By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
The design cycle is full of the hidden costs that undermine your efficiency, time to market, and, ultimately, your profits. The traditional multi-step "design, export design, heal design, go to analysis, return to design, modify design, repeat" optimization loop can be one of those costs, especially if you’re not really an analyst but you, um, have to multitask. For more than a decade, Blue Ridge Numerics has focused on optimizing that loop by making CFD an early, often, and reliable part of the designer’s workflow. Still, it was CFD, which can be intimidating to those not trained or modestly familiar with it. CFdesign Version 10 is designed to remove the fear factor from CFD, even for first-time users. CFdesign provides your entire organization with powerful, CAD-integrated CFD simulation capabilities designed to be leveraged early, often, and throughout the design process. CFdesign can enhance efficiency by shrinking your design optimization loop.
CFdesign v10 makes CFD less intimidating through its user interface and by recognizing that CAD — not CFD — is your environment. By that I mean that when you click on the CFdesign button inside of CATIA, CoCreate, Pro/ENGINEER, Solid Edge, SolidWorks, SpaceClaim, or UGS NX/I-deas, CFdesign uses as many CAD conventions as it can so that you feel at home and not in some alien application. For example, your model’s orientation, color schemes, names, and material properties all are the same in CFdesign.
Once you’ve moved into CFdesign’s flow and thermal analysis environment, it makes design studies less intimidating as well. Property tables, for example, ease navigation, set up, launching, and visualizing simulations. The user interface lets you know what to do and when to do it, then CFdesign summarizes what was done. CFdesign also saves time and effort by providing tools that skip steps in CAD once required before you could conduct a simulation, such as closing voids in your design before an internal flow simulation.
Removing intimidation does not mean that CFdesign is a dumb-downed CFD. Earlier versions already supported auto meshing, extruded meshing, radiation modeling, solar loading, and a bunch of other powerful tools. V10 has been enhanced with such capabilities as cavitation prediction and quick forced, natural, and free convection simulation. Its new thermoelectric coolers option lets you leverage a library of manufacturer-supplied TEC components. By the way, take in one of the videos of today’s Pick of the Week write-up — even though they’re not of v10 — to see how easy it makes meshing. (Please note that v10 is so new that there’s not a heck of a lot about it online yet.)
What all of this means is that CFdesign v10 lets you turn your workstation into a digital prototyping workbench, saving you time, effort, and money wasted sending designs off to a test lab and finding out days later that the design is not anything near optimized. When that happens, you’re out of the loop when it comes to efficiency as well as out a few bucks. CFdesign lets you optimize your design yourself quickly and at a time of your choosing, even if you’re not a CFD wizard. CFdesign v10 will help you compact the design optimization loop, which will get you to market sooner. That’s what it’s all about.
Thanks, Pal – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering Magazine