This Week in CFD

Lattice Boltzmann News

  • Dassault Systemes plans to acquire Exa for about US$400 million. And in this article by Monica Schnitger we read the wonderful analogy: “think of Lattice-Boltzmann as ping pong balls and Navier-Stokes as streamers.”
  • Numeca and FlowKit are partnering on Lattice-Boltzmann technology by creating an “exclusive integration” of FlowKit’s open-source PALABOS LBM solver into Numeca’s OMNIS/LB. (OMNIS is Numeca’s integrated simulation environment.)

Futures of Computing and CFD


CFD visualization using FieldView of an F-1 overtake simulation. Image from Altair. See link below.

  • According to this article from HPCwire, the U.S.’ first exascale system – called Aurora – will go online in 2021 and be developed under contract by an Intel/Cray team.
  • The Future CFD Technologies Workshop will be held on 6-7 January the weekend prior to and co-located with AIAA SciTech. “The focus of this workshop will be to explore past, present and future contributions of applied mathematics and computer science for simulation-based aerospace applications, and to motivate the case for increased interdisciplinary contributions between these fields.”


  • Pointwise Version 18.0 R4 was released for mesh generation.
  • [From the things that make me go “hmmm” category,] NASA’s CFL3D structured grid CFD code is available on GitHub under the Apache License, Version 2.0.
  • DEVELOP3D reviews ANSYS Discovery Live 1.0 and says it’s “one of the biggest breakthroughs in design and engineering technology in the last ten years.” This article is worth reading and pondering the potential of this technology.
  • In other news from Dassault Systemes, SOLIDWORKS 2018 was launched.
  • OpenVSP 3.13.3 was released for parametric design of aircraft.
  • FieldView Express is now available through the Altair Partner Alliance for CFD postprocessing and visualization.
  • Here’s Visualizing Data’s best of the visualization web for July 2017.

ANSYS Hall of Fame 2017 “Best in Show: Academic” entry from Cadiff University showing LES simulation of a tidal stream turbine. Image from ANSYS. See link above.


  • You have until 03 November 2017 to submit your “eye-popping simulation images and videos” for the 2018 ANSYS Hall of Fame Competition.
  • The 9th International Conference on Curves and Surfaces will be held 28 Jun – 04 Jul 2018 in Arachon, France.
  • CFD will be on display in Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ MRJ Museum, dedicated to the Mitsubishi Regional Jet. The museum opens 30 November and includes a display on “cutting-edge technologies” used in the jet’s design including CFD.

Pointwise’s Events

Long Reads

  • Worthwhile read: 3 Things Executives Value Most in a Mechanical Engineer. This free ebook from Onshape (registration required) includes advice about considering the user experience of all aspects of a customer’s interaction with your product. [P.S. This applies to more than just mechanical engineers IMO.]
  • More reading: ERCOFTAC has an online knowledge base billed as ” the world’s foremost repository of structured knowledge and advice designed to underpin quality and trust in the industrial application of CFD.”
  • Our friends at GridPro delve into the question Is Grid Generation an Art or a Science? Their article extends the discussion that I attribute to Tim Baker’s seminal 2005 paper Mesh Generation: Art or Science? [Without giving too much away, IMO meshing is a science. I’ve yet to find a profession that doesn’t claim to involve a bit of artistry which is used in the sense of expertise bordering on the sublime.]

Multi-block, structured grid topology for an airfoil with ice buildup generated using GridPro. Image from GridPro. See link above.

This is How We Work

Painter Kes ZapkusWays of Work (see below) made me think, “Yes, these are the ways we work” in the sense that curved shapes and hard-edged meshing components and colors are brought together into CFD meshes. There is definitely a “work in progress” vibe going on here.


Kes Zapkus, Ways of Work, 1993. source

While working on meshes, I’d like to be seated in the Bertoia structured grid chair shown below.


Bertoia Small Diamond Chair. Image from Hive Modern. source

Bonus: Sushi in a wind tunnel.

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