This Week in CFD

PPTC-Webinar-2018-06-alternateThis week I spent some time on Revolution in Simulation’s website to learn more about Sim Apps and democratization. There’s a fun article about CAD file formats and simulation and updates on software releases and events, including our own webinar that will show you how to generate a hybrid mesh for a marine propeller. [And I have no idea why there are so many parenthetical comments.

Events & More

  • The Revolution in Simulation initiative’s vision is “to become the web-based resource and community-building platform that provides education, inspiration, innovation, and collaboration in support of the democratization of simulation.” In particular, the initiative seems to champion “Sim Apps” (simulation applications, highly automated tools that are focused on very specific uses of simulation) as the primary method for ensuring that experts aren’t the bottleneck in our simulation workflows.
  • The 7th International Conference on Aerodynamics, Fluid Dynamics, and Aerospace Engineering will be held in Melbourne, Australia on 12-13 November 2018. They are currently accepting abstracts (could not find a due date). [And if you think the year 2030 is too far out to have a vision, how about their goal to address “the next 150 years of conceptualization in aerodynamics.”]
  • “Engineering can often be a lonely pursuit.” So begins a Stephen Covey inspired call for attendance at the 2018 Simcenter Conference. [It’s time to sharpen your saws people – get out of the office and attend.]
  • Speaking of author-inspired quotes in CAE, see how Convergent Science’s cofounder brings Edgar Allan Poe into a discussion of internal combustion engines.
  • code_aster User Day in the UK will be 11 September 2018 in Manchester.


  • The Meta Viewer (currently in Beta) provides augmented reality views of CAD models through their headset. [Why they’re not going with “Meta Beta” in their marketing is beyond me.]
  • C3D Labs announced plans to develop software to convert faceted geometry models into B-Rep (boundary representation) solid models.
  • Introducing the new [to me] AirShaper, a cloud provider of CFD.
  • ParaView 5.5.1 was released.
  • Software Cradle released V14 of their CFD software suite.

Pointwise News


Pointwise’s partner Applied CCM shared an article from Garry Rogers Motorsport about how the use of CFD for V8 Supercars has evolved over the past 6 years. This image compares how meshing was done back in the day (left) versus today (right). Image from

  • Pointwise’s own Carolyn Woeber contributed to Symbiosis: Why CFD and Wind Tunnels Need Each Other in Aerospace America. “We will always need to go into wind tunnels,” said Bob Stuever. “There are things you can’t model.” [There was a parody article in the late 1980s about how wind tunnel models of the future would model the exact faceting of the CFD mesh for even more accurate test results. If anyone has that article, please let me know.]
  • If engineering can be a lonely pursuit (see above), imagine the lack of personal interaction suffered by mesh generators. The Pointwise User Group Meeting 2018 is the cure where you can learn about the latest in meshing technology, learn best practices from other CFD experts, and see what’s coming next. Registration and the call for presentations (due 13 July) are both open.
  • The on-demand webinar on meshing the Potsdam Propeller Test Case (PPTC) will demonstrate best practices for hybrid meshing.

CFD simulation of a helicopter rotor in forward flight. Image from Aerospace America. See link above.


  • The Journal of Petroleum Technology shared an article about the design of fluid diverters that keep injected fluid from taking unintended paths. [Not linked to because of the subtitle “Jamming and Plugging.”]
  • SimScale shares 5 Tips on How to Create a High-Quality Mesh.
    • #5. Mesh Convergence Study. [Couldn’t agree more. Should be part of any end-user organization’s V&V plan.]
    • #1. [Well, wouldn’t we all like #1. Especially if we had control over it. ]
  • Flow Science details CFD work done to prevent pollutants from water treatment plants from being discharged into bodies of water during peak flow times. [Not linked to because of “sewer overflow” in the title.]

CFD simulations of combined sewer overflow. Image from See link above.

News, Hardware, Visualization, and CAD

  • Large, curved computer monitors are becoming so affordable ($700-$1,500) that this category of hardware is likely to become a special market segment worth tracking. [If any of you are using one (or a pair) of these 38-inch screens, let us know how you like it. I’m just using my 17-inch laptop screen.]
  • I’ve started reading [or more accurately, watching] the SimWeek posts from the Numerical Simulations blog.
  • Here’s Visualizing Data’s best of the visualization web for March 2018. [Reminder: I post this here because so much of CFD is about visualization and so much CFD visualization can be improved.]
  • SolidSmack tells us about a “how-to” guide for using subdivision surfaces authored by an experienced animator. [Plenty of grid pictures to keep me amused. Plenty of Sub-D talk to emphasize my lack of understanding.]
  • “Trying to send a CAD model to another software is like trying to make an elephant go into a pipe.” We read this in an article about the best CAD formats for CAE. [This article is a worthy read for those unfamiliar with the topic. BTW, it works if the pipe is big enough or the elephant is small enough.]
  • Does your CAD tool have the features you need to keep your company competitive in the 2020s? Tech Clarity wants to know. Please take their survey.

Just a Grid?

Is it just a grid or a perfect balance of “light, depth, and color?” Is it immediately obvious or does it take time to grasp?


Winston Roeth, Blue Light Dark, 2006. Image from

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2 Responses to This Week in CFD

  1. Did something get screwed up in your link to the “Best CAD formats for CAE”. I want to read it but it doesn’t look like I’m being redirected to the subject article! [Hyperlink issues aside, good post! There is a lot of cool stuff happening and I enjoyed the commentary. =)]

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