This Week in CFD

The CFD world did not stop producing cool news while This Week in CFD was on hiatus as evidenced by the fact that this post hardly put a dent in the backlog of bookmarks. There are two surveys seeking your input, one on using CFD software while working from home, the other on your wants from CAD software. And a research study delves into simulation and prototyping practices. If you have cold feet about using CFD, be certain to read the application story about the use of CFD in the design of winter cycling footwear (AirShaper results shown here). With that, let’s begin digging into the backlog.

The First Five

Flowfield image of an internal combustion engine simulation from the 2016 presentation by Paul Fischer, CFD, PDEs, and HPC: A Thirty Year Perspective. Here’s the video that goes with those slides.

The Second Five

How to go from a “tesselated mess” (bottom) to a smooth organic shape (top) using PolyNURBS in Altair Inspire.

The Third Five

  • CFD for clay extrusion nozzles designed in a framework with topology optimization and 3D printing. [Not the Play-Doh Fun Factory]
  • CFD for Tesla’s Cybertruck. [Slightly less of a toy than the Fun Factory]
  • CFD (by AirShaper) for shoes to keep your feet warm while cycling in the winter.
  • OpenFOAM 8 was released.
  • Lubos Brieda from Particle in Cell Consulting and two co-authors are working on a new book, Introduction to Modern Scientific Programming and Numerical Methods, due out next summer. They are seeking feedback on their webpage. [This is one of the latest efforts to teach engineers and scientists programming that’s not MATLAB, a discussion that’s gone hot and cold many times over the past decade.]
CFD was used extensively on the 2021 Mercedes S-Class. This image (not CFD) from Repairer Driven News discussed how many of the features of this vehicle for NVH will make it harder to repair when damaged.

You See Where This Is Going, Right?

Thanks to alert reader Eric for sending this example of the gratuitous use of facets in graphic design during the introduction last year of the electric Mustang Mach-E SUV. Image from USA Today. [There’s wordplay here about a coarse horse but I couldn’t make it work.]

The Last Five

Visualization of ramp vortices behind an aircraft from a DLR-Tecplot case study of optimizing the location of tail strakes. Image from

The Venn Diagram of Art and Engineering

There is the perception that abstract (i.e. non-figurative) painting is just an exercise in random aesthetics meaning nothing. There is also the perception that mathematics is dry, cold, and dead.

Crockett Johnson, engineer and children’s book author, produced many paintings based on mathematical theorems. Polar Line of a Point and a Circle (Apollonius), shown below, illustrates two orthogonal circles and is as fine a work of geometric art as I’ve ever seen, with a great deal of its appeal deriving from his color choices.

The Venn diagram of art and engineering has a bigger intersection than may be apparent at first glance.

Crockett Johnson, Polar Line of a Point and a Circle (Apollonius). Image from Futility Closet. See link above.

Bonus: I am not responsible for the time you spend playing working with the SynBIM online fluid simulator.

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