This Week in CFD

m3sher-200pxIn addition to the usual CFD news, folks published some good online reading this month including a primer on Lattice Boltzmann methods and a new user’s guide to CFD. On the fun side of things, you can vote in a poll for a reader’s choice award for best product of 2017 and see how CFD can help grow weed.


  • Abaqus and Solidworks Simulation are now connected by Simulia Simulation Engineer (currently in “lighthouse beta”). This is an FEA structural simulation tool that connects Solidworks with Simulia in the cloud.
  • CADfix 11 SP2 was launched with enhanced morphing, hole simplification, and more.
  • A new release of zCFD is now available.
  • As described at Engineers Rule, Solidworks 2018 includes a great many new capabilities for importing and working with mesh files such as those you’d get from 3-D printing or scanning.
  • NOGRID pointsBLOW 2.8.3 is now available. [I agree; having no grid points does blow.]
  • Gmsh has been fully integrated with FEATool.

This is cool on a couple of levels. Note: not my car. 



Siemens PLM Software released Femap v11.4.2. Image from

Events & News

  • I’ve made my opinion clear on market forecasts, but this one that predicts a global CFD market of $1.8 billion by 2021 (versus $1.2 billion in 2016) reads like it was written by a bot with ADD (which doesn’t add to its credibility). [Because I’m such a jerk about these things, I really should track and plot them all in a spreadsheet. That might show something interesting over time.]
  • The 13th SPHERIC International Workshop on smoothed particle hydrodynamics will be held 26-28 June 2018 in Galway, Ireland. Abstracts are due 28 February.
  • The 2018 FLOW-3D European Users Conference will be held 14-16 May 2018 in Stuttgart, Germany. Abstracts are due 30 March.
  • Applied CCM and Applied CCM Canada will be providing worldwide sales and support of DCS Computing’s CFDEM Workbench, discrete element modeling software. [Full disclosure: both Applied CCM organizations are Pointwise partners.]

More Events & News

  • Mentor announced recipients of their inaugural award for Excellence in Electronics Thermal Design. The award, for which entries must use FloTHERM, went to work entitled “Development of a Compact and Efficient Liquid Cooling System with Silicon Micro-cooler for High-Power Microelectronic Devices.”
  • ICYMI, a recording of the webinar for XFlow 2017x‘s launch is now available on YouTube.
  • While we’re on webinars, a recording of Pointwise’s webinar, The Influence of Meshing Strategies on Simulation Efficiency , is also now available on-demand.
  • While this review of the new iMac Pro is interesting enough, the fact that one of the benchmarks used to measure its performance is mesh generation for CFD.



An award-winning medical advance that involved CFD is this spiral-inducing bypass graft from the University of Manchester. Image from

Space, White and Otherwise

I had been thinking earlier this morning about white space in graphic design and how it is underappreciated. Too little and your design looks like a Geocities webpage from 1995, too much and your design becomes as diluted as a hotel bar gin and tonic. I can draw analogies with music (“It’s taken my all of my life to learn when not to play.” -Dizzy Gillespie) and sports (“What are you going to do for the team when you don’t have the ball?” -John Wooden).

Then along comes my discovery of abstract painter John McLaughlin (also this morning) who has been called the most significant post-war painter that no one knows about. While his work doesn’t fit the normal motif of what I share here (grid, mesh, reticulation), his geometric forms are a close second. My brief examine of his work online reveals a simplicity, openness and balance that eschews interpretation for possibility. I’ve seen many painters of geometric forms and McLaughlin is one of the few that I’m going to delve further into.

Earlier this year, his work was exhibited at the LACMA in Total Abstraction. You can read a review of the exhibition in the LA Times.


Screen capture from a video of John McLaughlin’s recent LACMA Exhibition, Total Abstraction. In addition to my preference for painting and abstraction the work shown above touches upon a third – black & white.



Alert reader Erick found this “XY Grid Shirt.” While the design itself is rather unremarkable, I give the clothier props for the 2-D grid name.

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4 Responses to This Week in CFD

  1. tautges says:

    I want an unstructured version of the xy grid shirt. I might even be persuaded to pay $49 for it (but $89 is right out, structured or unstructured).

  2. Not to belabor the white space commentary above, but I just heard an analogy that relates to it. A bowl has form – sometimes plain, sometimes extravagent – but its most important quality is the empty space it encloses. The bowl is an example of something that necessarily combines the tangible and intangible just like a painting or other design can simultaneously combine emptiness and fullness, white space and pictorial elements.

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