This Week in CFD

gasturbine-whiteThis week’s CFD news leads with a summary of some of the cool CFD-related events going on at next summer’s AIAA Aviation include special sessions focused on quantifying the effects of the mesh on a CFD solution. Three separate events are wanting your cool CFD images (AIAA Flow Visualization Showcase, SU2 Foundation, and ANSYS Hall of Fame). And oh my, our friends at ANSYS have been busy recently judging by the number of times they appear in this week’s post. The image shown here is from Tecplot’s announcement of Tecplot 360 2019 R1.

AIAA Aviation 2020

  • The call for papers for AIAA Aviation 2020 (15-19 June in Reno) is open until 07 November. Cool things going on at this conference include:
    • A special session from the CFD 2030 Integration Committee on Designing Grand Challenge Problems for the CFD 2030 Vision.
    • Special session(s) from the Meshing, Visualization, and Computational Environments Technical Committee on Mesh Effects for CFD Solutions. While not a workshop, authors are asked to document their work on quantifying what a “best practice” mesh for a multi-element airfoil. [It’s not workshop so I should stop referring to it as GMGW 2 ½.]
    • The Flow Visualization Showcase in which fluid visualizations that enhance the understanding of the flow are judged with awards given for most artistic, most quantitative, and most comprehensive.

From Pointwise


CFD solution (right) computed with CRUNCH CFD on a hex-core mesh (left) from Pointwise V18.3.



CFD simulation of the pedestrian environment in an urban environment computed with OpenFOAM and SimScale. Image from 



This visual comparison of mesh types in a human nasal passage is from an ANSYS article about CFD and personalized medicine.

Grab Bag


  • Tecplot released Tecplot 360 2019 R1 for CFD visualization including faster readers for CONVERGE, OpenFOAM, SU2, and FUN3D.
  • Autodesk and ANSYS announced a collaboration for automotive manufacturers.
  • Nogrid pointsBlow 3.2.0 was released for simulation of container glass. [I am juvenile so whenever I read about their products I agree that no grid points does indeed blow.]
  • ANSYS 2019 R3 focuses on autonomous vehicle development.
  • Someone smarter than me will have to explain Xplicit Computing’s announcement of their plans to open source something called protocol buffers to share complex data between computers. [Not that I doubt it. I just don’t grok it.]
  • ATA Engineering launched a GitHub page where they’ll host and share add-on modules for Mississippi State’s Loci/CHEM CFD code.

Screen shot from a video showcase of MSC’s CFD capability, SC/Tetra.

The Tet: Rational Yet Elusive

Artist Conrad Shawcross uses the tetrahedron in several series of works to explore how to look beyond the rational to the metaphysical. Almost as though he has written mesh generation software himself he says “While [the tetrahedra] appear to be functional or of rational intent, their meaning remains elusive.” He goes on to share that his Paradigm series explores how the works appear to be on the verge of disintegration and collapse drawing a parallel themes of expansion and collapse of the universe itself.

Be certain to visit his website to explore a variety of works that utilize the faceted motif. Last year’s exhibition of his work titled After the Explosion, Before the Collapse, was described as mirroring the wonders of life and space.


Conrad Shawcross, several Paradigm works from the exhibition After The Explosion, Before the Collapse. Image from See links above.

Bonus: How swarming insects act like fluids.

Bonus?: Taking the “web” analogy of a mesh perhaps a bit too far, Bug Under Glass has captured spider webs by spray painting them so they harden for permanent display. The image below is from their Facebook page and cannot be found on their website. Spiders are foul beasts so I cannot fully endorse this.


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