By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
I might have titled today’s Check It Out on-demand webinar “A Bunch of Neat Stuff About Autodesk Simulation CFD.” On second thought that’s a little too kitschy. Pay my Mad Men flop never no mind. EMA Design Automation and Jerry Berns, an application engineer for them, have put together a great 25-minute presentation here.
This broadcast targets designers, especially those of you who do not use CFD (computational fluid dynamics) or any simulation in your workflow. And that could mean a lot of you. According to research Berns cites, just 1 of 15 designers uses simulation — so few often because of the complexity of the software. So, let me say this out of sequence: The ease of use exhibited in the Autodesk Simulation CFD demo — which begins around the 7-minute 37-second mark — should convince you to take another look at upfront simulation.
The broadcast has two parts. The shorter first part is an introduction to CFD software and how it can help you improve design quality, identify potential problems, compress development times, and reduce costs through fewer physical prototypes. A brief, but notable, discussion of on-demand simulation via Autodesk Simulation 360 happens around 5:39. Not only does the cloud obviate the costs of workstations for compute-intensive applications, but buying access to — rather than owning — an application can make a strong argument in favor of cost-containment.
The Autodesk Simulation CFD demo is simply elegant. The designer’s workflow is its POV. The example part is a valve assembly made in Inventor, although Autodesk Simulation CFD works with native formats from other MCAD outfits like PTC and Siemens. Six choke valve designs are under consideration. Autodesk Simulation CFD is invoked from within Inventor, and one analysis is run through. Berns then clones his test format and swaps in a new choke valve to demonstrate the ease of running multiple design studies. Throughout, the presentation is crisp, thorough, and easy to follow.
The swap leads to what I found most intriguing: The Decision Center (20:18 mark). Here Berns brings in results from all six choke valve analyses and compares them side by side. There are visual comparisons, charts, etc. You can link images so that if you home in on something all the other images assume the same perspective. The Decision Center seems to be a helpful capability that people will latch onto.
The Autodesk Simulation product line-up features a number of acquired technologies from well-known entities such as Algor, Plassotech, and Moldflow. Autodesk Simulation CFD was formerly known as CFdesign from Blue Ridge Numerics. CFdesign was a pacesetter for designers needing to perform high-quality upfront fluid flow analysis and heat transfer simulations. It appears that by offering designers a whole lot of neat stuff in its new Autodesk Simulation CFD form that heritage holds. Check out EMA Design Automation’s well-done on-demand webinar from the link (registration free). It could surprise you.
Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering