This Week in CFD

simerics-phil-frank-supercarThis week’s CFD news includes a very cool study of vortex collisions and what they can tell us about turbulence. More good reading is available in articles on hidden fluid mechanics and hybrid geometry modeling. Shown here is a simulation of Phil Frank’s Supercar done using Rhino Flow RT.

Computing & Business

  • Microsoft’s Azure HBv2 Virtual Machines specifically target CFD use.
  • The folks at ANSYS ended 2019 on a high note: Q4 revenue was $486 million with profit of $166 million.
    • ANSYS has a goal of $2 billion in revenue in 2022.
  • Our friends at Tech Soft 3D (HOOPS, etc.) will be expanding their business with funding recently acquired from Battery Ventures. “Tech Soft 3D doesn’t make CAD, it makes CAD possible,” according to Monica Schnitger.


  • Speaking of Tech Soft 3D, they released HOOPS Visualize 2020.
  • New to me is SelfCAD, “a fully-featured, fully integrated, user- friendly, online 3d modeling application.”
  • FEATool Multiphysics 1.12 has a built-in interface to SU2.
  • DCS Computing announced the launch of new DEM software, Aspherix.

PDM Analysis estimates that CFD optimization of screw compressors, expanders, and pumps could reduce power consumption and emissions by 5%. Image from 

Good Reading

  • Hidden Fluid Mechanics is [to me] a paradoxical name for a technique based on use of flow visualizations to train a machine learning algorithm to generate fluid results.
  • [OK, maybe I spoke too soon about that “hidden” paradox.] PTC writes about the ability to see the unseeable in your design, the “digital fluids,” through use of Creo Flow Analysis built using Simerics which includes automatic fluid volume extraction.
  • Our friends at Spatial share a nice overview of hybrid modeling and the pros and cons of each of its components (B-Rep, polygonal, point cloud, and voxel). Not to nitpick, but
    • “BRep takes too much processing power” to visualize. I quibble with the inclusion of the word “too” because it implies a comparison to something else and is very implementation dependent.
    • Subdivision surfaces seem to be left out of the discussion of polygonal models. If included, many of the cons might be eliminated.
    • Maybe it’s just me, but a point cloud model gets reduced to a polygonal model before usage so I’m unclear on why it’s mentioned as a distinct category.

Example of in situ visualization from ParaView. 

CFD for…


IMAGE OF THE WEEK – From the Hulk school of research (smash things together) a study of vortex collisions offers promise in understanding turbulence. Image from

You Are In a Maze of Twisty Grid Lines, All Alike

If you’ve ever had to debug a mesh visually, Sarah Morris‘ painting below should look familiar. You’re looking at a maze of twisty grid lines, all alike, with colors (metrics) thrown in for (hopefully) good measure. You have to mentally unpack the 2D image on the computer screen into the 3D grid.

Morris isn’t doing mesh generation but the analogy I’m using to “twisty passages” does dovetail with her interest in abstracting urban environments and their related social dynamics. Not all of her works utilize this mesh motif but throughout them all I can see how the geometry relates to the urban portion of her interest. But what I find most striking throughout her entire body of work is her unique color palette and how it entices the social component of the environment.


Sarah Morris, Pools – Blue Moon [Miami], 2002. Image from See link above.

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1 Response to This Week in CFD

  1. Two Vortex Rings Colliding in SLOW MOTION – Smarter Every Day
    #smartereveryday #vortex #fluiddynamics

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