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Editor’s Pick: Add-Ons Extend Design Exploration and Optimization

By Anthony J. Lockwood

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

With all the CAE software and HPC (high-performance computing) hardware out there you’d think that CFD-based design exploration and optimization were a snap to do. After all, exploring and optimizing is what it’s all about as well as where the fun is. Yet, set-up, execution, and post-processing can be a struggle, especially when you start talking about scripting. And let’s not ignore that sticky little bit about managing your resources so that some engineering VP doesn’t freak out at you for chewing up the license fees. Recently, CD-adapco and Red Cedar Technology announced that they’ve partnered to offer a solution that seems to make CFD-based design optimization practical and affordable. The solution is called Optimate.

A bit of primer: CD-adapco has been developing engineering simulation solutions for fluid flow, heat transfer, stress and related phenomena for years. You probably know it best for its STAR branded products, such as STAR-CD, STAR-Cast, and STAR-CCM+. Red Cedar Technology develops engineering optimization software and provides CAE-centric high-level services. The HEEDS line of optimization, data processing, and visualization software is where Red Cedar earned its rep.

OK, now Optimate and Optimate+ are add-on modules for CD-adapco’s STAR-CCM+ integrated engineering physics simulation system. The gist of it is that Optimate leverages HEEDs and enables you to set up, execute, and post-process design exploration studies such as parameter sweeps and DOEs (design of experiments) easily. Optimate+ adds the capability to perform automated design optimization studies using the SHERPA optimization/search algorithm from Red Cedar for efficient optimization of complex CFD simulations.

Optimate works within the STAR-CCM+ environment, and it works automatically. What that means is that once you set up your parameters, Optimate submits jobs to run automatically while searching for a solution and collects simulation data. You don’t have to attend to it once running, letting you turn to other jobs.

And, there’s no scripting required for doing optimization and boundary condition problems. That means, no more Java training when running those types of problems. The companies also say that nowhere with your Optimate work do you need to write scripts.

Optimate includes CD-adapco’s Power Token software licensing. A token is equal to one process job on a CPU. Power Token licensing lets you “mix and match” the amount of simultaneous simulations and the number of parallel processes within each simulation. So, basically, what you’re talking about here is concurrent jobs running on CPUs with the flexibility to split your resources between jobs or concentrate them on a single job.

CD-adapco seems to find ways to do things that make your life easier either by partnering with outfits like Red Cedar with killer technology that expands STAR-CCM+’s killer technology or by extending engineers the flexibility needed to do the job right. The Optimate add-on modules seem to fit both bills. Check out the webinar (no registration) from the link at the end of today’s Pick of the Week write-up to see what Optimate can do for you. Good stuff.

Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

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About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.