Five Simulation Ideas That Will Make You Smile

BlogCAE HubFive Simulation Ideas That Will Make You Smile

engineering simulation ideas - dolphins

The summer holidays are over for many of us, and we are preparing for a new business season, a new school semester or a new research project. And because everyone needs a smooth transition back to work, let’s take a look at some simulations that are not completely focused on industrial applications but rather on creative ideas. Don’t be fooled, though, they all have a strong foundation in engineering analysis.

Below you’ll find a selection of creative simulation ideas performed with the SimScale cloud-based software. Some you might find funny, but ultimately, they can all still be applied to real-world applications, opening a practical or research perspective.

Some of the projects are simulation ideas proposed by SimScale team members for the SimScalator internal contest. Others are from the users, and all are available in the SimScale Public Projects Library.

So here it is, a compilation of simulation projects that can be used as templates:

1. Particle Analysis in an Hourglass

Long before the advent of mechanical or electronic watches, humanity used a very simple tool for measuring time: the hourglass. We all know it. It is still used for a variety of reasons, especially in locations with special climates, such as saunas or greenhouses. But how many of us have wondered about the physical processes that control the leaking sand with such great precision that the time from the successive reversal of the hourglass is always the same?

The answer is simple: sand spill duration is dependent on the quantity and size of the inner hourglass neck. Here we have a very nice example of particle analysis in a turning hourglass performed on the SimScale simulation platform. In this YouTube video, you can see how the simulation results show the linear velocity of the particles, depicted on a logarithmic scale.

2. Impact Between a Bowling Ball and Pins

How many of us go out with colleagues on Fridays for a beer and some bowling? And how proud we are every time we knock all the pins down with a strike? Below you can watch a five-second video showing the impact between a bowling ball and the pins in a SimScale simulation.

3. Airflow around a Football

Earlier this summer, we booked many evenings to see our favorite matches from the UEFA EURO 2016 Championship. Some of us also made time to play a football game with friends, trying to apply the special effects specific to big players like Cristiano Ronaldo or Thomas Müller to the ball.

Funny CFD Simulation Airflow footballHere is a special CFD analysis of the airflow around a football. This project demonstrates how SimScale can be used to assess the aerodynamic behavior of sports equipment. In this case, a football is investigated with regards to the turbulent behavior of the surface pattern.

The simulation results show that the surface pattern significantly affects the turbulent structures in the airflow around the ball. This influences the trajectory and the stability of the ball, and it is one of the reasons why the surface patches should be constantly optimized.

4. Hydrodynamics of a Dolphin

engineering simulation ideas Dolphin modelI have never met anyone who doesn’t like dolphins. Some of us have admired them during this summer vacation in water parks. The luckiest have seen them jumping in the warm sea waters. But, at the same time, dolphins are a fascinating and rich topic of research.

Here is a simulation project carried out by one of our users, studying the effects of the free surface on the hydrodynamics of a dolphin swimming close to the water’s surface.

5. Toilet Flushing Simulation

And finally, one quite funny but still potentially industry-applicable simulation. A SimScale team member chose to perform a toilet flushing simulation for the SimScalator challenge. This may be a funny simulation idea, but it actually has very serious implications for toilet equipment optimization. The simulation performance is based on a multiphase flow analysis and focuses on the shear stress on the inner toilet surface.

toilet flushing simulation gif

The SimScalator is an internal competition that aims to encourage all members of the SimScale team (with or without an engineering background) to perform original simulations based on the free resources provided on the SimScale platform. All SimScalator participants are encouraged to share their experiences and platform improvement suggestions with the rest of the team. Every month, the winners receive a special trophy that they can keep on their desk for four weeks until the next session of the SimScalator.


You can also prove your originality by running creative simulations on SimScale. You are free to use any of the existing templates on the SimScale Public Projects Library to improve the simulation’s results or you can simply import your own CAD file and start your simulation from scratch. We are looking forward to seeing your simulation ideas live!


To discover all the simulation features provided by SimScale, download the document below.


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