Posts Tagged ‘FloEFD’

20 October, 2015

October 21st 2015 is finally here. Yup, the day Marty McFly used a time machine to visit the future… a world full of cool tech. Someone with a lot more time than me recently put together a list of things that have come true – among them the hoverboard but the example the writer uses is not the coolest one out there (in my opinion). Check out this one by the good folks at Lexus. Ok I know it’s not a “true” hoverboard but it’s a giant step towards it. And being a sappy soul I just love this statement “the difficult takes time, the impossible just takes a little longer”.

It’s difficult to tell whether Hollywood takes inspiration from science or whether scientists are inspired by what they see on the big (and the little) screen. Maybe it’s a symbiotic relationship as in the case of The Martian – Ridley Scott consulted with NASA at great length while producing his latest blockbuster. Or maybe they all get inspiration by looking at the catalog of patents that are granted each year. Over the years inventors have imagined and patented a wide range of goodies. Some have been more successful. But some are wildly amusing. I recently watched a video about a “safety car”.  Judging by the spiffy outfits and the rad music I’d say it was from the late 60s. The chest cushion and the catcher bar were especially interesting and thankfully not very popular – I say thankfully because I walked away from a head-on car crash in the 90s where the airbag was deployed rather forcefully and I’m not sure how I would have fared had I been in the same accident with that cushion slamming into my chest*.

Unlike that chap’s outfit, imagining wild and crazy things hasn’t gone out of fashion. The British Rail patented a passenger craft of sorts for interplanetary travel in the 80’s. Although if I may be so bold as to advise the rail companies that we, the residents of this small island, would prefer that they focus their energies on delivering us to our destinations safely and on time on this planet before expanding their territories. If you haven’t been lucky enough to experience it first hand, rail travel here is more often than not delayed due to signal failures, leaves on tracks and freakish weather phenomena such as rain. So I can just imagine hearing this announcement in an overcrowded space port … the 17:05 to Jupiter stopping at the Moon, Mars and Titan has been cancelled due to cosmic dust… 😀

Joking aside, human imagination is only limited by what we allow ourselves to dream. Someone 30+ years ago dreamed of all those gadgets in the movie. Someone with a bit of money thought hey technology has come far let’s see if we can make the hoverboard happen. An engineer with a bit of imagination said I think I can figure out how…

My colleague Sergio Antioquia, who is one of our awesome support engineers, is a fellow sci-fi fan and a pretty dab hand at using FloEFD which is a CAD-embedded CFD software. Like any self-respecting sci-fi fan, he tends to use models from his favorite movies when he wants to test the limits of the software. And in honor of October 21st 2015 he chose the hoverboard:

A crash test dummy taking the hoverboard for a spin. Image courtesy of Sergio Antioquia. All rights reserved.

I must admit that it would be great to see an honest to goodness hoverboard in my lifetime. But judging from the look on the dummy’s face I think I might pass up on the opportunity to try it 😉

Until next time,

* In case you’re wondering what happened, having arrived in England a few hours earlier I was half-asleep in the front passenger seat. The driver, an American, made a u-turn in the middle of a country road and out of habit stayed on the right side. A few minutes later our VW Polo hit a BMW 5-series at such force that both cars were totaled. The two drivers and I walked away sore but without a scratch. In fact, we continued on (in a cab) to the restaurant and caught up with the rest of our colleagues 2 hours late but alive. Hooray for tech!


20 May, 2015

The other day I saw a great sign in a novelty shop. It featured the tale of a glass of water –

Image courtesy of Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Image courtesy of Microsoft. All rights reserved.

The optimist says the glass is half full.
The pessimist says the glass is half empty.
The engineer says the glass is twice the size it needs to be.

The sign made me laugh out loud as whoever made it clearly knew engineers.

Perhaps this pragmatism comes from your no nonsense nature. When looking at a problem, you look at finding the optimal solution. And more often than not the perfectionist in you wants to work on it until it is perfect. To make something perfect means you need time. Lots of time to tinker…. a bit here, a nudge there.  If we had all the time in the world then tinkering is just fine. But in real life we have deadlines and market pressures which require us all to get on with it. So sometimes good enough is just that … it’s good enough.

And one of those times is during the early stages of the design process when you don’t need to have 100% accuracy in your simulation results… you need something that is good enough. We all know that design is iterative in nature. The faster you can iterate to a final design the better – especially when you have a boss breathing down your neck. So speed and time are of the essence.  What’s a pragmatic person to do? Find a trend in the right direction, explore and tweak the model further and when you’re happy with your design send it off for final verification. Job done!

That’s why our family of CFD simulation tools is designed to be inserted easily and effortlessly into your design process. You can pick up FloEFD, FloTHERM, FloTHERM XT or Flowmaster as soon as you have a basic concept. And because it’s easy to set up problems for analysis and fast to solve them you can quickly see trends emerging and get on with the business of developing a final design fit for purpose.  Don’t get me wrong. Just because you can use these solutions early it doesn’t mean that you can’t use them throughout the process and into final verification. Because you most certainly can and you don’t have to take my word for it – just take a look at our extensive range of customer success stories.  What I’m trying to say is that sometimes you can achieve more in the long run by using the “good enough” principle.
Until next time,

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19 March, 2015

It is with great pleasure that I’d like to announce that we won the first annual LEDs Magazine Sapphire Award in the category of SSL Tools and Test.

The unique combination of T3Ster, TeraLED and FloEFD win the first annual LEDs Magazine Sapphire Award in the category of SSL Tools and Test.

The unique combination of T3Ster, TeraLED and FloEFD wins the first annual LEDs Magazine Sapphire Award in the category of SSL Tools and Test.

Over 100 products were nominated across 13 categories. And “the best of the best” were announced at a gala evening in Las Vegas. Products were considered against a virtual perfect product in each category and they were rated on a scale of 0 to 5 Sapphires. Fractional scoring was allowed to help further differentiate products in each category. According to Maury Wright, Editor in Chief at LEDs Magazine, “for a score in excess of 3 Sapphires, the judges were asked to consider to what degree the entry could deliver outstanding performance.” The unique combination of T3Ster, TeraLED and FloEFD was given 4 Sapphires. One of the judges even noted that the suite comprises an “excellent complete temperature analysis and simulation system”.  And we couldn’t agree more!

Our combination of software simulation and testing products can be used by development teams in the lighting industry to provide superior performance within compressed development schedules. And who wouldn’t want to get a better product to market faster?  Please join me in celebrating the good news and if you’d like to read more about the award and the selection process please follow this link.

LEDs Magazine tweet features John Wilson, one of our awesome Technical Marketing Engineers supporting the products.

LEDs Magazine tweet features John Wilson, one of our awesome Technical Marketing Engineers supporting the solution suite.

Until next time.

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2 February, 2015

I’m a perfectly good driver but I don’t enjoy driving in the dark on unfamiliar roads.  Recently I found myself driving in the dark from one village to another on a country lane in the deepest darkest Wiltshire. For those of you unfamiliar with Wilshire, it is a county in the South West of England. Here’s a picture of a typical country lane in Wiltshire. These roads are just wide enough for a car to drive comfortably in one direction. If you see another car approaching from the opposite direction you need to slow down and pull over as much as you can or find a “passing” spot where one car can lurk until the other one has passed. There aren’t any fast rules as to who gets to pull over so I do the “whose car is more expensive” test when I drive – the more banged up car always gets to go first.

More often than not country roads aren’t what’s referred to here as “Roman” roads. Roman roads are straight so you can see down the road for a fair distance; for example, a typical West Coast road in the States would be considered a Roman road. English country roads are curvy and a bit arbitrary shaped. To make matters even more exciting as you drive towards blind corners, the speed limit is 60 miles/hour. And there are no lights at night … until you arrive at a village. For a city girl who is used to streetlights and having a lane for each direction of traffic, driving on these roads in the dark creates a bit of angst.

On that fateful night I left the first village with no one on the road but me. For once it wasn’t raining or foggy … perfect conditions for driving. So I adopted a “sensible” speed and carried on. However, after about 10 minutes, a couple of cars joined me. Clearly these guys were locals because they were hurtling down these roads at the speed limit yet I was having a hard time going faster than 40 MPH before having to slow down abruptly in order to make the tight curves without smashing into a tree or a farm fence. My driving was agitating them but there was nowhere to pull over so they were stuck behind the “slowpoke”. For about 20 minutes they continued riding my bumper. I finally got to the turn-off for my destination (much to their relief I’m sure) and I continued the rest of the journey on my own barely going over 30 miles per hour. My friends know I find driving on these roads rather stressful so a healthy-sized glass of wine was thrust into my hands as soon as they opened their front door.

So when I watched this clip from the CES on BMW’s LED headlight concept design a couple of weeks ago I thought these lights would make country driving in England a whole lot less stressful! I love how the light is brighter and can light up a fair distance without causing grief for opposing traffic and how it adapts to help you see around corners (great for country roads and their funky shapes).  IMHO this concept takes automotive lighting to a whole other level.

Automotive lighting has changed by leaps and bounds in the past few years especially after the adoption of LEDs in their design. In fact some car manufacturers have taken advantage of the flexibility offered by LEDs to create very distinctive looks for their brand – when driving in the dark I bet you can always spot a BMW or an Audi.

Designing automotive lighting using LEDs has its own unique set of challenges. To help design engineers solve those challenges, we’ve introduced a full roster of simulation and testing solutions: the combination of T3Ster, TeraLED and FloEFD enable lighting designers to manage heat and condensation thus improving product reliability and life. I should also mention that with T3Ster and TeraLED they can measure both thermal and optical characteristics of single LEDs and full arrays to achieve proper light quality and color.

T3Ster, TeraLED and FloEFD enable lighting developers to manage heat and condensation thus improving product reliability and life. Image courtesy of Mentor Graphics. All rights reserved.

T3Ster, TeraLED and FloEFD enable lighting developers to manage heat and condensation thus improving product reliability and life. Image courtesy of Mentor Graphics. All rights reserved.

So it’s with great pleasure that I’d like to announce that this powerful combination has been selected as a finalist by LEDs Magazine for a Sapphire Award. The Sapphire Awards recognize innovations that enable SSL transition. The finalists were selected based on a point system and the winner will be announced next month. Regardless of who wins, it’s still quite an honor to be chosen as a finalist – seeing how our solutions help our customers innovate and produce incredible products is brilliant and winning a Sapphire Award for our contributions to the industry would be such lovely icing on the cake.


Until next time,

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16 September, 2014

In my job I need to exercise a fair bit of creativity. Sometimes my ideas are readily picked up. Some require a lot of massaging and some never see the light of day… I used to take criticism of my ideas personally but not since hanging out with engineers. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from you guys is that there’s no such thing as failure – only outcomes. As Thomas Edison famously said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” If a design fails to meet specifications it isn’t a failure. It’s an iteration and provides you with useful information.

Keeping this statement in mind is particularly helpful when you’re setting up models for analysis. One of the most complicated tasks related to CFD is meshing. Some consider it a black art that takes years to master. A mesh needs to be fine enough to provide you with an accurate result but the finer the mesh the longer the solution might take. So experience definitely counts because you’ll need to play with the mesh until you’ve achieved the right balance … a mesh nirvana of sorts. I remember back in the early 00’s meeting an analyst who would spend a couple of months refining the mesh on jet engines he was testing. Iteration after iteration … refining the mesh. And the more time you spend on meshing the longer you spend on analyzing the design (something that would slow down the entire This is a cost you pay for using traditional CFD software. No wonder some design engineers shy away from using CFD but I’ve got news for you.  The new generation of CFD solutions such as FloEFD, feature the latest in technology so you can reach mesh nirvana quickly :-)

Let me introduce you to the Visual Instruments Operations Division at Seiko Epson Corporation in Toyoshina Japan. The group is involved in designing projectors. Projectors are a necessary bit of kit for every conference room. If you’re like me you don’t really notice them until you realize that you have to make a presentation and the projector is missing, it’s not working or the fan inside it whines so loudly that as a presenter you start yelling at the top of your lungs. Not a fun experience for either party in the room!

Cooling airflow verification inside of the whole enclosure. Image courtesy of Seiko Epson Corporation. All rights reserved.

Cooling airflow verification inside of the whole enclosure. Image courtesy of Seiko Epson Corporation. All rights reserved.

Their analyst team started using thermal simulation back in the 90s. And in 2009, the organization adopted FloEFD to help enable design engineers analyze their own designs (as opposed to wait for the analysts) and speed up productivity. I found it interesting to read about their adoption of CFD during the early stages of the design process and how they optimized the design of their projectors while accounting for factors such as heat sources, noise and even humidity. It was fascinating to read that among their requirements for selecting CFD software for use by design engineers was that all members of the team had to be able to use it with ease of meshing being a top criteria. So by using FloEFD, their design engineers can now modify designs as they are developed. Fantastic! To read about Seiko Epson and their experience with upfront CFD please follow this link.

Pretty cool, no?

And as projectors go, the one in our conference room drives me batty. If only someone could figure out how to make all of our laptops work with it without having to revert to black magic and incantations, our meetings would actually start on time :-) Or maybe I’ll go have a chat with the IT group and see if we can get one of these beautiful Seiko Epson projectors… hmmm I feel a plan hatching!

Until next time,

PS. Thought I’d tell you guys about this brilliant initiative by Google and IEEE – The Little Box Challenge and its $1M prize! All you have to do is design a smaller power inverter (they’re looking for a reduction in size of 10x or greater). If anyone can do this, it’s you guys! And if you need a bit of help on the testing side get in touch with us. You’ve got until the end of Sept 2014 to register and it and runs through 2015. I look forward to reading about your efforts and drop me a line if you enter the contest!!! I’ll be cheering for you from the sidelines 😀

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23 July, 2014

I went out to a dinner party this past Saturday. I sat next to an ex-colleague who I now consider among my dearest friends. I met him five jobs ago – a while back we decided that it was kinder to our psyche to talk about jobs as opposed to the number of years. He is a brilliant engineer and has many years of simulation software use under his belt. He leads a team of several junior engineers who work on projects so nowadays he doesn’t get to play with software as much. But a recent project had brought one of the junior engineers to his knees so my friend was only too happy to roll-up his sleeves and get his hands dirty (so to speak). And before you say it, yes, we do talk about other things but invariably at one point or another we end up chatting about all things simulation.

Anyway, he started explaining the problem to me. I won’t go into the details but he was talking about the difficulty in meshing the model. I sat there quietly as he told me about how he fixed the mesh to get the project back on schedule. After about 15 minutes of listening, I couldn’t contain myself anymore so I blurted out why aren’t you using the automatic mesher? Our software can handle that problem without requiring all these steps. I finished that statement and pretty much everyone sitting at the table physically ducked – prepared for the verbal onslaught. You see, mentioning brand names is a no-no because a few of my friends are from the industry and use competing products. So brand name discussions can become rather heated philosophical type discussions similar to the goodness of apple pie and the flag… Thankfully he was in a good mood so he responded with a rather amused giggle and I took that as a cue to change the subject.

The evening progressed and we were several topics removed from our discussion but I still couldn’t shake the thought. Yes this is a competitive market but surely no one can be expected to deal with technology that is too difficult to use. I know meshing is a black art. But it seems that there’s this belief “in order for us to solve complex engineering problems we need difficult to use software otherwise it won’t be good enough” is so ingrained in the collective psyche that it has become a rule. The longer we believe it, the more it weaves itself into the fabric of our belief system and the more we guard it. And once something becomes a belief or habit, it’s very hard to change it… well for me it does.

Simulation results on an LED with FloEFD for Creo.

Simulation results on an LED with FloEFD for Creo created with Virtual Lab.

A few years back we published a whitepaper called the 5 Myths of CFD specifically to address these types of beliefs. During the past six years of invalidating those myths we have discovered a few more! If you’re interested in reading about those newly discovered myths, then I’d like to encourage you to download and read the 10 Myths of Computational Fluid Dynamics  And if you’d like to debunk some of those myths for yourself then give FloEFD on the cloud a try. We call it the Virtual Lab and it lets you try FloEFD for Creo for free (just follow this link for more information).   You don’t need to download anything. All you need is an open mind, your myth busting hat and a desire to see what the excitement about CAD-centric CFD is all about.
Until next time,

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6 May, 2014

The first time I came to London I was 5 years old. I’m pretty sure my parents dragged me to all the usual touristy places but I only remember disjointed fragments.

Feeding ducks in Hyde Park.

Sitting on the jump seat in a black cab.

Holding on to my dad with one hand and holding on for dear life to my new bestie, a rather large light-brown teddy bear, while standing outside Hamleys. Come to think of it we must have been quite a sight because I remember hordes of people smiling down at me and me proudly beaming my goofy smile back at them.

And strangely enough I remember the streetlights. Unlike the ones back home, these lights were orange and gave the foggy sky a rather eerie glow. When I returned to London in my 20s, I remember smiling to myself upon seeing the streetlights again. Their orange glow brought back a flood of happy childhood memories.

London on a clear summer night. Image courtesy of N Saye. All rights reserved.

London on a clear summer night. Image courtesy of N Saye. All rights reserved.

Alas my beloved orange lights are disappearing from London streets. They are being replaced with new more powerful and energy efficient LED lights.  According to a recent article from LEDs Magazine, by 2016, the city of London plans on upgrading 35,000 streetlights to LED luminaires. This project will cost the city about £11 million and is expected to reduce emissions by 9700 metric tons annually and save the city £1.85 million. While it’ll take the city a few years to pay back the investment, the ROI is clear.

Since LEDs are temperature sensitive, thermal management of LED streetlights can be quite challenging as illustrated in a recent article titled Simulation Enables Optimum LED Street Light Heatsink Design in LEDs Magazine. That’s why BUCK d.o.o., a company specializing in architectural and medical lighting, uses CFD simulation software. While working on a new streetlight design alongside Panasonic Serbia, the team used FloEFD to answer questions such as

  • How much airflow is needed to take the heat away at 55°C ambient temperature from a 140W high-power LED module?
  • In what way can they provide the optimum heat dissipation surface?
  • Where do the hottest air pockets form?

The article answered all of these questions and more. And as icing on the cake, this luminaire design was deemed so “cool” that it won the Good Design Award from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design. To read the article  please follow this link.

As a tech junkie I celebrate new technology. But I can’t help feel a tinge of sadness whenever I see another orange streetlight disappear. You see the light right outside my house was replaced with an LED one without much ceremony a few months ago. While I now feel much safer walking home late at night, I miss laying in bed catching a glimpse of the orange light through my bedroom blinds hoping to remember some long forgotten childhood memory.
Until next time,

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15 April, 2014

One of my recent social media feeds hit me like a ton of bricks over the weekend. “Yesterday belongs to the past. Tomorrow is the future. Today is a gift – that’s why it’s called the present” (Bill Keane). I sat there blinking at it for a while letting the thought sink in. You see I recently had discovered that while out walking some 600+ miles around the English countryside over the past couple of years I would stop just long enough to take a picture or two which I’d take home and post online – trying to share my life with my friends and family dotted across the globe. But recently while uploading a video I realized that I wasn’t living in the present – I wasn’t enjoying the moment as it was happening. I was saving the moment and then looking at it after the fact. Being a bit of a dreamer I believed that my head was always in the future… it never occurred to me how much time I spent looking back…

I guess we all do that to some extent … looking back and then thinking about the future.

Fifty years ago, during the 1964 New York World’s Fair, the movers and the shakers predicted what the future held for us:

•    Human habitats on the moon and under water
•    A picture phone where you’d see the person you were calling
•    Computers that did more than crunch numbers and offered recipes or answered questions
•    Robots that talked and moved
•    Jetpacks that allowed us to move around freely

Well some of these have come to pass – Robots that talk and move are now more than just something from SciFi movies but I must admit that while Asimo is cute I still find the more realistic looking ones a bit unnerving (just watch these two and you catch my drift). On a more down to earth level, I have spent countless hours on my mobile laughing with and looking at my loved ones. I’ve also been known to use my tablet and mobile to answer all kinds of questions. Come to think of it can you believe how much processing power now fits in the palm of our hands? Still blows my mind when I think about it because I cut my teeth on the DEC PDP-11 as a young whipper snapper. Yeah… that was the height of technology back in the day :-)

None of these beautiful gadgets would have been possible without advances in technology and most probably thermal simulation and testing – as electronic devices got smaller and smaller, more and more components were packed into a smaller space creating all sorts of thermal challenges for engineers. And without solutions such as FloTHERM, FloTHERM XT, FloEFD and T3Ster we’d have a lot more problems due to heat.

Will we ever have human colonies on the moon or under water and will I ever trade-in my beloved Mini for a jetpack? Who knows! I’ve decided to break the cycle and not constantly look back or look to the future. I live in the now. With all this beautiful technology around us, it’s a good time to be alive, don’t you think?
Until next time,

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25 March, 2013

You all know what a chatterbox I can be when I’m excited about something. So believe you me when I say the past few months have been excruciatingly hard for me. I’ve been sitting on some pretty big news and I’ve been itching to tell the world all about it.  Now that the cat is officially out of the bag, there’s no holding me back…

FloTHERM XT as the enabling technology in the EDA/MDA design flow.

The news I’m referring to is the announcement of our latest new product, FloTHERM XT. We officially announced the product last week but I’m just coming out from under the avalanche of emails and meetings post announcement to have a quick informal chat with you about it. For those of you who haven’t heard the news (and I can’t imagine there being many) FloTHERM XT is the coolest electronics cooling simulation solution to be introduced to the world in a long time. Like its sister product FloTHERM, FloTHERM XT is a specialized product – designed for use by the design engineer and the analyst who wants to optimize cooling of their electronics. What is really neat about FloTHERM XT is that it has also been designed to be used earlier in the design process – from concept through to verification and prototyping. So it brings the EDA and MDA (mechanical design analysis) flows closer so engineers can use the same design data throughout the design flow to create an even better design.

Leveraging the electronics cooling DNA from FloTHERM and the CFD technology from FloEFD, FloTHERM XT can make light work of solving complex electronics cooling problems. It also supports direct interfaces with all major MCAD software as well as Expedition Enterprise EDA software so you can import data when you need it, from where you need it. By bringing the two flows together, FloTHERM XT makes it possible to reduce the number of late-in-process errors. And it lets you quickly validate each design thereby enabling you to do more “what –ifs” to identify the best possible design … faster.

FloTHERM XT can be used for many electronics cooling applications in a wide range of industries.

Now I know I’m biased but I’ve also been in the CAE business for quite some time so it takes a lot to impress me. The first time I saw this product I congratulated the development team for creating such an elegant product. And yes I mean elegant. Because FloTHERM XT is such a radically cool product, we couldn’t just use the written word to describe it. So we created a short 7 minute video that beautifully describes the MDA/EDA design flow. To watch the video, simply follow this link. And if we’ve piqued your interest and you’d like to know more about how FloTHERM XT can improve your design flow then please attend this free online presentation on May 8th.  The presenter Ian Clark is the Product Manager for FloTHERM XT and he has been intimately involved in the design and delivery of this product so he is the best person to tell you more about it.

The electronics cooling simulation market just got hotter. And I like it.

But some people can’t handle the heat so they’ve started some rather silly rumors. So let me dispel them for you. FloTHERM XT does not replace FloTHERM. These two products each have a vibrant product roadmap and will continue to sit beautifully alongside one another in the design process flow because they each satisfy a different need in the electronics cooling simulation market. And anyone who tells you otherwise is telling you a big fat boldfaced lie!

Until next time,

PS. Unlike the electronics cooling simulation market, temperatures in England remain unreasonably low (notice I didn’t say unseasonably… it’s unreasonable that we get snow in the spring especially since we’ve been experiencing winter weather since oh last October?). Brrrrr….

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6 September, 2012

I live in a 3D world –3D simulation that is.  I remember when my work life went from 2D to 3D. I used to sit in a cubicle across from a software developer who specialized in graphics. He was a pesky lad. Whenever he’d get stuck on a particularly difficult piece of code he would throw missiles of all kinds at me – anything from crumpled pieces of paper to rubber bands and paper clips. I don’t know why I was blessed with this treatment but ignoring him would only result in more missiles being launched at me at a more frequent rate so my only option was to throw them back at him. Before you’d know it we’d be in the middle of a war involving a few other cubes. On this day he had been particularly quiet – a bit too quiet. At the end of the day he leaned into my cube, made an exaggerated point at his screen and coolly said “this stuff is in 3D man” in his thickest California surfer dude accent. And that’s how my marketing world went from 2D to glorious 3D images and animations.

All fluid flow problems are 3D so it’s natural that we would like to solve flow problems in 3D as well. But 3D simulation has a cost – depending on the size of the model and its complexity simulation can take a long time (especially if you use a traditional CFD code).

So imagine my surprise when I heard about 1D CFD. I first became aware of 1D CFD when my division acquired a company called Flowmaster. Flowmaster provides 1D software for the simulation of thermo-fluid systems. 1D CFD can be the ideal solution for solving a wide range of system-level problems such as those encountered in liquid or gas systems ie piping networks of any size or complexity. Engineers can quickly try out variations of the system design, see the impact on the entire system and ultimately find a reliable and optimized design.

Having lived in a 3D CFD world for quite a few years, the first thing that popped into my head was which one is better?

The correct answer is depends on your problem. Both 1D and 3D CFD let engineers improve their understanding of fluid flow and engineering designs and lots of companies use both to improve product and system design. But they each have strengths that make them a better fit for solving different types of problems. For designing complex systems 3D CFD is extremely accurate but it can be “computationally expensive” especially if you have a large/complex model.  1D CFD on the other hand offers a faster solution speed; however, it requires a lot of data to characterize the 3D elements of a system accurately.

Rarely do systems or components exist on their own… usually a system consists of a series of components. So wouldn’t it be great if we could harness the power of 3D and use 1D CFD to solve large system problems. Well, that brings us to why we acquired Flowmaster. Thanks to this acquisition, we now provide a tightly coupled general-purpose 3D-1D CFD simulation software solution. With this combination, engineers can characterize the more complex elements of the system in 3D and then insert those models and data into the 1D system-level simulation. Here’s a snapshot of the process. Design engineers run the analysis on components in FloEFD, save the results, and open the saved files containing the needed data in Flowmaster for analysis of the entire system.

Why is this unique? Because this is the first 3D-1D solution that can actually be deployed straight from the box without any customization and translation of data. And that means you can start becoming productive faster and achieve a return on your investment (ROI) faster.  By exchanging  data between the two simulation tools until convergence is reached for both the 1D and the 3D models we get better boundary values and more accurate system behavior. So in this case 3 plus 1 equals to a lot more than 4 – it results in a much better system-level design than ever thought possible without breaking the bank. This combination can be used in many applications involving complex heat transfer or geometry. And quite clearly this new coupled solution has captured the imagination of the engineering community judging by the amount of press it has gotten lately around the world.

So. Which one is better? The answer is they’re each great on their own but together they offer you an even better solution.
Until next time,

PS. I did manage to get Paralympic cycling tickets at the last minute and had the most awe-inspiring 3 hours of my life at the Velodrome (affectionately called the Pringle because of the shape of the building).  6000 of my closest friends and I watched as Team USA won a silver and a bronze and Team GB won a gold and a silver. I of course cheered everyone heartily (much to the delight of the people sitting next to me who decided to join in). To sum up that day, it was magic!

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