This Week in CFD

pia22424In this week’s post you’ll see some news from Pointwise about two upcoming events and a brand new case study about best practices gained from generating meshes for the propulsion aerodynamics workshop. The rest of the news, while good, is rather sparse and when you read you’ll learn why. Which is also why there’s this NASA photo of clouds on Jupiter.



  • Our friends at TotalSim have launched Bramble (, a framework for either in-house or cloud-based CFD in which the results are stored in a database that is queried and visualized with web-based tools.
  • On LinkedIn, Lubos Pirkl answers the ultimate question, “Which CFD code is the best?” None, is his answer. [I like his analogy position that any CFD code is capable of producing good and bad results. For me, the question is like a carpenter asking which saw is best. I could have the best saw in the world and still produce nothing but sawdust.]
  • Overture is an “object-oriented code framework for solving PDEs” that is open source and freely available at [I have known about Overture for years but hadn’t seen this website before, nor did I know it’s development now seems to be led by RPI and Livermore.]
  • Another open framework for scientific computing is COOLFluiD, originally from VKI.

From the “things you’d never expect to see meshed” department comes the High Heel Wedding Church in Taiwan.

News & Applications

From Pointwise


Defining Space Line by Line

Because today’s post is a bit of a mess (see below) I figured why not push my luck by posting an artwork that’s certain to inspire strong opinions. I first encountered one of Fred Sandback‘s works several years ago in Toronto but within the past year or so The Modern here in Fort Worth was showing one of his installations.

These works are done with yarn. The effect for me of all his works (like the one shown below) is to define and shape 3-D space using the simplest 1-D element of all – a line. It’s fun to watch other museum goers interact with Sandback’s works, how they will go around them as though they’re solid (albeit transparent) walls.

In a statement of his from 1999 (and yes, I formed my opinion long before reading this):

Early on, though, I left the model of such discrete sculptural volumes for a sculpture which became less of a thing-in-itself, more of a diffuse interface between myself, my environment, and others peopling that environment, built of thin lines that left enough room to move through and around. Still sculpture, though less dense, with an ambivalence between exterior and interior. A drawing that is habitable.

The parallels with meshing are obvious. The lines we generate around the perimeter of cells define the volumetric space on which your computations will be made. The meshes are an abstraction, and ethereal construction that define the space through and around which the flow moves.


Fred Sandback, Untitled (Sculptural Study, Seven-part Right-angled Triangular Construction), 1982/2010. source

Note: This edition of This Week in CFD is a bit of a mess. Publication was delayed by a company event. But Google Chrome decided on its own to resort all my bookmarks – again. And you can probably imagine how big my bookmarks file is. Or if you can’t imagine, it’s 35 MB. So I had a hard time finding what was new.

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2 Responses to This Week in CFD

  1. Niels says:

    Hi John,
    I would like to thank you for the regular “This Week in CFD” series, I always enjoy reading them, they provide me a nice overview what is happening in the CFD/Meshing world and I can’t recall how long I have been following the series.

    Now, on a recent visit to Reykjavik, Iceland, I stopped by the opera house and was intrigued by the beautiful architecture since it featured a mix of regular and irregular “elements” that made me think of this blog. Unfortunately I don’t remember whether it has been posted yet in any post here. But, if not, I would like to suggest this building!

    Kind Regards,

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