This Week in CFD



Radial fan simulation by Dr. Heiser and SimScale. Image from SimScale. See link above. Note: image has been cropped to better fit this document.

Events & News

  • AUVSI XPONENTIAL, “the largest global community of leaders in drones, intelligent robotics and unmanned systems” will be held 8-11 May 2017 in Dallas.
  • ESI acquired Scilab, an open-source MATLAB alternative.



As a guy who cut his teeth on structured grid generation and elliptic PDE methods, this animation caught my eye and held my attention. It’s from an announcement of a workshop on Kangaroo Physics (a physics/constraint solver plugin for Grasshopper).

  • Scan&Solve Pro for Rhino (automated, no-preprocessing, basic structural simulation) was released.
  • CEI launched EnSight 10.2 for CFD postprocessing and visualization.

Grid Farm

When you’re a millionaire art collector, you can afford to purchase 700 acres in Auckland and ask some of the world’s best sculptors to populate it with their best works. The result is the Gibbs Farm.

Not unexpectedly, in the first post I saw on Unusual Places the array of quads shown below immediately pegged my structured grid meter. As described on the Gibbs Farm website, the contrast between the grid of perfect squares and the lush natural terrain is what Red Cloud is all about.


Leon van den Eijkel, Red Cloud Confrontation in Landscape, 1996. Image from Unusual Places. See links above.

P.S. I apologize for the paucity of news this week and possible/likely repetition of old news. Chrome decided (for reasons unknown) to reorganize my bookmarks again making this week’s compilation more of a housekeeping and rediscovery exercise. The problem is likely caused by the extreme number of bookmarks I retain. The last time I backed-up my bookmarks to HTML the resulting file was 33 MB.

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Pointwise Aids in Aerospike Nozzle Analysis

From the 2017 Q1 issue of The Connector:

badge-aerospike-125x125Aerospike rocket nozzles offer increased efficiency over a wider operating pressure range than traditional nozzles. In this study, we compare CFD and experimental predictions of aerospike nozzle thrust for varying pressure ratios and base bleed rates. (more)


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This Week in CFD


  • Kitware released ParaView 5.3.0 with support for multiple core computers, improved rendering, and more.
  • Elysium will be providing a CAD translation and healing solution to Lemma for the latter’s use in their CAE preprocessing.
  • Spatial has added Distene’s tet mesher to their suite of 3-D modeling components.
  • CHAM announced the commercial release of RhinoCFD, a CFD plugin for the Rhino 3-D modeler.
  • PyFR 1.6.0 was released with incompressible solvers and more.
  • NOGRID points 6.2.0 was released. This CFD solver is based on the finite pointset method and does not require a grid. [You don’t know how hard it was for me to type that 😉]

STAR-CCM+ v12.02 promises easier fuel cell modeling as described in this preview. Image from Siemens PLM Software.

Applications & Events & News &…

  • This year’s HPC User Forum will be held 17-19 April in Santa Fe.
  • The 2017 FLOW-3D Americas Users Conference will be held 19-21 September in Santa Fe. Abstracts are due August 4th.
  • RealFlow users will like this list of ways to accelerate their simulations.
  • Totalsim has been awarded a grant to develop a web-based application for aerodynamic simulation of ground vehicles.
  • Congratulations to MSC Software’s Marc, NASA Tech Briefs’ 2016 Reader’s Choice Product of the Year.

Wilson LABS uses Altair’s CFD suite (including AcuFieldView) to fine tune the aerodynamic performance of their sporting goods. Screen shot of Wilson LABS’ video.

Confrontational Mesh

I have to admit that artist Jeremy Moon‘s body of work includes paintings that are much “meshier” than the sculpture I’ve included below. But there’s something about 3D 1 72 that is very confrontational, that forces you to reckon with it even if that means just figuring out how to walk around it. And unlike a “meshy” painting, this work raises the issue of duality; is it one piece or many?

Jeremy MoonUntitled, 1972 (No. 3D1/72) Oil on wood 2-3/4" x 8' x 11' inches

Jeremy Moon, 3D 1 72, 1972. Image from artist’s website. See link above.

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Call for Abstracts is Open for 1st AIAA Geometry and Mesh Generation Workshop

The call for abstracts is open for the 1st AIAA Geometry and Mesh Generation Workshop (GMGW-1) to be held the weekend prior to the AIAA Aviation Forum in Denver on 3-4 June 2017.

“The Principal Bottleneck”

The CFD Vision 2030 Study identified mesh generation (including geometry preparation) as the “principal bottleneck” in the application of CFD. GMGW-1 is a direct result of the AIAA Meshing, Visualization, and Computational Environments technical committee’s intent to take a first step on the path to removing that bottleneck

This two-day workshop will assess the current state-of-the art in geometry preprocessing and mesh generation technology and software as applied to a transport aircraft in a high-lift configuration. It will help identify and develop understanding of areas of needed improvement (performance, accuracy, applicability) in geometry processing and mesh generation technology software. And it will provide a foundation for documenting best practices for geometry preprocessing and mesh generation.

The workshop is being offered in conjunction with the 3rd AIAA CFD High Lift Prediction Workshop (HiLiftPW-3), after which GMGW-1 is being patterned. The two workshops will share opening and closing sessions.

Meshing the HL-CRM


NASA’s High Lift Common Research Model (HL-CRM) will be the basis of GMGW-1 and part of the 3rd AIAA CFD High Lift Prediction Workshop

The workshop’s test case is a simplified version of NASA’s High Lift Common Research Model (HL-CRM), one of the benchmark cases for HiLiftPW-3. The HL-CRM has been simplified in the sense that the slat and flaps are not attached to the wing. Workshop participants will be asked to collect and report data about their experience meshing the HL-CRM geometry.

How To Participate in GMGW-1

  1. Submit an abstract to GMGW-1 by 31 March 2017. Templates for your abstract are available on the GMGW-1 website.
  2. Register for GMGW-1 through AIAA’s website.
  3. Download the HL-CRM geometry from the HiLiftPW-3 website.
  4. Download the GMGW-1 participant questionnaire.
  5. Generate your HL-CRM meshes according to the HiLiftPW-3 gridding guidelines.
  6. Upload your meshes and participant questionnaire by 28 April 2017.
  7. Come to Denver for the workshop on 3-4 June.

Happy Meshing and See You in Denver!

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This Week in CFD

News & Views



Example of hex meshing of runners in Moldex3D R 15.0. Image from Moldex3D. See link below.

  • Moldex3D R 15.0 was released with new meshing capabilities (including automatic hex meshing for runners), a streamlined workflow, updated physical models, and more.
  • NASA’s Software Catalog has been updated to the 2017-2018 version and includes free and other-than-free software, a lot in CFD. A simple search for “CFD” yielded 35 results.
    • New to me is GFSSP, the Generalized Fluid System Simulation Program.
  • simFlow 3.1 was released. This OpenFOAM-based CFD solver is available for Windows and Linux in both free and commercial versions. This new version includes new HPC capabilities and new physical models.
  • Animated stream lines are coming in ParaView 5.3.
  • Beta CAE released v17.1.0 of their software suite.
  • Altair released HyperWorks 2017, their “platform for innovation.” New capabilities in this software are too numerous to mention so I’ll focus on one: an improved shrink-wrap mesher for CFD. See image below.

HyperMesh 2017 includes an improved shrink-wrap mesher for CFD. Image from Altair. See link above.


Art of the Grid

Without preamble, here’s a grid-like painting by Dan Walsh. The more I search, the more grid/mesh motifs I can find in painting. [So much for no preamble.]


Dan Walsh, Landing, 2010. Image from Paula Cooper Gallery. See link above.

Bonus: MIT Technology Review’s 10 breakthrough technologies for 2017 [mesh generation not included] does include “Botnets of Things,” the eyepatch-wearing evil twin of the Internet of Things.

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Learn Meshing with Tutorial Tuesday Videos

Did you know that each Tuesday we publish a 2-minute video that shows how to use one of the features in Pointwise?

We call it Tutorial Tuesday and we’ve compiled 107 videos to date on our CFD Meshing YouTube channel.

The most recent video shows how to use boundary decay to control the influence of a surface mesh’s edges on its interior.


Unstructured Domain Boundary Decay, the latest video in Pointwise’s #TutorialTuesday series. See links above.

Subscribe today to learn a little each week about CFD mesh generation with Pointwise.

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Subscribe to The Connector

Have you had a chance yet to read the latest issue of our email newsletter, The Connector, that was published a little more than a week ago? You can subscribe to receive The Connector in your inbox automatically as soon as it is published. Don’t miss another issue – subscribe on our website.




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