This Week in CFD


The Virtual Engineer ponders whether we need more standards for CAE interoperability and emphasizes the possible benefits for mobile visualization.

The author answers his own question: “of course.” That’s the wonderful thing about standards – there are so many of them.

There are CAD standards like IGES, STEP, and JT. And we know how well that’s worked out. We could spend days talking about why we still have CAD interoperability problems. [tl;dr Standard files are neither written nor read properly.]

There is a great CFD standard – CGNS. I beg all of you to start using it. But it too has issues. [tl;dr What makes for great portability doesn’t necessarily yield great performance.]

And there are all your de facto standard formats: PLOT3D for structured grid CFD results, NASTRAN for FEA results, STL for faceted geometry, etc.

I don’t know enough about visualization standards to know whether we need (another) one. But for CAD and CFD, use the ones we have, and use every ounce of your influence to ensure that everyone uses them correctly, and contribute to the standards organization to ensure the standard is maintained and updated.

What do you think?


  • New website ConSelf (Consulting by Yourself) urges us to “be prepared for the next CFD solution.” [Mysterious]
  • New web search tool (currently in beta) promises to help you find 3D designs to print.



Viscous Stanford Bunnies Falling Into a Pile. Screen capture from the video illustrating multimaterial mesh based surface tracking cited below.

Viscous Stanford Bunnies Falling Into a Pile. Screen capture from the video illustrating multimaterial mesh based surface tracking cited below.

  • While “multimaterial mesh-based surface tracking” may seem dry, you have to watch this video (and jump ahead to the 5 minute mark if you’re impatient). Then you can read about this “non-manifold triangle mesh tracking method to simultaneously maintain intersection-free meshes and support the proposed broad set of multimaterial remeshing and topological operations” developed by researchers at Columbia.
  • You can watch a video about what’s coming in Autodesk Simulation CFD 2015.
  • Another video, this one on CloudFlow, CFD in the cloud.

Meshing and Football?

You never know where meshes are gonna pop up. This past week a group of us from the office took the guided AT&T Stadium Art Tour. Yes, that’s right – an art tour inside the Jones family’s monument to Dallas Cowboys football.  (If you click on the link you’ll see a photo with a nice gray-haired lady at the bottom. That’s Sue. She was our tour guide.)

But the family, with the assistance of outside advisors including Michael Auping, chief curator at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, have amassed an extensive collection of contemporary art installations. Most of these pieces are visible to everyone who attends an event at the stadium (some hang above the concession stands).

So where does meshing come in to play? Jim Isermann’s Untitled (2009-2010) is 4,000 square feet of vacuum-formed styrene mesh loveliness.

Jim Isermann, Untitled (2-009-2010)

Jim Isermann, Untitled (2009-2010)



We’ll post more of the photos from our tour on our Facebook page soon. In the meantime, there’s an app for iOS that will give you a virtual tour of the artwork.

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2 Responses to This Week in CFD

  1. Roland says:

    Has this been mentioned yet? I guess it won’t hurt to mention it again.

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