This Week in CFD

Special “Black Friday” Edition


  • Exa announced a patent-pending methodology for identifying noise sources in aeroacoustic simulations.
  • MSC Software released Marc 2015 for non-linear FEA simulations.
  • From Warsaw comes QuickerSim, a CFD consultancy and makers of the CFD Toolbox for MATLAB.
  • Symscape writes about why integrated meshing is a good thing.
  • FEA for All delves into the topic of proper mesh density.
  • Desktop Engineering shares information on Altair’s SimLab 14.0.
Thanks to Mentor Graphics for the simulated turkey roasting for Thanksgiving. Click image for article.

Thanks to Mentor Graphics for the simulated turkey roasting for Thanksgiving. Click image for article.


  • IDC makes a few predictions about changes coming to software licensing in 2016 and #4 caught my eye: at least 3 software providers will announce their intent to end perpetual licensing. [You’ve read here before “Software licensing models have to change.” Is this it?]
  • A recording of Flow Science’s recent webinar What’s New in FLOW-3D v11.1 is available online for you to watch. (Registration required.)

Would a Programmer by Any Other Name Smell as Sweet?

Earlier this month, an article in The Atlantic cause a bit of a stir when it asked programmers to stop calling themselves engineers. The essence of their argument as I understand it is that engineering is a profession built upon well-founded principles so as to properly serve the public trust. While reading the article I was reminded of the old joke that if engineers designed and constructed buildings the way programmers design and build programs, we’d all be living in caves.

In rebuttal, the folks at GrabCAD wrote Software Engineering is Engineering. Their argument as far as I can tell is that engineering is a systematic approach to design that focuses on practicality, safety, and resiliency. (Actually, there is debate within academia about exactly what software engineering is and implies.)

It’s pretty clear to me that The Atlantic is talking about engineer as a noun while GrabCAD is talking about engineer as a verb. (In fact, that distinction is made somewhere in one of the articles.) Keeping in mind that I’m an engineer by education (admitted bias), it’s my opinion that you shouldn’t have a job title of engineer unless you’ve graduated from an ABET-accredited engineering program. Whether or not you’re a licensed professional engineer (PE) takes being an engineer to a new level and we could debate all day whether all engineers could, should, or must be licensed as PEs.

GrabCAD’s counter argument that a Facebook outage is no big deal compared to a building collapse strains credibility. After all, if Facebook with their resources can’t get this programming thing right, who can? But citing Facebook is also a bit of a red herring; how about hackable medical devices like pacemakers? How much engineering do you want in those?

Is it possible to be a good programmer without an engineering degree? Certainly. Is it possible to be a competent programmer by working within an engineered process? Yes. Can you be an engineer and a lousy programmer? Indeed you can.

But you’re not an engineer without the degree. And that’s not a value judgement relative to programmers and software developers.  After all, a computer scientist isn’t an engineer either.

And don’t get me started on “Sanitation Engineers.”

"HVAC Volume visualization of flow-induced noise sources using Exa PowerACOUSTICS' patent-pending FIND module." Image from Global News Wire. See link above.

“HVAC Volume visualization of flow-induced noise sources using Exa PowerACOUSTICS’ patent-pending FIND module.” Image from Global News Wire. See link above.

Gallery of Fluid Motion 2015

From the recently concluded 2015 meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics meeting comes this video collection of the Gallery of Fluid Motion, 77 brief videos to which you can geek out and git yer flow on.

One that caught my eye is illustrated below, a computational laboratory for the study of transitional and turbulent boundary layers by Jin Lee at Johns Hopkins.

Screen capture from Jin Lee's video of a computational boundary layer lab. Click image for video.

Screen capture from Jin Lee’s video of a computational boundary layer lab. Click image for video.

But I really enjoyed A Day in the Life of a Fluid Dynamicist from Reckinger, Reckinger, and Owkes at Montana State and Rua from Fairfield. Nicely done. [I hope you got interviewed by FYFD while at APS DFD because I think people will want to learn more about you all.]

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I’m Stephanie Moyes and This Is How I Mesh

Stephanie Moyes, Web Programmer on the Information Technology Team.

Stephanie Moyes, Web Programmer on the Information Technology Team.

If you have been following our This Is How I Mesh Series you may have noticed that there are quite a few of us at Pointwise that don’t actually mesh. I am definitely one of those people. Not that I wouldn’t like to someday, it’s just not where my career has led me. It has, however, led me to be the web designer and developer here at Pointwise.

I was born in the Rose Capital of the World, Tyler, Texas, and have spent most of my life after in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. In my pre-adult life I was involved in a variety of school activities that varied from playing the bassoon to being the shortest player on the basketball team at my junior high (I have the terrible pictures to prove it), and being in my high school marching band as a member of the colorguard. I found a way to take just about every artistic type class I could (except for art for some reason) including textile design, photography, video production, and music theory.

I entered community college with no idea what I was doing, what career choices I had, or how college even worked. This led to a variety of jobs before I decided web design was what I wanted to be doing with my life. Before Pointwise I was a secretary, warehouse grunt, legal secretary, office manager, screen printer, sign maker, marketing assistant, and marketing coordinator. While working and going to school I also started two small businesses focusing on handmade clothing and jewelry. There were many years you could find me at many local craft fairs every year. This is where I initially got my feet wet learning all things web. Finally, in August 2013, after 10 years of community college, I completed my Associate’s Degree. This was about the time I decided I wanted to exclusively do web work and thankfully I am one of those rare unicorn types that can do art as well as code.

Oddly enough, my real passion lies in Earth Science. Due to my track record, I have not completely ruled out eventually being a scientist.

  • Location: Fort Worth, Texas
  • Current position: Web Programmer
  • Current computer: Windows 8.1, Intel® Core™ i7-4790 CPU @ 3.60GHZ, 8 GB RAM
  • One word that best describes how you work: Efficiently

What software or tools do you use every day?

Adobe Dreamweaver and Vim are probably the two most common as that is where I edit most of my web code. Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop are practically always open too in case I need to edit an image or create a new button for something. I use Microsoft Outlook, Excel and Word pretty often for some of the standard office stuff. When it comes time to upload files from our test web server to the site you fine people get to see, I typically use PuTTY or Cygwin. Google Chrome is my default web browser, but Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari tend to come in to play when I need to review the appearance of certain parts of our website. I also use Perforce for version control and it stays open almost constantly.

What does your workspace look like?

Stephanie's current workspace.

Stephanie’s current workspace.

I share the IT office with Randy Spencer and Chris Jobe and with that comes a daily assortment of Dad Jokes. As you can see, I have far more desk space than I actually need so I’ve been working on filling it up with some of my favorite things; Legos and cats. If you look close enough you will also see some relics from my childhood in the form of Lisa Frank notebooks. There is also a growing collection of C3P0 figures and miscellaneous other tchotchkes that have been presents from my wonderful coworkers.

What are you currently working on?

I’m actually working on a pretty major project for the release V18, I’m just not allowed to talk about it yet. What I can say is the Pointwise website will soon be seeing many changes in an effort to make it more user friendly.

What would you say is your specialty at Pointwise?

I would say my specialty is keeping our website current and functioning properly. We have so many events going on most of the time that it requires frequent updates.

Any tips, tricks, or advice for our users?

One tip I have for our users would be to check out our extensive library of meshing resources. We have something for just about every type of learner and try to provide new content as often as possible. In addition to finding videos in the Let’s Talk Meshing section of our website, you can also visit our YouTube channel and find all of our Tutorial Tuesday videos which provide quick solutions for some of the most common Pointwise related questions.

For those of you that prefer written instructions, we also have a DIY page full of step-by-step instructions on how to do various tasks.

What project are you most proud of and why?

Well considering I have only been at Pointwise since February I’d have to say the project I’m most proud of is also the only large one that I’ve completed; re-designing The Connector Newsletter. This was the first project of many to come that will modernize the Pointwise website. This re-design made The Connector easier to read through and incorporates features that were not in the previous issues like related articles and more in-article navigation. The font size was increased to make it easier to read on different screen sizes and we replaced the multiple text links that used to come with every issue with buttons so you can find what you are looking for much quicker.

Have you recently read any books or articles we should know about?

Unfortunately, I just don’t have time to read as much as I would like to anymore. I’ve been working my way through Smashing Book 5 – Real Life Responsive Web Design. Web design and development is continually changing and this book includes many tips for staying current and planning your web projects.

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

I don’t have any more planned for this year but I did attend a few things of interest earlier in the year. First was a one day course presented by Edward Tufte titled Presenting Data and Information. As you can tell from the title, this course covers various ways of presenting data in many different situations. Not long after that, I attended the AIAA Aviation conference along with most of the Pointwise staff. Most recently, I attended SpiceWorld 2015 which contrary to its name, has absolutely nothing to do with the Spice Girls. Disappointing, I know. SpiceWorld is an information technology (IT) convention that is hosted by Spiceworks, a tool we use for IT tickets, network monitoring and the like. This was my first time attending and was able to attend some great marketing workshops, learn about the latest IT technology and software, and they even had a Star Wars theme for the entire event. I was also one of the lucky ones who won some prizes. I’m now the proud owner of an UltraSaber Lightsaber and a home security camera.

What do you do when you’re not surrounded by engineers making meshes?

I typically end up doing more work. I’m not very good at doing nothing (some call it relaxing) and I have a fairly steady flow of freelance work that comes my way that includes everything from creating a website for someone, creating art for various print items and signage, and even doing photography. When I’m not doing that I’m usually playing video games, going to new places around town, or running a blog about my cats and my 27 year old three-toed box turtle called Cats of Anarchy. You can also catch me a few times a year playing fiddle with my band, Crash on the Barrelhead.

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

I’d like to put some sort of inspirational quote here from some esteemed individual, but I just don’t have anything. I’ve actually been given a lot of terrible advice in my lifetime and I find that if I listen to my own instincts I tend to end up making the right decision.

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

That’s a hard one because I really, really like food. Thankfully, Fort Worth offers a large variety of places including one of my favorites, Piranha Killer Sushi.

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Happy Thanksmeshing

Today is the day we here in the U.S. of A. traditionally set aside to take stock of the good things in our lives and contemplate the essence of gratitude and good fortune.

Oddly, we do this by consuming a gluttonous amount of food and drink and screaming obscenities at our least favorite players in the litany of football games on TV.

As someone who’s worked in the field mesh generation for nearly 30 years, there are a few special things I’d like to give thanks for (before everyone else in the house wakes up and wants to know why I’m hiding in my office).

Things For Which Only a Mesher Would be Thankful

  1. A CAD file that can imported without failures.
  2. CAD models that are easier to repair than recreate from scratch.
  3. Files in the right format that I don’t have to translate.
  4. Meshing guidelines that help me generate something good, not just something that’s not bad.
  5. Meshing guidelines of any kind. (Throw us a bone, people.)
  6. A fully and accurately documented flow solver file format. (“Use the source, Luke” works only in movies.)
  7. 2D, because making things work in 3D is not an easy extension.
  8. CFD visualizations, because that’s when we know the mesh worked.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ~Marcel Proust

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VINAS Users Conference 2015: Perspectives from Japan

During this past October, I had the pleasure of joining the Pointwise team on a trip to Japan for the 2015 VINAS User Group Meeting. VINAS (Visual Integration & Numerical Analysis Systems) is a Japanese company specializing in the distribution and support of numerous CAE and CFD products, including the Pointwise meshing software. At the conference, I was invited to present our open-source SU2 suite for CFD analysis and design (, which was a great opportunity to reach a new audience.

The trip began in Osaka and ended in Tokyo. In between, I tried to maximize my interactions with Japanese food, culture, and of course, the people. Only an engineer would think of a trip like this as an optimization problem.

Getting Started in Osaka and Kyoto

Before leaving the US, many people encouraged me to explore and enjoy the food. Having been raised in the middle of the US away from the coasts, I was not well-versed in the seafood-heavy fare that I was about to find in Japan. However, upon arrival, I planned to completely immerse myself in the food. This meant two things:

  1. I had to up my chopstick game quickly.
  2. I wanted to tackle anything made available to me, including so called “challenge” foods for westerners.

I had an easy warmup with the chopsticks on some gyoza, which were relatively easy to grip with the sticks. Within a few hours, I was “immersing myself” into some fresh octopus. By the end of the week, I had sampled many of the well-known dishes: fresh sushi of all sorts, ramen, udon, tonkatsu, unagi, shabu shabu, and others. I’ll be having more Japanese food locally now with hopes of recapturing the magic and keeping up my chopstick skills.


A beautiful example of the high quality presentation that you can see in Japanese meals.

The dining experience brings out the amazing attention to detail that I encountered throughout Japanese culture. Presentation and ceremony play leading roles right alongside taste. Meals typically arrive in many small portions, each having its own vessel with distinct decoration and purpose. Shared dishes and rituals, such as refilling your neighbor’s glass when empty, really enhanced group dining.

One recurring trend that I had read about beforehand, but couldn’t quite appreciate until I experienced it, was the blending of old and new culture in Japan. I was repeatedly (and pleasantly) surprised when our group would fight through traffic or crowds on busy city streets only to have the entire hustle and bustle peel away within steps to leave us in an ancient shrine or temple. It was interesting to learn that more emphasis is placed on the location of the temple/shrine rather than on man-made structures or buildings sitting on it, which often come down and are rebuilt over time. As one might expect, these sites specialize in peaceful atmosphere and natural beauty.


Visiting Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion) in Kyoto.

Other impressions from the Osaka / Kyoto area:

  • I enjoyed the mythology behind the temples and shrines. Themes emerged around doors / paths / choices, fortunes or wish granting, and dedicating sacred places after specific actions, often tied to animals.
  • Vertical space is leveraged more and differently than in the US. Buildings often unfold like labyrinths in unexpected ways with different levels.
  • History and landmarks are old on a scale that we don’t often encounter in the US. For instance, the 400th anniversary of the war between the Toyotomi and Tokugawa clans was being recognized during our visit to Osaka Castle.

The first portion of the journey came to a close with a high-speed train ride to Tokyo on the Shinkansen line. Naturally, I went to the front of the train immediately and thought about how I would set up the aerodynamic shape optimization problem in SU2 for designing the outer mold line of the train’s nose and body.


The nose of a bullet train on the Shinkansen line.

Visiting JAXA Chofu

After arriving in Tokyo, but before the start of the conference, we made a visit to the JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Chofu research center, where the focus is on research and technology for aviation. During this visit, we met with the current developers of FaSTAR, an unstructured CFD code created at JAXA. We exchanged presentations on our strategies for solver development as well as our current and future directions.

While FaSTAR and SU2 contain quite a few similar features and methods, we have differing approaches in our development. SU2 is an open-source code, while FaSTAR is not, and this has important implications for our priorities as developers.

For example, our philosophies differ when it comes to flexibility and performance. In SU2, we deliberately favor in-house solutions over external libraries (when we can) and leverage object-oriented programming in C++ so that the code is easy for the community to understand, compile on many architectures, and modify. This is typically at odds with performance, and as a result, we have put in extra effort as a development team to maintain high performance with SU2. In contrast, the FaSTAR team has prioritized speed above all else. In that regard, they have achieved some impressive results in reducing the time-to-solution of Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) calculations around realistic applications down to minutes on their latest supercomputing hardware (for engineering accuracy).


Inside the JAXA visitor center with Yasuhiko Fujikawa (VINAS, left) and Rick Matus (Pointwise, right).

We also discussed high-performance computing (HPC) in general and our strategies for attaining scalable, high performance with the codes. Topics included emerging hardware architectures, how new architectures are affecting their parallel programming models, and where they see things going in Japan given recent upgrades to their HPC system (JSS2).

Similar to the current trend in the US, they are pursuing hybrid programming models to unlock the multiple levels of parallelism on emerging systems. We are both investigating the so-called “MPI + X” model, where MPI is used for coarse-grain parallelism across distributed memory systems while something else (the “X”) is used to achieve fine-grain parallelism within a single compute node (threading and/or SIMD).

Having spent some time at our NASA centers in the US, I should also mention that I felt very at home on the JAXA Chofu campus. If I squinted hard enough, I could imagine it as NASA Langley or Ames given the similar layout and style to the buildings.

VINAS UGM in Tokyo

The 2015 VINAS Users Conference was held in the Tokyo Conference Center Shinagawa. The overall themes of the conference were open-source CFD solvers (Day 1), pre- and post-processing for CFD (Day 1), turbomachinery design and optimization (Day 2), and HPC cloud computing and high speed calculation (Day 2). I was very impressed with the professionalism with which the conference was executed, from the live translation of talks from English to Japanese, all the way down to the subtle touches like special lighting during the introduction of speakers.

Intelligent Light’s Yves-Marie Lefebvre showed off some features from the new FieldView version 16 ( early in the day. Two items that particularly intrigued me are their ability to export into 3D PDF format and their free XDBview software. It was my first exposure to 3D PDF, and it looks to be particularly useful when sharing and communicating results for CFD. Sometimes a quick pan and/or rotate around a 3D solution gets the message across when a series of flat images and words are failing (or, at best, taking much longer). I also noted that Boeing is part of the consortium of companies supporting the development and growth of 3D PDF.


A partial shot of the VINAS UGM agenda for Day 1.

Rick Matus from Pointwise teased a number of features from the upcoming version 18 of their flagship software product along with several examples of the meshing package at work. As a developer of an unstructured CFD solver, I eagerly await the unstructured quad or quad dominant surface meshing coming in Pointwise V18. Couple that with T-Rex for automatically generating boundary layer-resolving meshes, and you might just get the best of both worlds: hex cells for accuracy where you need it most while maintaining efficient unstructured mesh construction around complex geometries.

Open-source software played a prominent role in the first day of the conference. After giving an overview of how the open-source SU2 suite can be used for CFD analysis and design optimization, I listened intently to back-to-back presentations by ENGYS’ Paulo Geremia on the HELYX software suite. HELYX is package for CFD design and optimization that is built around the open-source OpenFOAM library ( The presence of efficient adjoint-based methods for gradient-based optimization within HELYX (similar to methods we develop and apply within SU2) was particularly noteworthy for me.


Presenting the open-source SU2 suite and several design applications at the VINAS UGM 2015.

Talks by Torbjörn Larsson and Pierre-Jean Tardy offered an insider’s look at the cutting-edge engineering work within the Formula 1 industry. Strict F1 rules and regulations dictate how teams spend their time and energy in search of performance improvements. I have often heard about the heavy use of CFD throughout the sport, but the integration of CFD into their design processes went much deeper than I expected.

The full program for the VINAS Users Conference can be found here:

Elsewhere in the Tokyo Area

Despite its large size and high population density (or perhaps made necessary because of it), Tokyo exhibits serious efficiency in its operation. You can sense the ebb and flow all around you in the sounds of hundreds of footsteps in the corridor of the train station or the sight of hundreds of people queueing up near the massive crosswalks (Shibuya Crossing being the most obvious example). The train system was impressive, and its vast web makes it easy to get just about anywhere around Tokyo with the combination of a train ride and a short walk. By the end of the week, even a foreigner like myself had a decent grip on the different lines and stations and felt comfortable getting around town.

By the way, the citizens of Tokyo take the commute mentioned above in style. Everywhere I looked, I saw well-tailored suits and dresses, stylish jackets and sweaters, and eye-catching accessories. This was yet another example of the attention to detail that I found throughout Japan.

A few additional items that struck me in and around Tokyo:

  • The vast open spaces surrounding the Imperial Palace, including patches of grass so fine and bright that they looked like a layer of green fog covering the ground.
  • The architecture of the buildings in the Ginza shopping district. It feels like the buildings themselves are competing to be noticed by including unique design elements, such as the irregular window pattern on the Mikimoto building.
  • The fascinating array of seafood on display at the Tsukiji fish market in all manner of colors, shapes, and sizes.


Overall, this trip had a little bit of everything, including unforgettable food, sights, and excellent technical content. I left with a great impression of Japan and its friendly people, and I am looking forward to my next visit.

I enjoyed meeting many new folks in the solver and visualization industries, and I hope that I have passed along some of our enthusiasm for open-source solvers through my presentation on SU2.

Lastly, I would like to thank Yasuhiko Fujikawa and his entire team at VINAS for being wonderful hosts and Heather McCoy, Rick Matus, and Carolyn Woeber from Pointwise for all of their time and energy spent showing me their favorite places in Japan and making me feel at home in a new place.

Disclaimer: The opinions above are entirely my own and not those of VINAS or Pointwise. I would also like to note that my travel expenses for attending the conference were generously covered by both companies. 

Dr. Thomas D. Economon is a Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford University, where he received MS and PhD degrees in the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics. He holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. His research interests include computational fluid dynamics, optimal shape design via adjoint-based methods, and high performance computing. He serves as the co-lead developer of the open-source SU2 CFD suite.

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This Week in CFD


  • simulationHub is a new, cloud-based CFD application.
  • Materialise released Magics20 for preparing geometry for 3D printing.
  • CCE released free CAD viewer, EnSuite-View.
  • FFT released Actran 16 with several new features for aeroacoustic simulations.
  • Beta CAE launched v16.1.0 of their software suite including ANSA for preprocessing.
  • Comet Solutions launched Cloud-based SimApps, expertly tailored simulation applications.
  • COMSOL Multiphysics 5.2 was released with updates across its entire range of functionality.
  • ParaView is enhancing their remote visualization capabilities through a partnership with NICE’s Desktop Cloud Visualization.
  • Autodesk launched a beta program for cloud-based 3D design with Fusion-360 in the browser.

Pointwise News & Updates

  • Our next webinar on 08 December will be on the topic of overset grid generation and flow simulation using Pointwise, Suggar++, and Caelus.
  • You can see how Pointwise interacts with OpenVSP for conceptual design in a pre-recorded webcast.
  • Download the winning image from our desktop wallpaper contest (see image below).
  • Come visit with us next week at the APS DFD meeting in Boston.
Tessa Uroić's winning image of a mesh for a Formula 1 tire. See link above.

Tessa Uroić’s winning image of a mesh for a Formula 1 tire. See link above.

Hardware and Applications

CD-adapco simulation of an offshore drilling rig. Image from Scientific Computing. See link above.

CD-adapco simulation of an offshore drilling rig. Image from Scientific Computing. See link above.

Biz, Event, Job

The Movement of Air

What does modern dance have to do with fluid dynamics? I asked myself the same question before watching this video by Adrien M / Claire B called The Movement of Air in which three dancers interact with projections of fluids in motion and even a few grids.

What’s notable is that the animations aren’t pre-recorded; they respond in real-time to the dancer’s movements. (As first seen on Colossal.)

The Movement of Air, dance performance by Adrien M and Claire B. Screen capture from a video on vimeo. See link above.

The Movement of Air, dance performance by Adrien M and Claire B. Screen capture from a video on vimeo. See link above.

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The Connector Newsletter for Nov/Dec 2015


High Fidelity Overset Structured Mesh Generation for Marine Hydrokinetic Devices


Researchers at The Pennsylvania State University used the overset grid assembly tools in Pointwise to generate high-quality structured overset meshes for analysis of a horizontal axis water turbine. The flexibility offered by overset grids made it easy for them to add higher resolution grid blocks to resolve regions with high flow gradients like the turbine blade tips, wakes and tip vortices. This resulted in good agreement with experimental data even for flow details like the interaction between blade wakes and the support tower. (more)

Learn Advanced Pointwise Techniques Online


In 2016 Pointwise will begin offering online advanced training courses on structured meshing and Glyph scripting. The structured meshing course shows how to choose the best grid topology for difficult cases and how to improve grid quality when problems are found. The Glyph scripting course covers how to organize large, complex geometry and grid models and techniques for controlling the structured grid elliptic and unstructured grid T-Rex (anisotropic tetrahedral extrusion) solvers. (more)

Controlling Localized Element Size Gradation in an Unstructured Mesh


At Pointwise, we continuously work on ways to make meshing faster, easier, and higher quality. That could be through increased automation, additional control over the mesh, or general meshing enhancements. In this article, we discuss the technical basis for a new feature we are working on for our next major release, Pointwise V18. Tetrahedral sources, paired with a new rapid 3-D shape creation tool, will give you more control over tetrahedron sizes on the interior of a volume with fewer constraints than baffles. (more)

Meshing the 24th IMR Fender® Jazzmaster Guitar and the Abdominal Atlas


Last month several Pointwise engineers attended the 24th International Meshing Roundtable (IMR) held in Austin, Texas. We brought two grids generated for two benchmark geometries provided by the IMR steering committee. The grids were made by Carolyn Woeber, Travis Carrigan, and myself. We were pleased to hear that the grids were recognized both for their technical merit and striking visuals – they had won the Meshing Contest award. (more)

Recent News and Upcoming Events


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This Week in CFD

Lucky Friday the 13th Edition

Contests, Competitions, and Awards

The winner of CD-adapco's 2016 Calendar Contest. Image from CD-adapco. See link above.

The winner of CD-adapco’s 2016 Calendar Competition. Image from CD-adapco. See link above.


  • CEI released EnSight 10.1.6(a) including primarily bug fixes but also some new features.
  • Daat Research released Coolit v15.
  • Onshape asks six rhetorical questions that assess whether you’re ready for full-cloud [First reference to degrees of cloud I’ve run across. Partly cloudy?] CAD. “#2 Do I need an affordable alternative to desktop CAD’s many expenses?”
  • NUMECA’s FINE CFD suite is now available in the cloud via UberCloud’s application software containers.
  • Flow Science released FLOW-3D v11.1 with a plethora of new features including active simulation control. There will be a webinar on 19 November to explain it all.
  • EvoluteTools T.MAP beta, a mesh parametrization plugin for Rhino, is now available and includes the ability to make quad, tri, and texture-mapped, curvature aligned meshes (see image below).
  • CD-adapco released DARS v2.12 for chemistry-based combustion.
  • ParaView 5.0.0-RC1 is now available for you to download and use for your CFD visualizations. This new release several rendering improvement including an alpha implementation of a ray tracing package (see image below).
  • IronCAD introduced MPIC, an integrated multi-physics simulation package.
  • Get a sneak peek at what’s coming in SpaceClaim 2016.
Screen shot of  OSPray ray-tracing in the latest release of ParaView. Image from Kitware. See link above.

Screen shot of OSPray ray-tracing in the latest release of ParaView. Image from Kitware. See link above.

Pointwise News

  • You can download Tessa Uroic’s winning entry from Pointwise’s Wallpaper Contest for decorating your computer.
  • We’re going to be in Stuttgart next week hosting our first Let’s Talk Meshing Workshop at the University of Stuttgart. And you have a couple of hours left before registration closes.
  • The next issue of our The Connector newsletter is due to be published next week. Stay tuned.


ANSYS CFD simulation of lithium-ion batteries. Image from ANSYS. Click image for article.

ANSYS CFD simulation of lithium-ion batteries. Image from ANSYS. Click image for article.

  • has a nice overview of meshing and other features of Altair’s SimLab 14.
  • Take 11 minutes to watch A Universe of Triangles.
  • Our friends at ANSYS continue to grow in terms of revenue as reported by Monica Schnitger. In Q3, the company’s software garnered $140 million (flat year/year) while service and maintenance brought in $98 million. For 2016 the company looks to be breaking through the $1 billion ceiling, a forecast growth of 9%.
  • COMSOL shares info about swept meshes.
  • SolidNotes shares info about mesh refinement in SolidWorks Flow Simulation 2016.
  • PDFs and video content from this past June’s FUN3D workshop are available for download.

Software, Part 2

A mesh from the EvoluteTools T.MAP beta plugin for Rhino. Image from Evolute. See link above.

A mesh from the EvoluteTools T.MAP beta plugin for Rhino. Image from Evolute. See link above.


The Grid and the Unaided Eye

Artist Mark Francis’ paintings are motivated by revelatory images from modern science; both microscopic and astronomic. In other words, things the unaided human eye cannot see.  In doing so, he creates visual landscapes that allow us to explore pattern and rhythm in a way that touches both on abstract painting’s history and science’s future.

Mark Francis, ECLIPSE-II, 2009

Mark Francis, ECLIPSE-II, 2009

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