This Week in CFD

This week’s CFD news begins with events and I’d be remiss if I didn’t open with a reminder of next week’s CadenceLIVE at which you can learn about CFD and Intelligent System Design. There’s a very cool application of crosswind takeoff on an aircraft’s engines and plenty of positive news from the business side of CAE. Plus all the other news about democratization, geometry model prep for CFD, and survey results on HPC usage for simulation. Shown here is a Numeca simulation of NASA’s X-59 Quiet Supersonic Technology aircraft. Everyone wants to go faster than the speed of sound these days but you’ll need CFD to help you get there.


  • The 2nd ELEMENT Workshop will be held on 09 Jun 2021 (next week) from 14:00-17:00 UK time. ELEMENT is the Exascale Mesh Network and they’re building a community to undertake benchmark studies and to produce a vision paper and research agenda. The event will be online and they are accepting registrations.
  • CadenceLIVE Americas is coming up next week on 08-09 June and on the first day you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the extension of Multiphysics Systems Analysis to include CFD.
    • Here’s the agenda by topic where you can find the CFD session.
    • You’ll probably also want to checkout the keynotes including Cadence’s CEO and president and guests from Google and AFRL.
  • Reminder that the 29th International Meshing Roundtable is coming up later this month on 21-25 June and will be an online affair.
    • If for no other reason, you should attend to see the Pointwise entry in the meshing contest. (Teaser below.)

From Cadence HQ

  • One of the benefits of writing on Cadence’s CFD blog (in addition to Another Fine Mesh) is that on the former they gave me a nice [?] caricature to use as a profile picture. [The mouth is too small.]
  • Cadence released FINE/Marine V10.1 with new capabilities for sailing [take me away], wave initialization, and propellers.
  • Cadence released Pointwise V18.4 R4, a maintenance release.

News 1

  • asked the question “Why is it always so hard to prepare geometry for CFD mesh generation?” and we answered.
  • Our friends at Altair had a good first quarter with numbers that got better the deeper you dug: total revenue up 14% to $150 million, software revenue up 20%, software license revenue up 24%. SimSolid was said to be their fastest growing software products (congrats, Ken). Strategically the company focuses on the convergence of simulation, HPC, and AI.
  • Speaking of Altair, DEVELOP3D reports that “Altair has announced Altair One, its integrated platform to bring together the company‚Äôs entire product suite and leverage HPC and cloud resources for running computational simulation applications.”
  • The folks at ANSYS reported similarly good results for Q1 with revenue up 19% to $372 million.
  • Siemens also reported good results with top-line revenue up 8% with Digital Industries up 4% and software up 5%.
  • Speaking of Siemens, they acquired SPH code developers Nextflow Software. [I refuse to type “meshless.” Wait, wut?]
  • You have until 13 June to submit your entry in Dassault Systemes’ Project of the Year Contest which appears to be open to students.
CFD solution by Turbostream from a case study of a crosswind takeoff during which the engines experience vastly different inflows. Image from Visit the link and be certain to watch the video.

News 2

  • Is the projected 11% growth rate of the CAE market due at least in part to democratization, expanding the user base by making simulation more accessible, usable, understandable? Digital Engineering makes the case that it is a contributing factor.
    • The comments about a “UI revolution” certainly ring true. Preparing and running a simulation often presents “cognitive overload” that any software’s UI can accommodate. To be clear, this is not about treating users as novices; no one likes that. It’s about targeting what Alan Cooper calls “perpetual intermediates” in his books about UI design. In fact, this is one aspect of what we’re trying to accomplish with Pointwise’s Flashpoint feature suite that combines automation with control.
  • You can register to download a paper describing how ANSYS (or Ansys) and Intel (or INTEL) worked together to speed-up Fluent by 12-19% using the MKL Sparse LDU smoother.
  • Speaking of ANSYS, you can download a the survey report Study on HPC Usage for Engineering Simulation (registration required). Things I noted:
    • Few (4%) simulations are run that require more than 48 hours (wall clock). The sweet spot seems to be 3-8 hours.
    • The respondents overwhelmingly said that to reduce turnaround time their organization should buy more software licenses, upgrade existing hardware, buy new hardware.
    • 13% of respondents say their simulations will expand to use 132 compute cores over the next year.
CFD simulation from ANSYS Fluent. Image from See article above about LDU smoother.

CFD for…

NASA X-59 QueSST X-Plane CFD solution by Numeca from the article Fluid Dynamics Investigation of the Sonic Boom on a Supersonic Aircraft. UPDATE: Thanks to alert reader Mike for pointing out this is the C25D and not the X-59.

Balancing 3D Geometry

I first discovered these hand-cut, wooden balancing “stones” in my Instagram feed and was immediately intrigued by their shape and color. I had to add them to my collection of faceted things.

As it turns out, these balancing stones are based on an ancient Japanese game called “tumi-ishi” that “trains your sense of balance and creativity.” My sense of balance needs some centering because 4-5 stones is about as high as I can stack them and my competitive personality then gets a bit frustrated. Not quite as Zen as my lovely wife who stacked 8.

Balancing Stones are available from Happy Little Folks in the UK. (I receive no compensation of any kind for sharing this information here.)

I’ve forgotten whose IG post it was that introduce me to these balancing stones, but “thank you” to whomever you are.

Balancing Stones from Happy Little Folks. See links above.
Update: Proof of her ability.

Reminder: The World Championship Air Race is returning in 2022.

Fort Worth: Apologies for being a “homer” but two recent news items tell a story about our hometown. First, Fort Worth is now the 12th largest city in the U.S. I and others found this surprising because the city gives off a much more relaxed vibe and doesn’t look or feel like a big city. Second, the “Silicon Prairie” is growing as software tech jobs continue to grow in the region spanning Austin and DFW.

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