The Connector Newsletter for 2017 Q2

The 2017 2nd quarter issue of our The Connector newsletter is now available on our website at This issue features articles on


Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

This Week in CFD

Good Reading


Read about how EXN/Aero was used to simulate the ONERA M6 wing at transonic conditions at a cost of $324.

Applications & News

  • Capvidia’s FlowVision CFD solver is being used to simulate blood flow in Dassault Systemes’ Living Heart Project.
  • You’ll soon be able to access the supercomputing power of a Cray in the cloud.
  • DEVELOP3D interviewed the CEO of SimSolid and discussed how they are able to simulate complex parts without meshing. [You have no idea how hard it was for me to type those last two words.]
  • Is the “Superman tuck” the most aerodynamically optimal for cycling? [It certainly can’t be the most comfortable.] Read more from Symscape.
  • Congratulations to Daat, makers of the Coolit CFD software, on the 25th anniversary of the company’s founding.
  • Although the full article requires a subscription, Aviation Week included a head-scratcher in the title Wind Tunnels Have Future in Digital Age, Europeans Say [emphasis mine]. I’m fairly certain that’s not a Euro-centric viewpoint.

Comparison of temperatures from infrared imaging (left) and FloTHERM XT simulation results (right) for a tablet computer. Image from Read full article here.



  • SOLIDWORKS Education Edition 2017-2018 was launched with a slew of new capabilities.
  • RealFlow 10.1 was released, the most amazing result [to me] of which is a simulation of ground beef being cut.
  • CAESES 4.2.1 was released.
  • Applied CCM released Caelus v7.04.
  • ANSYS 18.1 was released with CFD improvements in transient flows, harmonic analysis, and improved visualization among other enhancements.
  • Altair released Flux 12.3 for EM simulation.
  • Here’s news about the CFD solver HiFUN, an unstructured CFD solver targeting aerospace applications [about which I only became aware recently].
  • What is the optimum number of compute cores for FEA?

ANSYS Fluent simulation of an impeller inside a reactor vessel. Image from a white paper by Xerox about scaling up CFD simulations. Read full article here

Algorithmic Art

One might think that it’s a weekly struggle to find mesh-related fine art but honestly, works that fascinate me pass through my inbox or web browser with great regularity. The most recent example is the work of Owen Schuh who wrote this about his algorithmic-centered work: “These functions bear the structure of life, but operate in the parallel world of the mind: a world of simulacra inhabited by numbers and abstract relationships.” To me, this rings true about mesh generation: its function is to provide structure on which the simulation of a fluid (life) can be performed yet it remains something completely abstract.

Shown below, Unfolding a Cube (onto a plane) looks like many meshes I’ve seen before the optimization steps are applied. I recommend you read Schuh’s statements on the Art 3 Gallery website (see link above).


Owen Schuh, Unfolding a Cube (onto a plane), 2017. Image from Art 3 Gallery. See link above.

Bonus: Northrop Grumman asks how you react when art and technology come together.

Double Bonus: We in CFD complain about geometry a lot. So why not try to make friends with geometry by playing with these animated Bezier curves?

Posted in Applications, Hardware, News, Software | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Graphics Improvements in Pointwise V18.0 R3

Pointwise Version 18.0 R3 was recently released with several graphics improvements among other new features. The most significant of these upgrades are:

  • Transparency (0-100%) is now an attribute that can be applied to the display of curve and surface entities.
  • Double precision graphics is now the default instead of single precision.
  • Users can now configure Pointwise so that joined connectors do not contain internal break points.

The new transparency display attribute has been applied to these guide vanes in the duct mesh from the 3rd AIAA Propulsion Aerodynamics Workshop.

Despite being primarily a maintenance release, V18.0 R3 includes over two dozen other new features that you can read about in The Connector and in our announcement.

Pointwise V18.0 R3 is available for immediate download from our website.



Posted in News, Software, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Subscribe Now For the New Issue of The Connector

We’re putting the finishing touches on the latest issue of our email newsletter, The Connector. You can subscribe now on our website and be one of the first to be notified by email when the new issue is published.



Posted in News, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

This Week in CFD

Now might be a time to touch all your header files and kickoff a “make” to rebuild your entire project because this is a LONG post, the result of letting things build-up for weeks.

Make FUN3D Run Faster

  • This may be the newsiest news item in the CFD world that I’ve seen in a while, meaning that I’ve never seen this done before. NASA’s FUN3D CFD code is the subject of two related, prize-offering challenges: The High Performance Fast Computing Challenge and the NASA High Performance Fast Computing Challenge Architecture. [Good luck remembering which is which.]
    • Both challenges are shooting for multiple order-of-magnitude run-time improvements in FUN3D on NASA SGI ICE cluster.
    • The HPFCC is an “ideation” challenge involving solver algorithm stuff. Top prize is $10,000.
    • The NASA HPFCC Architecture involves optimizing modules within FUN3D. Top prize is $15,000.
    • Important things to know: U.S. citizens only, Fortran.
  • I have not reached out to my FUN3D friends at NASA, but some online discussions have questioned whether it’s even possible to eek any more performance out of a mature code like FUN3D, whether there are any people outside NASA who know enough about Fortran and CFD to even attempt the challenge, and how the NASA folks will feel if someone comes back with a 100x improvement.



Screen capture from a video demonstration of XFlow CFD 2017’s new capabilities for heat transfer between air, oil, and solid. See link below.

  • 19 people generated meshes for the same aircraft using the same guidelines. More importantly, they’re all going to share their meshes and [IMO more importantly] describe the resources (labor, computer) required to generate them. Want to be there to hear the “compare and contrast?” Then register for and attend the 1st AIAA Geometry and Mesh Generation Workshop, 3-4 June in Denver prior to AIAA Aviation.
  • Just a reminder that you’ve still got a couple of weeks to submit your paper for this year’s International Meshing Roundtable. Papers are due 30 May and Research Notes are due 08 August.
  • The ASSESS Congress 2017 will be held in Potomac, MD on 1-3 November. This invitation-only event will delve into industry and product strategies that can vastly broaden the use of engineering simulation.
  • The 12th OpenFOAM Workshop is coming up later this summer at the University of Exeter in July.
  • This news would have been more helpful before the event rather than after, but at the GPU Technology Conference you could’ve brought your own data to explore with a GPU-powered version of ParaView.
  • CIMdata announced that Procter & Gamble’s director of modeling and simulation will deliver the keynote address at their June Product and Manufacturing Innovation Workshop.


  • OpenSBLI, written in Python, automatically generates C code from PDEs for numerical solution. As the name implies, the target application is Shock wave Boundary Layer Interaction using the compressible Navier-Stokes equations.
  • My visualization friends will have to help me grok exactly how this would be applicable to CFD but TTK is open-source, “topology toolkit” software for “topological data analysis in scientific visualization.” See image below.
  • CADfix v11 SP1 was released by ITI with updated native CAD interfaces and more.
  • Tecplot released big-data, performance, and other improvements in Tecplot 360 2017 R2.
  • XFlow CFD 2017 includes new capabilities for heat transfer and supersonic flows. See image above.

TTK, the topology toolkit, in action for an “uncertain starting vortex.” Image from TTK. See link above. [I applaud the use of ASCII art in their text output.]

Computers & Computing


A homemade, functional Cray-1a. Image from See link above.

Applications & More

  • Cambashi partnered with intrinSIM on the Cambashi CAE Observatory that shows 470 companies are contributing to a CAE simulation tools worldwide market of $5.4 billion. [Did you think either of those numbers was that large?]
  • Learn about challenges and best practices for simulation preprocessing in a recording of a webinar from late April: Solving the Bottlenecks of Simulation: Preprocessing.
  • Here’s a high-level (but detailed) overview of CFD in the wind power industry.
  • CHAM seeks a CAD and Software Development Engineer to work on their CFD plugin-in for Rhino, RhinoCFD.
  • In other Rhino news, Mesh2Surface 4.3 (reverse engineering plugin) was released.
  • See how to use midas NFX CFD to simulate the flow in a manifold.
  • Read how CFD is being used to simulate ship propellers including cavitation. See image below.
  • Tech Clarity is offering a free [and awkwardly titled] e-book on Adopting a New 3D CAD. Registration required. [I just downloaded it and will read it over the weekend because I’m wondering if the ideas could be genericized as “Adopting a New 3D <insert software type here>”.]

CFD simulation of a ship propeller. Image from The Maritime Executive. See link above.

Science to Art

Just so you don’t think I see only meshes everywhere, here’s the work of Jonathan Feldschuh who paints scientific simulation results. He writes about the digital approximations inherent in simulation results (i.e. mesh resolution, pixellated images) and paint’s fluid ability to interpolate and create an analog version of the same results. In other words, using a real fluid (paint) to represent a simulation of a real fluid.


Jonathan Feldschuh, Simulation of a SN1a blast interacting with a main sequence star (left), SN1a.1.01, acrylic on canvas, 2004 (right).

Bonus: Thanks to valued reader Joe, I can share with you the work of Frederico Diaz who used a RealFlow fluid simulation as the basis for his installation at Mass MOCA of Geometric Death Frequency-141.


Frederico Diaz, Geometric Death Frequency-141. See link above.

Posted in Applications, Events, Hardware, News, Software | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Pointwise and Envenio Join Forces on Demand

Pointwise, Inc. and Envenio have signed a co-licensing agreement to offer both products, Pointwise and EXN/Aero, on-demand, on HPC cloud-host Nimbix. This represents a step-change in the way CFD (computational fluid dynamics) engineers can access and utilize high performance meshing & simulation tools.

Read the full announcement at

Posted in Hardware, News, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Mesh Generation for the NASA HL-CRM

From the 2017 Q1 issue of The Connector:

badge-hlcrm-125x125Pointwise is supporting two AIAA workshops (the 3rd High Lift Prediction and the 1st Geometry and Mesh Generation Workshop) to be held prior to AIAA Aviation in June 2017. We generated several type of meshes (unstructured, hybrid, hybrid overset, and high order) for the NASA High Lift Common Research Model that are described here. (more)

Posted in Applications, Events, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment