Software and Applications
- Here’s a brief video on how to mesh for plastic injection molding in SolidWorks.
- In case you missed it, a drop of asphalt finally fell after 69 years in the famous pitch drop experiment. And you can see it on video.
- Two news items from Tecplot:
- CD-adapco released STAR-CD and es/ice v4.20.
- Some CFD is used in the exploration of capillary flow of amorphous metal.
- Symscape published Part 2 of their two-part article on wind tunnel versus free air simulations.
- Two news items about engineering in “the cloud.”
How Dangerous is CFD?
Agree or disagree: It’s dangerous to simplify FEA and make it accessible for the masses. [Note: I automatically substituted CFD for FEA. It changes nothing about the debate.]
The original author, Kenneth Wong, worded the question masterfully [IMO] to maximize the debate. Before answering, let’s dissect and defuse Kenneth’s word choices.
dangerous – Driving a car may be the most dangerous thing any of us do because it carries with it the constant threat of death, serious bodily harm, and expensive property damage. Is CFD that dangerous? I’d say no. If on the other hand Kenneth is using dangerous as a synonym for “risky” then there’s certainly always the risk that CFD will result in wrong answers. Wrong answers introduce risk into the design and manufacture of products.
simplify – One might be tempted to think that by simplify Kenneth means the reductio ad absurdum of CFD into a toy. I’m certain he means the development and deployment of CFD tools that don’t require a PhD and years of solver algorithm development experience to use. For example, I don’t have to be Mario Andretti to drive my car. Nor should I have to know what a Hessian is to run a CFD code.
masses – Whenever I read “masses” used in this context I’m reminded of the inscription on the Statue of Liberty that reads in part “Your huddled masses yearning to breath free / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” I’m fairly certain Kenneth isn’t comparing non-expert CFDers to “huddled masses” or “wretched refuse.” Nor do I think he believes CFD needs to be used by the random person on the street. He’s simply referring to all the engineers out there who could benefit from the use of simulation but don’t know what a Hessian is.
These three interpretations are why I don’t think it’s dangerous to simplify CFD for the masses. It is not risky to develop and deploy CFD tools that can be applied by non-analyst engineers. It’s not risky, but it’s not easy either.
Implicit in all of this is the user’s responsibility to know what they’re doing and to have sufficient knowledge of engineering fundamentals to know if the answers being computed are – if not good – not bogus. It implies an organization that’s made the appropriate investment in tools and training and validation and verification.
What do you think? Comment here or at DE or on LinkedIn.
How Far Upstream Should Simulation Be Performed?
Touching on some of the same topics as the “dangerous CFD” discussion, Tech4PD Episode 11 features a debate on exactly where and how early in the design process simulation should be introduced.
Watch the video and share your opinion.
News in Brief
- Autodesk wants to hire a Product Manager Simulation CFD in Charlottesville, VA.
- Submit an image by 31 August for CD-adapco’s 2014 calendar contest and maybe you’ll win an iPad mini.
- A preliminary list of presenters and topics is available for the next Open Source CFD International Conference.
- The EnSight blog shares the news that NAFEMS is looking for someone to write a book on CFD postprocessing.
- Congratulations to FY Fluid Dynamics‘ 3-year anniversary. Help them plan for their future by completing a survey.
Just a Rainbow in Candle Smoke
Check out this tiny little rainbow in the plume of smoke from an extinguished candle. I’m surprised this hasn’t already appeared on FY Fluid Dynamics. (source)