This Week in CFD


  • The ASSESS Initiative‘s website is now live. Quoting from their website, ASSESS “is a broad reaching multi-industry initiative with a primary goal to facilitate a revolution of enablement that will vastly increase the availability and utility of engineering simulation, leading to significantly increased usage and business benefits across the full spectrum of industries, applications and users.”
  • ASSESS’ primary event is the ASSESS Congress, the 2017 edition of which will be held 01-03 Nov in Potomac, Maryland. (Invitation only.)

The Holovect is “the world’s first holographic desktop display” according to its Kickstarter page. Image from Holovect. [Will we someday be able to view more than one tet at a time? If you could, would you?]

[Not Fake] News

  • Monica Schnitger shares astute observations from ANSYS’ Q4 results including the following that I found notable.
    • The company has its sights set on doubling revenue from US$1 billion to US$2 billion.
    • During Q4, the company closed 7 deals worth more than US$10 million each.
    • M&A and flexible licensing options are two paths to their revenue goal.
  • 3D Systems experienced revenue growth in 2016 Q4 of 6% and is forecasting revenue growth of 2-8% for 2017. [My interest in 3D printing has a lot to do with the fact the process takes as input a mesh. And in at least one case, its output is a mesh too.]
  • Envenio summarizes’s survey on how engineers get information.
    • Vendor websites and digital publications are at the top of the list.
    • 40% report getting info from social media.
    • 80% will research online (i.e. Google) before contacting a company.

Hydrodynamic simulations have always fascinated me from the geometry standpoint: the combination of design (dam, spillway) and natural (riverbed, coastline) geometry. But the CFD simulations themselves are equally challenging with cool results. The simulation shown above was done by BC Hydro using FLOW-3D. The image comes from an article in CFD Review. [I think I’ve posted about this application before. Sorry for the duplication.]



Another cool CFD application done in FLOW-3D, this time for microfluidic particle sorting. Image from Flow Science. Click link for article and video. [This is where your tricorders are going to come from, Trekkies.]



Friendly reader Matt shared this gorgeous image of an SR-71 CFD simulation rendered using STAR-CCM+’s new ray tracing capability. Read more in Matt’s blog post. [I’m betting screen savers or desktop backgrounds made from this and similar images would be very popular.]

  • NASA has a Tumblr [not a surprise] and here they’re promoting 5 NASA software codes that can be freely downloaded and 3 of them are CFD [kinda surprising]: TetrUSS, KNIFE (part of FUN3D), and Cart3D.
  • Siemens PLM Software officially launched STAR-CCM+ v12.02.
  • Snas3D is a [new to me] structured, multi-block RANS solver.
  • CEI announced EnSight 10.2 for CFD post-processing. This updated of their software is said to have improved the quality and performance of visualizations.
  • Onshape shared 10 principles for improving user experience and the one that hit home for me was #10 Think about decisions, not options.
  • introduces us to cloud-based, thermal CFD startup Diabatix.

CFD simulation done on the SimScale platform comparing passive versus active ventilation. Image from SimScale.

Facets That Unite Us

It’s not often that my desire to see meshes and facets everywhere and my wife’s enjoyment of the textile arts intersects, but here we have it. What you see below is the Best in Show winner from QuiltCon 2017. Yes, that’s a quilt. As Australian quilter Katherine Jones says, she was inspired by a princess cut diamond to piece together cuts of solid colored fabric.


Katherine Jones, bling, 2017.

Bonus: Many terms in our industry get overused to the point of confusion. For example, I would make the case that “the cloud” and “democratization” are used so frequently and casually that they mean different things to different people. The same maybe true of “exascale” as pointed out in this commentary by the VP of IDC’s high performance computing group. Floating point computations may no longer be the king of HPC because of the varying demands of other applications that desire exascale (data mining, IoT, etc.). So we need to be clear in our communication and expectation of exascale systems, at least until (as the author points out) we hit the next major milestone, zettaflops. [Not to be confused with Catherine Zeta Jones’ performance in Playing for Keeps.]

Final Note: I wrote this while listening to electronic music described as a “cognition enhancer” and recommended to me by someone whose opinion I respect. Only you can decide, however, if it made this blog post any better than the previous ones.


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