This Week in CFD

Carwash_Poster_MoreSpec.pngSo much CFD news this week including a lot of software launches and a plethora of OpenFOAM versions. (So many OFs that I rhetorically ask for someone to map the OF universe for me.) There’s a very good read on the topic of Simulation and Understanding. The image shown here is a car wash sim from PreonLab. And Pointwise is now accepting applications for summer 2020 internships. All this and more ahead.


  • SU2 v7 “Blackbird” was launched and their Guide to Version v7 has the details.
  • As you are no doubt aware, Intelligent Light spun-off their FieldView CFD post-processing software into a separate company, FieldView CFD.
    • If you are unaware of this change, here’s what Monica Schnitger wrote about it.
  • ModelCenter 13.5 was released by Phoenix Integration and includes enhanced Python support and more.
  • CAEplex hosts SimShelf, a StackOverflow-type forum for questions about FEA and simulation in general. [The question that caught my attention was “How do I know if my mesh is fine enough.”]
  • ENGYS launched ELEMENTS v3.2.0, an open-source CFD suite consisting of a “virtual wind tunnel wizard” for external automotive aerodynamics and a general CFD capability.
  • Altair released EDEM 2020 for granular material simulation.
  • IronCAD “unvieled” IRONCAD 2020. [This mixed case stuff is getting frustrating.] In which we see that IRONcad is used a lot for metal fabrication.
  • FIFTY2 Technology recently launched version 4.0 of their fluid simulation software, PreonLab. [Most links in one sentence. I had to look up the meaning of the word “preon”.]

From Pointwise



  • We have a lot going on at AIAA SciTech next month in Orlando: tech papers, exhibit hall, and a reception Wednesday night. Come join us.
  • We are now accepting applications for summer 2020 interns on our Product Development and Engineering Services teams.



Come for the meshed fiddle. Stay for the the latest issue of Siemens’ Engineer Innovation. Image from

  • Software Impacts is a relatively new journal designed to “disseminate impactful and re-usable scientific software.”
  • The article Simulation and Understanding begins with “To predict is not to explain.” and ends with “‘God did it that way.’ is the philosphical equivalent of dividing by 1: works every time, doesn’t tell you a thing.” You should read what’s between those two statements.
  • For more reading, checkout the archive of course notes on fluid simulations hosted on the Physics-Based Animation blog.
  • What’s the best fluids journal?
  • [I’m gonna come close to the third rail with this one but,] how does one reinforce “American values” in scientific research?

CFD for…


ANSYS Fluent simulation of a Ferrari GT car. Image from See link below.

OpenFOAM x 4


A snow simulation done in PreonLab. Image from See links above.

  • silentdynamics is a CFD consultancy based around OpenFOAM including their own InsightCAE framework that provides pre- and post-processing. [Did I share this already? Can’t remember.]
  • olaFlow CFD Suite is a free and open source project committed to bringing the latest advances for the simulation of wave dynamics to the OpenFOAM and FOAM-extend communities. The suite includes the¬†olaFlow¬†VARANS solvers, reference materials and tutorials with pre- and post-processing tools.
  • G-MET Technologies has derived their marineFOAM solver from OpenFOAM.
  • [Has anyone taken the time to map the OpenFOAM universe with all the people and companies doing work on and around OpenFOAM? I would like to see this.]

Events and a Job


  • Have you heard about Overleaf, the online LaTeX editor? [It’s been 20 years since I last used LaTeX and still lust for its equation formatting.]
  • This year’s ACM Gordon Bell Prize goes to a simulation of electrical current flow through a 10,000 atom slice of transistors.

Uncommon Mesh

Alert reader Heather found Jaume Plensa‘s Sho right in our own backyard, at SMU’s Meadows Museum in Dallas. Plensa’s work portrays common objects in uncommon ways.


Jaume Plensa, Sho, 2007. Image from See links above.

Bonus: How many arrangements of four points result in only two unique distances between any two points? A bonus within the bonus is the Damien Hirst painting included in the article.

Double Bonus: From the “put your money where your mouth is” category, here is my new print by digital artist Andy Walker, hanging on the wall of mesh art in my office. Andy Walker’s work was shown to me by alert reader Andy (no relation) and was featured in the 08 November 2019 edition of This Week in CFD.


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