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Editor’s Pick: Design Study Automation Embedded in the CAD

By Anthony J. Lockwood

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

A few weeks back, I had a webcast demo of CFdesign version 2011. As part of the intro, they mentioned that the company is the fast-growing CFD outfit around. I haven’t verified that, but I do know that CFdesign is high-powered CFD for designers not analyst druids. Version 2011 has just been announced, and any designer who must deal with fluid and thermal issues should make it a point to give CFdesign a serious look.

The CFdesign modus operandi is simple, even if the technology is not: Give designers and engineers an easy-to-use system to leverage CFD power early and often in their design cycle. Put emphasis on easy-to-use, early, and often. Running CFD to study and optimize designs from the earliest stages compresses production cycles, fosters innovation, leads to more robust products, and ultimately gets product to market sooner.

Although it is high-power CFD, CFdesign operates from the designer’s point of view, not the analyst’s. It clears away the complexities of CFD set-up and meshing, for example. Meshing, in fact, is automatic. And it works as closely with Inventor, Pro/ENGINEER, and SolidWorks as you get.

Take CFdesign 2011’s one-click simulations. What that means is that you can create CAD entities ready for analysis in your CAD platform from the CFdesign toolbar. So, you can have “out of the gate,” say, those inlets that you’re always re-designing. Since they’re tagged with fully editable default settings, you can plug one in, change settings like materials, repeat with a few more, then click and analyze. Multi-scenario design studies like that. And, since you can group and re-group these entities to suit your needs, you can build templates of SOPs so that the analysis-challenged can run studies without messing them up and bothering you to bail them out.

CFdesign has also evolved in version 2011 to accommodate the changing engineering desktop. For example, its new remote solving manager helps you setup and allocate workloads across multiple workstations, letting you schedule and run multiple analysis scenarios from a single source.

One cool new feature I have to mention is this new visualization functionality that gives you a thermal camera type view into what’s going on even in places you cannot see any other way. Another notable set of enhancements in CFdesign 2011 makes it easier to search, filter, and share materials with your collaborators. The materials library, BTW, is twice the size of previous versions.

You can read about what’s new in CFdesign 2011 from today’s Pick of the Week write-up. But what you should really do is go to the end of write-up and watch some videos. There are more videos on the CFdesign web too.

Over the years I have seen CFdesign grow from a good tool to have to what many believe is a mission critical tool. Still, the key is that CFdesign is powerful CFD for designers not analysis specialists. See for yourself.

Thanks, Pal. – -Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

Read today’s Pick of the Week write-up.

About Anthony J. Lockwood

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