This Week in CFD


This computational model of the heart was developed at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center. Image from the blog.

This computational model of the heart was developed at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center. Image is a screen capture from a video on the blog.

  • Visualization people take note: In an article on the blog about the beauty of scientific visualization we read yet again disparaging remarks about rainbow color maps. To quote in its entirety: “Sometimes, scientific visualization also uses rainbow color scales, or inappropriately uses 3D techniques. This still produces beautiful images, but the usefulness of these images can be harmed by these techniques [emphasis mine]. The people who do this kind of work are extremely intelligent, so you might ask, why are they doing something wrong? The nature of SciVis requires people who are experts at some extremely niche subjects, and they spend the majority of their time learning about and working on these problems, unaware that there are better techniques for showing their data.” In other words, we’re so busy doing science we should be forgiven for creating poor visualizations.
  • The article linked to above also includes a nice [at least for me] taxonomy of visualization.
    • Information Visualization (InfoVis) – small datasets of demographic or financial information, for example
    • Visual Analytics – rapid and repeated visual queries of datasets
    • Scientific Visualization (SciVis) – large datasets with spatial and temporal components
  • The NSF’s International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge promotes communication of “science, engineering and technology for education and journalistic purposes.” They are now accepting entries with a deadline of 30 Sep 2013.
  • The Visualizing Data blog presents Best of the Visualization Web for January 2013.

CD-adapco in the News


Casting simulation from STAR-CCM+ v8. Image from CD-adapco.

  • CD-adapco released STAR-CCM+ v8 [v8.02 to be precise]. Notable additions and improvements include an add-on for casting and foundry processes, parts-based meshing in which meshing parameters are associated with the geometric part, and JT Open integration for improved CAD interoperability.
  • The February 2013 issue of CD-adapco’s STAR Academics Newsletter is available online.
  • Boredom is not an option: Gene Kranz, well-known NASA flight director, will keynote the STAR Global Conference 2013. [I’d love hear his keynote address but the Pointwise User Group Meeting 2013 is scheduled for the same days. [Drat! Would anyone notice if I was missing?] I highly recommend Kranz’ book, Failure is Not an Option, which seems doubly fitting since I just watched the Falcon/Dragon launch this morning. If you like Kranz’ book you’ll also probably like Digital Apollo.]



  • Autodesk, the largest CAE company depending on how you look at it, has rebranded with a new logo.
  • ANSYS continues to make a lot of money. 2012 Q4 revenue set a record for the company at $220 million. They’re expecting something in the $200 million range for 2013 Q1. Monica Schnitger provides an analysis of the numbers.

News in Brief

Polyhedral mesh for a backward facing step. From a Symscape comparison of poly, tet, and hex meshes.

Polyhedral mesh for a backward facing step. From a Symscape comparison of poly, tet, and hex meshes.

  • Symscape compared polyhedral (polyhedral mesh support is coming in Caedium v5), tetrahedral, and hexahedral meshes for computation of flow over a backward-facing step and concluded that polys: [polies?]
    • converge faster
    • converge better
    • run faster
  • Dassault Systemes released SIMULIA V6R2013.

A Wave That Never Breaks

Artist Mario Ceroli sculpts these amazingly tactile breaking waves from glass and wood. Notice how the wave is created from hundreds of slices stacked side by side. [As first seen on Colossal.]

Marco Ceroli, Maestrale, 1992

Marco Ceroli, Maestrale, 1992

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7 Responses to This Week in CFD

  1. John, I don’t do a lot of blogs but yours is my favorite!

    Did you happen to spot this meshing capability:!/section/triangulation

  2. John Chawner says:

    Thanks, Woody. We’ll try to keep writing stuff that keeps you interested.

    No, I haven’t seen the “fff” website’s triangulation thing before. But now that I have, more investigation is necessary.

  3. roland says:

    John, I never realized rainbow colours were (considered to be) so bad. It would have been nice though if they had provided some examples of good colour maps.

  4. John Chawner says:

    Roland, I suggest you look at the work of Edward Tufte. He is able to create visualizations that do both: convey information and look great.

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