This Week in CFD

ENGYShelyxv303-01-1024x576-CROPPEDSo much meshing this week including the IMR’s meshing contest, geometry modeling and preparation, high-order, and interoperability among other topics. And there are ship propellers all over the place, including the one from Helyx shown here. All this and other CFD news too.


Meshing, Meshing…

  • Details of the International Meshing Roundtable’s meshing contest are now online. This is a fun part of an annual conference for anyone and everyone working in the field of mesh generation, including end users. The conference (aka roundtable) is in Albuquerque this year on 1-5 October. Your note of commitment for the meshing contest is due 13 July and the final write-up of your mesh(es) is due 08 August.
  • MSC’s Marc includes global adaptive remeshing as described in this brief article and video.

Example of Marc’s global adaptive remeshing. Image from the Simulate More blog. See link above.

  • COMSOL’s article Your Guide for Meshing Techniques for Efficient CFD Modeling is long but don’t let that scare you off. I couldn’t stop reading as it was chock full of meshing goodness and covered a wide range of their meshing techniques. [It made me wish we had a cool euphemism like “physics-controlled meshing” or Converge’s “autonomous meshing.”]
    • Of interest [to me] were the concluding remarks “creating a good mesh for CFD problems is an art” and “the first mesh we create is rarely sufficient.” Why? The CFD Vision 2030 study specifically calls for usable meshes to be generated on the first attempt. Not picking on COMSOL, just making a point about the goal. All of should be asking ourselves why this is so.
  • The GridPro blog shares thoughts on high-order CFD including the need for generating curved, non-linear meshes.
  • Yikes! On the Simcenter blog we read “more than a half of the project time is spent manually or semi-automatically preparing geometries for a good quality engineering solution.” Fortunately, they have an app for that including surface repair.

…and More Meshing

  • Pointwise’s proposal on the topic of providing geometry kernel support for CFD flow solvers was selected for a USAF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I award. This work will involve and expand on our Project Geode.
  • We published an in-depth video demonstration of geometry preparation and hybrid mesh generation for the Postdam Propeller test case.
  • We shared the results of our survey on mesh generation and CAD interoperability. Is it accurate to say that half to two-thirds of you can’t or won’t work with geometry models in native CAD format files?
  • The Pointwise User Group Meeting 2018 will be here before you know it.
    • Due date for abstracts is 13 July.
    • Attendee registration is now open.
  • If you will be attending AIAA Aviation in Atlanta in a couple of weeks…
    • See the technical presentation by Carolyn Woeber and NASA’s Bill Jones on A Qualitative Study on the Effects of Mesh Guideline Modification for Unstructured Mesh Generation of the NASA High Lift Common Research Model (HL-CRM).
    • Meet our tech staff in Booth #208 in the exposition hall.



Thank you to Aerospace America for using this Pointwise mesh (adapted to a CFD solution) for their article Hypersonic Weapons Race.

  • Exa shared some thoughts on the future of truck aerodynamics.
  • CFD was applied to marine propellers to within 7% of experimentally measured efficiency.
  • NAV 2018, the 19th International Conference on Ship and Maritime Research, will be held 20-22 June in Trieste, Italy.
  • The Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards for 2018 are open for submissions until 07 September.
  • Altair’s 2018 Global Technology Conference will be held in Paris on 16-18 October. Registration is now open.
  • Siemens PLM announced that beginning in 2019 their NX software will utilize a continuous release methodology to deliver new capabilities to customers faster. [I’m not exactly certain what that means. Is it just more frequent, smaller releases? Or are these smaller releases somehow automatically applied? If you know, please share.]
    • There are some interesting bits in the FAQ linked to by that article. “customers in the PLM industry take at least 3 years to deploy PLM-specific software updates.”
    • Monthly updates are already being delivered to their customers and it appears customers have been installing them. So “continuous release” must be more than just that.

Points and Lines in Constellation

I’m honestly not certain how to approach Lu Xinjian‘s work. Aquarius, from his Constellation series (shown below), appealed to me first because it’s done in black and white. Then there was the frisson caused by the apparent connectedness of the elements that’s dispelled by a deeper viewing of the fragile, disconnected nature of the details. And despite the large black circle in the lower left that one would expect to act as a visual anchor, my eyes hop ceaselessly around the work trying to find a place to rest.

If you could hold a CFD mesh in your hands and crush it into a ball like a wad of aluminum foil, this is what it might look like – a morass of points and segments.


Lu Xinjian, Aquarius. Image from

Bonus: Congratulations to Lockheed Martin Skunk Works on their 75th anniversary.


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