This Week in CFD

mesh-adaptation-that-works-small-cropThis week’s CFD news begins with brief but valuable advice about writing abstracts for your tech papers. Then for reasons that remain unclear, there’s a lot of news about meshing – applied meshing, mesh file formats, types of meshes, new meshing software. But don’t worry, there’s also CFD flow solver news and applications and a totally awesome video of the week. The image shown here is a teaser from a mesh adaptation study we did with ISimQ using CFX as the flow solver.

Writing, Winning, and Meeting

  • Do you write technical papers and/or review them? Have you stopped giving much thought to the paper’s abstract? An abstract is not, as Scrutiny of the Abstract states, a table of contents in paragraph form. [Thank you to alert reader Alberto for this reference.]
  • The 2020 Batchelor Prize, sponsored by the Journal of Fluid Mechanics and awarded for significant contributions during the past decade, was awarded to Princeton professor Alexander J. Smits for ‘for seminal contributions to our understanding of the structure of wall turbulence at very large Reynolds and Mach numbers.’
  • The ESTECO Users’ Meeting 2020 will be both live (Trieste, Italy) and online on 30 Sep – 01 Oct.

What We (Pointwise) Have Been Up To


Mesh generated using several of the new features in Pointwise V18.3 R2. See link below.

  • Pointwise V18.3 R2 was launched with two cool features.
    • Multi-threading has sped-up surface meshing by up to a factor of five in some cases.
    • Hex-core meshes (Cartesian-aligned, multi-level refined, hexahedral meshes on the interior of a hybrid mesh with boundary layer resolving prisms or hexahedra) now imprint on the symmetry plane.
  • We worked with our friends at ISimQ on solution-based mesh adaptation and they published a whitepaper about it and called it mesh adaptation that works. (No registration required.)

An image from ISimQ illustrating mesh adaptation (bottom) for a CFX flow solution (top). See link above.



Screen capture from a video illustrating “turbine blade flows with shroud thermal profiles” as computed in STAR-CCM+ and presented in the article What’s New in Simcenter STAR-CCM+ 2020.2.

File Formats for Discrete Geometry Models

  • From Medit, a company specializing in CAD/CAM for dentistry, comes this comparison of file formats for 3D printing: STL, PLY, and OBJ.
  • Because the previous article failed to mention the AMF and 3MF formats [which surprised me] I found this article about the most common 3D printer file formats.
  • Then there’s this: “As CAD users we have been conditioned to recoil in horror whenever confronted with incoming data like STL, OBJ, XYZ, or a number of other types.” [I would extend this comment to mesh generators too.] This quote is from an article introducing us to SubD or subdivision surface modeling.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK – Screen capture from an NVIDIA video showing a 150 Terabyte dataset from a NASA simulation of retro propulsion for Mars atmosphere descent.


  • From Cadsys25 comes the introductory article Mesh Generation and CFD Steps.
  • This article that asks whether SOLIDWORKS makes meshing too easy is chock full of gold.
    • First, you cannot make meshing too easy.
    • “Meshing is to simulation what chicken is to chicken soup.” The only problem with this analogy is people actually like chicken.
    • SOLIDWORKS seems to like cells with aspect ratios between 3 and 10.

Our friends at GridPro extol the virtues of structured grids for simulating the flow around reentry capsules. Image from


Meshed Comfort

Would you sit in the Entropy Chair? Would you pay $1,500 for it? Do you want “intensity” in your seating? I wonder whether it comes with a strangulation hazard label? [NSFW observation redacted.] Likely not suitable for toddlers.

“This intense chair has a metal cubic structure containing a web of black cord creates a one of a kind place to sit.”


The Entropy Chair. source

Bonus: As if we needed proof that emojis in email subject lines are bad.

Comment: My final proofing of this post left me uninspired. Let’s call it pandemic malaise. Hopefully 2020 H2 will be better. Or maybe it was just all the mIxED cAsE product and company names that are starting to make me cross-eyed.

Happy Independence Day to all our readers in the U.S. of A.

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