This Week in CFD

Reading & Events

  • Cambashi and intrinSIM have worked together for market research in the form of the Cambashi CAE Observatory with information on 470 non-EDA firms. They place the worldwide market for simulation software at nearly $5.4 billion.
  • I haven’t yet had a chance to watch the recording of Chad Jackson’s webinar on The Five Trends Shaping Modern Engineering (hosted by Autodesk) but I recommend you do. [And then tell me about it. Like what exactly is “the visibility mandate?”]
  • Mentor Graphics’ blog post Doing What You Can’t (see image below) reminds me of a saying we have at Pointwise. “It takes us time to do really difficult things. The impossible takes only slightly longer.”
  • The ASSESS Congress 2017 (Analysis, Simulation, and Systems Engineering Software Strategies), an invitation-only event, will be held in the Washington DC area on 1-3 November.
  • Finally, an infographic I like. The history of CFD, CAD, etc.

Bovine CFD. Image from Mentor Graphics. See link above.

The Cloud

  • At COFES last week I saw Business Advantage present the results of their survey on “CAD in the cloud.” There’s a lot of data, but the information that caught my eye was one-third of respondents foresee no benefit from cloud-based CAD. Read more in WorldCAD Access’ summary of the presentation.
  • Here’s another look at the Business Advantage survey results from Beyond PLM.
  • SimScale touts the advantages of cloud-based CFD in their article 5 Reasons to Optimize Your Designs Through CFD Online. [Note: They are not referring to this CFD Online.]
    • Reduced start-up costs.
    • Availability that matches your needs.
    • Just as powerful as desktop-based CFD.
    • Everyone is always using the most up-to-date version of the software.
    • Your data is secure.
  • Consumers expect cloud-based tools to be easier to deploy [sadly, no argument from me] and easier to use [that’s debatable; it shouldn’t necessarily be so]. Digital Engineering delves into the details of simulation that’s Preconfigured for HPC.
  • Not cloud: future tech for HPC.
  • Not simulation in cloud, simulation in CAD.

MSC has integrated Actran and SC/Tetra for aeroacoustic simulations.


  • SimScale shared their 2017 Q1 platform updates including a mesh quality report.
  • The OpenFOAM Foundation reached their €100,000 fund-raising goal for 2017.
  • Envenio’s EXN/AERO was updated including improved CGNS support.
  • Modelon (model-based systems engineering) and Exa (CFD) are partnering.
  • CoolSim for data center CFD is now available as an AutoCAD add-in.



Must-see simulation of the week: STAR-CCM+ looks at the Titanic. Image from Siemens.

  • In the world of endurance racing, Williams Advanced Engineering will work with Ginetta on their LMP1 car including CFD. [Let’s have a little fun with this quote from the article: “CFD, computational fluid dynamics, is much more sophisticated than a wind tunnel.”]
  • Solidworks’ CFD is being used to improve the performance of water treatment plants.
  • Solidworks’ CFD for thermal is as easy to use as FEA, they say.

At Pointwise

Beyond the Grid

My tastes in art extend beyond abstraction into animation and when it comes to the latter I have a special love for works done in black and white. Add a grid like Johan Rijpma has done in his animation Extrapolate and I’m all in.

As first seen on Cartoon Brew, the CFDer in me sees Extrapolate as a cautionary tale about the dangers of pushing CFD beyond the boundaries where it’s well suited. At the same time, the video shows that everything starts and ends with the grid and all complexity in the drawing (the CFD solution) flows from the grid and extends down to a single grid point.

Read about how the drawings were made on the artist’s website.


Screen capture of the video Extrapolate by Johan Rijpma.

Happy Easter to all of you who are so inclined.

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