This Week in CFD

Applications

NASA Advanced Supercoming (NAS) Division posted this image of a CFD simulation of the Orion capsule re-entering the atmosphere on Flickr. Click image for link.

NASA Advanced Supercoming (NAS) Division posted this image of a CFD simulation of the Orion capsule re-entering the atmosphere on Flickr. Click image for link.

Software

  • Combine NURBS and Sub-Division surface modeling with Shark FX.
  • I’m still learning about the recently announced “CFD as a service” from SysFera and ROMEO but here’s their video on Large Scale CFD Simulations 3 Clicks Away. [I’m pretty certain I saw more than 3 clicks but as I always say, it depends on when you start counting.]
  • COMSOL announced COMSOL Server for in-browser simulations.
  • Avante Technology launched Emendo for STL file validation and repair.
  • Simpleware released version 7.
  • Introducing OpenQBMM, an OpenFOAM-based solver for “polydisperse multiphase flows.” [How to pronounce? Open Quib perhaps?]
  • OpenFOAM v2.3.1 was released and coincides with the 10th anniversary of the release of OpenFOAM v1.0.
  • Kitware announced Tangelo, Javascript and Python APIs for developing web-based data analytics and visualization apps.
  • SpaceClaim news:

Winners

James Bertwhistle's winning entry in CD-adapco's 2015 calendar contest. Image from CD-adapco. See link below.

James Bertwhistle’s winning entry in CD-adapco’s 2015 calendar contest. Image from CD-adapco. See link below.

Screen capture from Josh Clos' winning entry for the Fluid Dimension Challenge. See link above.

Screen capture from Josh Clos’ winning entry for the Fluid Dimension Challenge. See link above.

Business

  • Exa continues to grow. During Q3 they had revenue of $16 million (up 16%) split between license revenue ($12.9 million) and project revenue ($3.1 million). Revenue from the USA was up 40%! Also of note, they will be introducing several new technologies including a cloud offering. [Be reminded that I follow Exa because they are, to the best of my knowledge, the only publicly traded pure CFD company.]
  • Parker needs a CFD Project Engineer/Analyst in Irvine, CA.
  • Someone in Raymond, OH needs a CFD engineer.
  • I must be out of the loop because I don’t know what 4D CAD is but perhaps it’s the reason that the MCAD market is forecast to grow at 10.81% through 2018. [I’d like to have just that last hundredth of a percent in my pocket. Who’d miss 0.01%?]
  • And here’s a report on how the global CFD market in aero and defense will grow 13.73% through 2019.
  • “Pricing based on perceived customer value is toxic.” Is there a better way to license CAE software? [I’m hoping for at least comment from an open-source proponent.]

Events

Thoughts on Engineeering

As a native Clevelander, I love this simulation of the flow over Case Western Reserve University's campus. Image from Windpower. Click image for article.

As a native Clevelander, I love this simulation of the flow over Case Western Reserve University’s campus. Image from Windpower. Click image for article.

Do we need a whole new type of engineer? If yes, are the principles in the book A Whole New Engineer how to get them? I became aware of this book from an article in the Communications of the ACM (membership required to read online) in which the “six minds” of the whole engineer are described. This is of interest to me because of my work on the advisory board of my alma mater but I haven’t actually purchased the book yet.

  1. Rigorous analytical and scientific skills.
  2. Ability to design unique solutions to problems.
  3. Good communicator.
  4. Effective interpersonal skills.
  5. Leadership-type physical presence.
  6. Thoughtful and reflective.

On a slightly related note comes the three biggest challenges of engineering as defined by the National Engineering Forum: capacity, capability, competitiveness. You can download and read the report Engineering our Nation’s Future for info on how these three challenges are morphed into five themes:

  1. Understanding the 3 Cs
  2. Education Advocacy
  3. Public Perception of Engineers and Engineering
  4. Public and Private Investment
  5. Immigration Reform

Parlez vouz Labofactory?

I will use the fact that I don’t speak French as an excuse for not fully understanding what’s going on at Labofactory. But they’ve got some cool videos that are a cross between fluids and art. Perhaps a less linguistically-challenged reader can clue me in.

Screen capture from the video Fluxux by Labofactory. See link above.

Screen capture from the video Fluxux by Labofactory. See link above.

Applications Part 2

Not all ovens are easy bake. Read how Whirlpool uses engineering simulation. Image from Desktop Engineering. Click image for article.

Not all ovens are easy bake. Read how Whirlpool uses engineering simulation. Image from Desktop Engineering. Click image for article.

Flow Is People Too

Have you ever felt like an insignificant particle just flowing through life? In one sense, that’s probably because you are. Or more precisely, you can be simulated like one using Oasys Software’s MassMotion Flow for pedestrian, crowd and evacuation simulation. Biped agents: unite!

Screen capture from a video demonstration of MassMotion Flow.

Screen capture from a video demonstration of MassMotion Flow.

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5 Responses to This Week in CFD

  1. Before coming to Pointwise, I worked on Shark FX (and ViaCAD) when I was at Punch Software.

  2. jstults says:

    I don’t understand what this means: “Pricing based on perceived customer value is toxic.”

    After reading the article I do see how per-core licensing could make certain approaches untenable. The way I’ve seen the free NASA CFD codes used in government and industry would not be possible with such a licensing model. The use case was basically what the article calls DOE studies. Many parameters with lots of resolution requiring hundred or thousands of solutions, each one requiring a significant number of cores itself, and to get any kind of reasonable turn around a large portion of the solutions must be run in parallel. I could see how that kind or work could be done under a time-based subscription sort of model, but certainly not per-core licensing. Of course that sort of scalability is so easy you don’t even think about it under a free / open source licensing model. Well, you think about other things like how full is the queue, how available is the hardware, how am I going to analyze all those results, etc.

  3. John Chawner says:

    IMO the premise is that running software on a faster computer delivers more value. So if the software delivers more value you can charge more. It’s not a premise I believe, but I think that’s his point.

    • jstults says:

      OK; that makes sense. I don’t think it’s charging by value that’s the problem. If the software was actually delivering more value (maybe runing on specialized hardware like GPUs, or taking on some fault tolerance tasks that become significant with high core counts), then it would be reasonable to charge more because the software is doing more. I think the the crude “charge by the core” model seems too much like no-value-added rent seeking because there’s no significant extra “smarts” that get turned on as the count increases, and the burdens of that increase still fall predominantly on the user.

      • John Chawner says:

        That’s why I think the statement was “perceived value” as opposed to “actual value.” In other words, the job finishes faster (whether or not it’s due to the software or the hardware) therefore it’s worth more.

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