This Week in CFD


Software and Applications

  • The OpenFOAM Foundation released OpenFOAM v2.2.2 which includes enhancements in meshing, boundary conditions, numerics, post-processing and more.
  • If SolidWorks has helped Victory Brewing Co. brew better beer while saving $1.2 million, certainly CFD can do the same or better. Right?
  • Software Cradle now has offices in India and France.
  • LearnCAx shows us how to write a user defined function (UDF) for boiling in Fluent.
Boiling simulation in Fluent. Image from LearnCAx.

Boiling simulation in Fluent. Image from LearnCAx.

Meshing Roundtable – Brief Summary

When I have time (fateful words – I said that last year on the notes are literally still sitting right here on my desk) I’ll write a more complete summary of this year’s International Meshing Roundtable. For now, bullets will have to suffice.

  • Steven Owen was named IMR Fellow.
  • The 2014 IMR will be in London.
  • The team from Inria received the Best Technical Poster and Best Student Poster awards. (Truly excellent work.)
  • Pointwise received the Meshing Maestro Award and the Meshing Contest Award. This is the first year the IMR has held a meshing contest. [Shameless plug.]

The IMR is a great event. If you are involved in mesh generation you really ought to attend. We hope to see you next year in London.


  • If you only had a physical prototype, a camera, and an internet connection could you do CFD? What how HibouSoftware gets a CFD solution on Lightning McQueen.
  • While we’re watching videos, check out how KARALIT brings CFD to building design.
  • Watch how to setup a geographic site for CFD simulation in Meteodyn WT.
Screen capture from KARALIT's video of CFD simulation of buildings showing airflow over Oklahoma City.

Screen capture from KARALIT’s video of CFD simulation of buildings showing airflow over Oklahoma City.

Interesting Reading

  • TrueCADD blogs that “Computational Fluid Dynamics has emerged to be one of the most important fields of study that plays a pivotal role in the modern engineering environment” and goes on to describe their CFD consulting services. [My only quibble with their statement is it lacks the qualifier “for certain industries.”]
  • There’s a new publication on about simulation: Simulation at Your Fingertips.
  • Beyond PLM and GrabCAD are having a bit of a back-and-forth on pros, cons, and recommended practices for sharing CAD data in the cloud. [What I find most interesting is the fact that there are serious open issues related to sharing CAD data and what that implies for cloud-based simulation which is much more complex.]

Licensing – Yuck

Probably what everyone hates most about CAE software (both users and developers) is licensing. Monica Schnitger delves into license models in the context of Dassault Systemes’ missed earnings in 2013 Q3 which was blamed partly on more customers opting for monthly subscriptions instead of perpetuals.

Because their fraction of customers on subscriptions is growing at 10% per year, this poses cash flow challenges. (Probably not for them, as Monica points out, but maybe for folks at the lower end of the food chain – i.e. us. Good thing we don’t currently offer subscription-based licensing.) In other words, instead of getting a big perpetual license payment up front you have to survive on lower license payments each month. This in turn is driven by customer preferences. Monica’s analysis doesn’t seem to account for a third option: annual (aka leased) licenses.

To link this back to one of my favorite topics, using the cloud is largely (totally?) paid for with monthly subscriptions. What does that imply for the business model?

I anticipate that – as has happened in the past – fans of open source will point out that this issue is moot as it pertains to them and their users.

Time Itself Comes in Drops

I can’t remember if I swore off photography of splashing liquids or not. What’s interesting about Alberto Seveso‘s photos (called Dropping) of colored ink being dropped into oil is a) the solidity of the resulting images and b) the surprise when you realize they’re upside down.

Dropping by Alberto Seveso. Image from Visual News.

Dropping by Alberto Seveso. Image from Visual News.

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5 Responses to This Week in CFD

  1. jstults says:

    Pointwise received the Meshing Maestro Award and the Meshing Contest Award. This is the first year the IMR has held a meshing contest. [Shameless plug.]

    No shame in it; would love to see more about all of the entries, and your winning one especially!

  2. John Chawner says:

    Thanks. Didn’t want to appear to be boasting. But I should because the two engineers who did the work obviously did a great job. I’m hoping to be able to get some blog posts with pictures up soon.

  3. cesar says:

    I wish I could attend a future IMR, seems a lot of great stuff and a lot of fun. Hop

  4. greg says:

    John, not quite mesh generation, but we would appreciation any exposure to increase general CFD participation. Always enjoy your blog!

    The FDA Critical Path CFD/Blood Damage committee is pleased to announce its second computational round robin involving the analysis of a notional centrifugal blood pump. All CFD practitioners across the globe are invited to participate. Final submission of CFD results is July 31, 2014. Additional details of the invitation and the problem description can be found at:

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