for compressor face distortion for the F-16’s inlet duct.]
Researchers at Virginia Tech are using CFD to study airflow distortion in serpentine ducts. Image from Aerospace America. See link above.

Researchers at Virginia Tech are using CFD to study airflow distortion in serpentine ducts. Image from Aerospace America. See link above.

Anything But Blithe

Part photographer, part painter, artist Birgit Blyth has mastered the photographic technique called chromoskedasic painting. Drawing an analogy with painter Morris Louis, Blyth brings process and content together in a unique way. Like painter Callum Innes, Blyth evolves the grid motif into something quite organic and sensual. And unlike a grid generator for CFD, the analog process seems to be winning the battle over the digital design.

Birgit Blyth, Grid No. 1, 2014

Birgit Blyth, Grid No. 1, 2014

Bonus: As submitted by an alert reader, geometric animal street art.

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This Week in CFD

Software

  • AeroDynamic Solutions released ADS 6.5, their turbomachinery CFD software suite including a native interface from Pointwise to Code Leo.
  • Also in the field of turbo CFD, ADT released TURBOdesign Suite 5.2.5.
  • CFD Engine has a new blog called Head in the Clouds and a refocused mission: “a CFD consultancy with its own cloud platform.”
  • On SolidSmack you can read interviews with the CEOs of Onshape and Autodesk on CAD in the cloud.
  • You still have until 15 April to submit a full paper for possible publication in the Open Engineering topical issue on CFD for engineering design.

Applications

Streamlines colored by velocity magnitude near the proximal arterial inlet computed using STAR-CCM+. Image from AIP Physics of Fluids and authors F. Iori et al. Click image for full paper.

Streamlines colored by velocity magnitude near the proximal arterial inlet computed using STAR-CCM+. Image from AIP Physics of Fluids and authors F. Iori et al. Click image for full paper.

  • DNV GL is using CFD to study the effect of hull fouling (marine creatures attaching themselves to ship hulls) on a ship’s increased drag and reduced fuel efficiency.
  • CFD is being used to study to simulate an explosion‘s effect on an urban environment so that insurance carriers can better understand the risks involved.
  • Air Products uses CFD in a consulting role to help plastics manufacturers design efficient systems (e.g. combustible dust inerting).

Events

Screen capture from a video illustrating a simulation of a blown wing performed by Joby Aviation using STAR-CCM+.  Click image for video.

Screen capture from a video illustrating a simulation of a blown wing performed by Joby Aviation using STAR-CCM+. Click image for video.

  • CD-adapco celebrated its 35th anniversary this week at their STAR Global Conference.
    • STAR-CCM+ v10.02 was officially released.
    • The company now has 850 employees and annual revenue approaching $200 million.
    • A new aero-vibro-acoustic simulation tool, Wave6, was announced as described in this Desktop Engineering summary of the entire conference.
  • Mentor Graphics was awarded LED Magazine’s Sapphire Award for FloEFD and other tools that make up an “excellent complete temperature analysis and simulation system.”
  • The first CFD Impact Conference will be held at Technion in Haifa, Israel on 30 June 2015. The keynote speaker will be Prof. Peter Vincent who talk about the PyFR open source CFD solver, among other topics.

Bid on Programming History

We’ve all heard it said that programming is an art form so the Algorithm Auction should come as no surprise. Via Artsy.net you can read about the first auction celebrating the art of code. Bidding closes on 27 March so you still have time to bid on works such as Brian Kernighan’s hand written and signed Hello World program (see image below). Current bid is $2,250.

Brian Kernighan, Hello World, ink on dot matrix paper. Image from Artsy.net. Click image for site.

Brian Kernighan, Hello World, ink on dot matrix paper. Image from Artsy.net. Click image for site.

How much would you pay for hand written portions of Pointwise’s source code signed by Dr. John Steinbrenner?

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I’m Claudio Pita and This Is How I Mesh

Claudio Pita, Senior Engineer on the Technical Support Team.

Claudio Pita, Senior Engineer on the Technical Support Team.

One of my favorite series on Lifehacker is called How I Work. In this series, the team interviews people from around the world to learn about the tools and techniques they use to get through the day. We decided to try something similar with the Pointwise staff and over the next year will share with you how we work.

Let’s kick off this series with Dr. Claudio Pita. Claudio joined Pointwise as a senior engineer on the Applied Research Team in September 2010 after completing a year-long term as Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT. In 2013, he joined the Technical Support Team. Dr. Pita earned a B.S. and an M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from the Instituto Balseiro in Argentina and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Mississippi State University. His Ph.D. research involved “Modeling of oxide bifilms in aluminum castings using the Immersed Element-Free Galerkin Method.”

  • Location: Fort Worth, TX
  • Current position: Senior Engineer – Technical Support Team
  • Current computer: Windows 7, Intel Xeon CPU W3505 2.53GHz, 24GB RAM
  • One word that best describes how you work: Focused

What software or tools do you use every day?

As a part of the Technical Support team, I use a variety of tools to ensure our customers receive unmatched support. With that in mind, I use Pointwise and Gridgen every day. Not only am I using these tools to field support requests, but also to generate grids for workshops and conferences.

Our customers can contact us in a number of different ways. These days most requests arrive via email, so I use Outlook as an email client. On my Windows machine Outlook and our CRM software, Sage, can talk seamlessly making it easy to keep track of feature requests, bugs, and general communications.

One of the areas we are all responsible for on the Technical Support team is documentation. When a new feature is released or a bug is fixed, it must be documented. I use Corel PaintShop Pro and FrameMaker to help create our PDF documents shipped with every copy of our software.

What are you currently working on?

Support is my first priority, so I’m first and foremost fielding customer requests. All of our customers are working on different applications, so the work is varied. In the morning I may be helping a customer mesh the wing tip of an aircraft and by the afternoon I’m meshing the passage of a pump. Also, because our software can be automated, I actively develop Glyph scripts for either complete applications or to automate tedious tasks.

As far as specific projects I’m currently working on, one is a grid for the DrivAer geometry. The grid is a viscous hybrid grid and we are working with a partner to perform shape optimization to improve the baseline model’s performance. We will be presenting this work at the upcoming 10th OpenFOAM Workshop. I’m also participating in the Sonic Boom Prediction Workshop hosted by AIAA by generating grids for their test cases.

What would you say is your meshing specialty?

Having worked in Pointwise’s Applied Research team prior to transferring to Technical Support, I did a lot of development work. Therefore, it was relatively easy to get started with Glyph scripting. Not a lot of people know how powerful Glyph can be. I like to help our customers realize the power of Glyph by writing scripts to either automate their entire meshing process or save them time by writing utility scripts. My editor of choice would have to be Emacs.

Do you have any Glyph scripting tips?

I would like to encourage customers who are thinking about writing their first Glyph script to review the Glyph resources that Pointwise has available. These materials will help them get over the learning curve and ahead of the game quickly and efficiently. Here is a list of the available resources:

  • Glyph Scripting Introductory Video

Here we present a basic introduction to scripting in Pointwise and lay the framework for customization of the meshing process through scripts. Scripting in Pointwise is accomplished with Glyph, an extension of Tcl. You can find this video here: http://www.pointwise.com/videos/Intro-to-Scripting/

  • Glyph Reference Manual

This manual is very useful and will teach you the best practices to be implemented in your own Glyph script. You can find this document in Help, Glyph Reference Manual.

  • Glyph Manual Pages

This manual presents a description of every Glyph function we support. Please note that you can find a particular function either by name (About, Functions) or by type by expanding the appropriate Glyph type (e.g. pw::Layer in General Types). This manual is located in Help, Glyph Manual Pages.

  • Re-Entry Vehicle Tutorial

Even if this particular tutorial does not work a problem similar to yours (3-D unstructured volume meshing around the wing), it is a very useful resource that will teach you basic Glyph programming logic before you start writing your own script. This tutorial will also show you the “best Glyph practices” presented in the Glyph Reference Manual in an actual script. You can find this tutorial in Help, Tutorial Workbook (the last tutorial).

  • GitHub

Pointwise has a library of Glyph scripts available on GitHub (a web-based version of the Git revision control system). Here you will find a wide variety of very useful Glyph scripts that you can use as templates or for reference.

  • Glyph Training Courses

You are more than welcome to attend one of our Glyph scripting training courses. Please note that our courses are free of charge to current customers (you would only have to travel to our offices in Fort Worth, TX). You can find the schedule for the upcoming classes here: http://www.pointwise.com/support/train.shtml.

  • Technical Support

Always keep in mind that you can contact us at support@pointwise.com if you need some help to resolve any issues you may encounter either with a Glyph script or a mesh generation project.

What project are you most proud of and why?

The grid I generated for the Sonic Boom Prediction Workshop. This case gave me an opportunity to work on a complete mesh that will be used to run some very interesting CFD simulations, hopefully to be presented at the workshop and compared with experimental data.

What CFD solver and postprocessor do you use most often?

Working at a grid generation company doesn’t leave me with too much time to run complete CFD simulations. That being said, I do get to use a variety of solvers to test any issues that are reported by our customers. When I have to postprocess data or look at our grids and solutions simultaneously, I’ll resort to using either Tecplot or ParaView.

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

Since I’m working on assembling a grid for the DrivAer model proposed by the Institute of Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics at the Technische Universität München, I’ve been reading Experimental and Numerical Investigation of the DrivAer Model by Angelina Heft.

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

I will bring the work I’ve been doing with the DrivAer model to the 10th OpenFOAM Workshop to be held this summer in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Tell us about what you do when you’re not generating meshes?

When I’m not generating grids I’m taking care of my kids. Beyond that, it’s church, exercise, and woodworking in that order.

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

In Fort Worth, Texas de Brazil. Moving south, in Houston, Tango & Malbec. In Buenos Aires, Argentina, my home country, I’d pick Los Inmortales. I like a good slow cooked well done steak…not burned…slow cooked.

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This Week in CFD

Your lucky Friday the 13th Edition

News

The Case for STEAM (In which A stands for Art)

“In this busy age of industry and greed, we are all liberally tarred with the stick of commercialism. It tinctures our acts and judgments, and all but blinds us to the fact that we have time for anything but business.”

Overwork. Lack of (or is it myth of?) work-life balance. We’ve all probably felt this way at one time or another. But take heed. These sentiments are from an article originally written in 1910.

Over a century ago. What’s old is new again. The more things change the more they stay the same. Makes one wonder how we make any progress at all. Or probably more accurately, we should take a broader, more reasoned view of popular issues du jour. [Millennials anyone?]

What was the original author’s point? “In the foregoing I have sought to point out that the engineer’s inclinations and vocation cause him to ignore the creations generalized under the name of art; that such ignorance deprives him not only of a vast pleasure, but a positive benefit; and that he actually needs this benefit in his daily work.” [Ladies, please pardon the pronouns; I simply cut and paste. Take into account the vintage.]

Presented for your “vast pleasure and positive benefit” is a Ding Yi painting from his solo exhibition Ivory Black at ShangART Singapore. Some insight is provided by Daily Serving (where I first encountered Yi’s work): “Stripped of intellectual backwash, Ding’s canvases are simply cleverly interwoven threads of pure color, a sublime configuration of grids and crosses in which subject and object can lose themselves.”

Ding Yi, Appearance of Crosses 2013-3.

Ding Yi, Appearance of Crosses 2013-3.

P.S. If you prefer more science in your art/science sandwich, see Scientific American’s SciArt Week.

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Movies Retitled for CFD

A couple of weeks ago in advance of the Academy Awards TV broadcast we had some fun on Twitter by tweaking movie titles to give them a CFD theme and then tweeting them with the hashtag #CFDmovies.

Before they all get lost to the ether, here they are – sorted alphabetically and without attribution. To everyone who played along – and there were many of you – thanks.

  • 12 Angry Users
  • 12 Years a Grad Student
  • 39 Backward Facing Steps
  • 50 First Order Approximations
  • 500 Days of Summer Compute Time
  • A Beautiful Mesh
  • A DNS is Forever
  • A Fistful of DNS
  • A Histogram of Violence
  • A SIMPLE Plan
  • A View to a Kill Job
  • All Quiet on the Advancing Front
  • An Outsourcing to India
  • Big Hero HEX
  • Big Trouble in Little Skewed Cells
  • Boris Gudonov Solver
  • Burn After Reading the Solver Documentation
  • Cloud Computing Atlas
  • Converged in 60 Seconds
  • Convergent
  • Das Reboot
  • Death of a Software Salesman
  • Despicable Mesh
  • Divergence Now
  • E.T. – The Equations of Turbulence
  • Fluids Rush In
  • For a Few Iterations More
  • For Whom the Pay-as-You-Go License Tolls
  • Forrest GRUMMP
  • Frank White and the One Seventh Power Boundary Layer
  • Gone with the Upwind
  • Grid Lola Grid
  • Hang ‘Em High Order Solution
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Grids
  • How To Train Your User
  • Hustle and Flow Simulation
  • Jacobian The Liar
  • Jacobian’s Ladder
  • Jonah Hex
  • King van Leer
  • M is for Modeling
  • Magnetohydrodynamic Force
  • Mesh Independence Day
  • Mesher Without a Hex
  • Meshing the Impossible
  • Meshless Love
  • Miracle on Von Karman Vortex Street
  • No Convergence for Old Men
  • Of Mice and Menus
  • Princess Monotonic
  • Pulp Skin Friction
  • Solution is About To Converge
  • Some Like it High Order
  • The Design Lead Who Knew Too Much
  • The French Interblock Connection
  • The Good, The Bad, and The Inaccurate
  • The HEX BLOCK Movie
  • The Identity Matrix
  • The K-Omega Man
  • The Matrix – Renumbered
  • The Mesh-ix
  • The Silence of the Lambda Shock
  • The Solution That Wasn’t There
  • The Wizard of AUSM
  • There’s No Business Like Flow Business
  • To Converge or Converge Not
  • To Kill a Matrix Multiply
  • Trading Laplace’s
  • Twelve Mesh Monkeys
  • Under-Relaxation: Rise of The LES
  • V for Validation
  • Waiting for Gudonov
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This Week in CFD

Events

Software

  • I recall posting about ASCII fluid dynamics before but this video has to be seen for the subject to be fully appreciated.
  • The Khronos Group released OpenCL 2.1, the standard for cross platform parallel computing.
  • In Code_Saturne news…

CFD in the News

Tweet an image to @Lowpolybot and get back a polygonized version. Click image for instructions. (I mentioned this site a while back but am only now getting around to playing with it.)

Tweet an image to @Lowpolybot and get back a polygonized version. Click image for instructions. (I mentioned this site a while back but am only now getting around to playing with it.)

  • Honda Motorsports applied CFD to the external aerodynamic styling of the Honda Civic Type-R.
  • The University of Exeter has an opening for a PhD Studentship in CFD.
  • NZ Aerosports is using CFD to design parachutes.
  • Bentley Team Dyson Racing used CFD to design their Continental GT3 for this season’s events.
  • CFD researcher Dr. Ramesh Agarwal (Washington Univ. St. Louis) will receive the 2015 SAE International Medal of Honor at April’s SAE Congress in Detroit.

Errata

In last week’s post I mangled the attribution of a video showing a FLOW-3D simulation performed by XC Engineering for a Royal Enfield Gear Box. Here is a link to the correct video.

More Interior Decorating

I don’t know where this is nor how it was created but I do know I want to paint our office like this.

This is either an immersive visualization environment for grids or the best interior decorating ever. Click image for source.

This is either an immersive visualization environment for grids or the best interior decorating ever. Click image for source.

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This Week in CFD

Greetings from snowy and icy Fort Worth, Texas.

Software

  • Teplot Chorus 2015 Release 1 was launched and offers order of magnitude reductions in processing time due to incorporation of the company’s SZL technology.
  • CD-adapco launched STAR-CCM+ v10.02, a major new release including enhanced interaction with CAD, an improved results viewer, and mesh refinement for wakes.
  • DHCAE Tools launched the CastNet v4 GUI framework for OpenFOAM.
  • ANSYS Fluent 16.0 and FieldView are now compatible at the HPC parallel level.

Events

News

Meshing

The new overset Examine diagnostic in Pointwise shows fringe/donor volume ratio in this example of an aircraft wing. See link below.

The new overset Examine diagnostic in Pointwise shows fringe/donor volume ratio in this example of an aircraft wing. See link below.

Applications

  • TimkenSteel is using ANSYS’ CFD software to simulate heat treating.
  • CFD was used to aid the design of an airship.
  • Autodesk Labs released an update (freely available) to Project Memento, their toolset for manipulating meshes for digital fabrication.
flow3d-gear-box

CFD Simulation of a Royal Enfield Gear Box with FLOW-3D. Simulation performed by XC Engineering. Click image for video.

 

The Cloud

  • OnShape’s Jon Hirschtick continues to get a lot of press [deservedly so] as the company continues to talk more and more about their new approach to cloud-based CAD which promises no installs, no downloads, use on any device, and ease of use. From this article I infer that “ease of use” refers to installation, license management, and maintenance of the software, not necessarily how easy it is to make the software do things. Which is enlightening because I don’t see any reason why cloud-based software should necessarily be any easier to use than desktop software. Part 2 of the article is here.
  • Has anyone tried MyCadbox for online viewing of your CAD models? It’s currently in beta with 7 days of free use.
  • And for simulation in the cloud there’s SimForDesign.

Computing

  • Computers need not be all about integrated circuits. In what might be an interesting parallel for CFD, some day you might be using a fluidic computer with bubble logic. Or what about ternary instead of binary logic? Read more about unconventional computing concepts.
  • But if you prefer your computers to be all electrical, consider a future in which transistors are made from single-atom-thick layer of silicene. [From our friends at the Univ. of Texas.]
  • Here’s a video on how the European DEEP-ER project is working toward exascale computing.

Meshing Has Always Been a Bridge

Londoners may soon experience a highly faceted structure if the entries in the Nine Elms to Pimlico Bridge Competition are any indication. I realize that many bridge structures have certain faceted aspects, but some of these designs including the ones illustrated below are truly mesh-like. Click through to the gallery to see all the entries.

1472189_orig

9762776_origentry10

Bonus: Computer simulations prove the optimal length of eyelashes (to keep dirt out of the eye) is one-third the width of the eye.

Update: The caption for the image of the video by XC Engineering showing their FLOW-3D solution for a gear box was inadvertently left off the original post. This omission was corrected on 19 Mar 2015.

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