In an insightful article by CFD Engine, 12 industry experts shared their views and opinions of the CFD industry, highlighting areas where innovation is currently being restricted and engineers are being held back. The responses are extremely useful for CFD software vendors such as Envenio, raising valid points from the 'front line' of simulation.
In this blog, we select a few of the key themes highlighted in the article, and explain how is tackling CFD industry limitations by providing a workable, affordable, and accessible solutions via the cloud-based, on-demand CFD platform, EXN/Aero. If you'd like to find out more about the fundamentals of CFD, check out our Essential Guide to CFD Simulations.
- John Chawner, President of Pointwise, highlights that most estimates currently rank preprocessing as consuming some 60-80% of an engineer's time when it comes to applied CFD.
- John goes on to highlight the advances needed in geometry interoperability, better NURBs handling, better faceted geometry handling, feature detection, defeaturing, cleanup/repair, and simplification.
- Meshing algorithms need to be more robust, target specific analysis needs, and faster.
- The EXN/Aero platform features a high performance meshing tool (Pointwise) capable of exporting structured, unstructured, and hybrid meshes while the solver accomodates mixed mesh precision (concurrent single/double precision in the same mesh).
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Apps, Technology & The Cloud
- Current hurdles facing CFD users include security, expensive licensing, and impractical hardware requirements, limiting innovation and product competitiveness.
- CFD vendors are now embracing the 'cloud' and looking at ways to innovate.
- While not mentioned in this particular article, may CFD users are still reluctant to fully embrace the cloud. This was reflected at the NAFEMS17 Congress, where more than two-thirds of attendees are yet to migrate to the cloud.
- Paul Bemis, President of Applied Math Modelling Inc., highlights a key industry requirement that "tools need to be mobile and able to run from a low cost laptop or tablet".
- Wolfgang Gentzsch, Co-Founder of The Ubercloud, states in the report that "seamless, on-demand, intuitive access to CAE cloud resources is required. Hardware plus CAE software, fully bundled, must be accessible at a user's fingertips without the current hurdles".
- Envenio's EXN/Aero brings high performance CFD software to a regular laptop, only a browser is needed.
- The on-demand nature of EXN/Aero answers the call of Wolfgang Gentzsch, bringing the very latest technology to the user in an uncomplicated manner, allowing them to access CFD quickly and without restriction.
- Although the cloud wasn't a key factor in this article's responses, Envenio believes there is still a way to go in terms of informing and educating the community as to the advantages offered by the cloud. Envenio continues to embrace cloud computing, as part of a wider industry shift to build confidence in this area of computing.
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- Joe Galliera of Solidworks highlights price of software and cost of ownership (maintenance) as a large barrier to wider acceptance (beyond technical limitations). In addition, Joe adds in the possible requirement of an experienced engineer who can effectively use the software.
- CFD vendors rarely publish pricing of their software online, further adding to the perception that 'if you have to ask, you can't afford'.
- Fixed costs and restrictions on usage, as well as the varying need for simulation, can make it complicated for a company to have what they need, when they need it, when it comes to simulation capability.
- Jeff Waters points out the need for 'radically different, pay-as-you-go cost and delivery models'.
- Clearer pricing structure readily open and available to potential customers.
- Innovations such as flexible licensing models, and the opportunity to access the right amount of simulation capability when it's needed.
- An open, affordable, and flexible pricing structure displayed on a designated pricing page.
- 'Pay-as-you-go' option at just $250 per month, designed to allow engineers to cash-flow their projects, and access software to expand their capabilities on the fly. This allows companies to adapt their simulation capability as required.
- Free trials are also available to offer full transparency, including 10 compute hours along with a kickoff session with one of Envenio's experienced engineers, helping to set up the first problem.
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- Lack of transparency when running CFD simulations with a number or proprietary software.
- CFD results often depend on the choices made by software dveelopers and the user should have an understanding of the code to understand potential risks being taken when using particular software.
- Open-source CFD is very important, with a requirement for transparent simulations that can be reproduced. Karim Fahssis, Co-Founder of MeteoPole Zephy-Science, believes that combining open source with cloud computing is necessary to potentially revolutionize the way engineering simulations are made through industrial-level performance improvements.
- Answering the call of Karim Fahssis, Envenio uses open source post-processing and offers an ability for the user to download the raw data to process locally.
User Experience & Training
- Users of CFD tools can now run very sophisticated numerical analyses due to advancements in software availability. However, a common consideration is the amount of training and education required to generate accurate simulation results.
- A reduction in the 'know-how barrier' is required. This could be in the form of different learning resources or easier-to-use simulation tools.
- Firstly, EXN/Aero has an easy-to-use interface, and the software has a number of 'intelligent' features. These features such as the intelligent load balancing scheme that assigns tasks to maximize resources, make for smarter, more accessible simulations.
- An experienced team of engineers are continually on hand to provide client support, which is included in the small monthly subscription fee.
- Training is taken seriously, and free trials and induction processes ensure the user is well briefed in how to use the EXN/Aero software.
- The team regularly host webinars and produce articles aimed at informing and educating the EXN/Aero user.
Don't forget to check the CFD Engine article out here.
EXN/Aero: For The Future
As has been highlighted in this article, EXN/Aero is a general purpose CFD cloud solver committed to embracing the needs of the engineering community. By considering the feedback of industry experts, such as those highlighted by CFD Engine, vendors can work to transform this sector and open up new opportunities and innovation.
The EXN/Aero platform includes a meshing tool, the solver, and a post-processing tool, and 1 TB of storage for your files. There are a range of on-demand options available to users, helping them to better manage project cash flow. This affordable CFD software is sure to be an asset to companies or CFD freelancers like. We offer free trials of the product, starting with a walkthrough with one of our engineers.