This Week in CFD

It never fails that the CFD world produces a plethora of applications each week beginning with the universe’s biggest simulation ever via LiveScience. But if you prefer your sims less in outer space and more in the clouds, there are three news items about CFD as a service. Bringing it down to earth, how about CFD for the world’s fastest tractor?  Beyond the applications articles there are plenty of software releases, some brief news, and what may be a controversial article about the practicality of quantum computers.


A Job

  • Johns Manville seeks to hire a CFD Engineer for their Littleton, Colorado location.


  • I recently discovered the following software packages for meshing.
    • AMReX: “A software framework for massively parallel, block-structured adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) applications.” [It says “block-structured” but to me it looks Cartesian.]
    • Chombo: “Software for Adaptive Solutions of Partial Differential Equations.” [You’ll have to click through to learn what Chombo means in Swahili.]
    • BoxLib: “…a C++/Fortran library for block-structured adaptive mesh refinement.”
    • SAMRAI: “Structured Adaptive Mesh Refinement Application Infrastructure.”
    • PARAMESH: “…a package of Fortran 90 subroutines designed to provide an application developer with an easy route to extend an existing serial code which uses a logically cartesian structured mesh into a parallel code with adaptive mesh refinement.”
  • As reported by DEVELOP3D, Dyndrite launched their Additive Manufacturing Toolkit (AMT), a GPU-powered geometry kernel.
  • Hexagon announced the launch of their Cradle CFD v2020 suite.
  • Also from Hexagon comes MSC Apex Generative Design.
  • ThermoAnalytics released TAITherm v13.1.

Close-up view of BMW’s Welt Building. Attendees of the FLOW-3D World Users Conference 2020 will not only hear a keynote address from BMW but will also have the opportunity to tour the BMW Museum (presumably in the Welt Bldg.) Image from

CFD for…


Thank you (?) to alert reader Dan who sent me to an online store where I could buy these mesh briefs for $10 just in time for Xmas. [Pro tip: DO NOT google for “mesh briefs.” Image purposefully shown at reduced scale.]

Things I Don’t Understand

  • We’ve all heard about single- and double-precision computing. But I’m only just now learning about mixed-precision.
  • I’m afraid that byteLAKE’s “CFD kernels” have me flummoxed. Exactly what are they?
  • An opinion: quantum computers will never be practical.
  • [In hindsight, virtually every link on this page could fit under this heading.]

Screen capture from a video showing a simulation of a 400 kg TNT blast computed using the Viper::Blast “weapon effects simulator.” [The website has little information so you’ll have to content yourself with the videos.]

To see a world in a grain of sand…

If you have not seen Pixar’s Oscar-winning film (best animated short film) Piper, I recommend it for two reasons. First is the story. Just plain wonderful.

Second is the technology used to create the film. There are millions of procedurally-generated grains of sand in each shot and their realism was obtained by modeling each grain (of which there are 12 unique types) with 5,000 polygons as exemplified below.

Read more in fxguide’s article “The tech of PIXAR part 1: Piper – daring to be different.


Millions of sand grains were modeled with 5,000 polygons each. Image from See links above.

Read even more at Pixar’s official Piper website.

To amaze your friends with your knowledge of Pixar trivia, Piper’s soundtrack was composed by Adrian Belew, the long-time guitarist for progressive rock icon King Crimson.

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