Written by Megan Jenkins on June 13, 2019
June 5th, 2019
approx reading time
5 Minute Read
In any industry, performance optimization is an integral part of the product design process. With the current trends towards sustainability and efficiency, performance optimization is becoming increasingly critical; the traditional trial and error strategies no longer meet industry standards. It is necessary to consider the many factors and scenarios that require state-of-the-art simulation techniques to analyze them. One technique for performing this kind of analysis is CFD simulation software, which is becoming an essential tool for many product designers since the emergence of cloud-based platforms now allow engineers to test their designs easier and in less time.
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is the branch of CAE that allows you to simulate, quantify, and visualize fluid motion, airflow, and temperature using numerical approaches. This allows the user to essentially make the invisible visible and significantly simplify the design optimization process. This method has a very wide range of applications that include HVAC, turbomachinery, cleanrooms, aerodynamics, pipes and valves, and the cooling of electronics. CFD helps engineers and designers implement a variety of design improvements—from air quality and thermal comfort to optimal energy consumption and race car performance.
Do you want to read more about computational fluid dynamics? You can find a detailed explanation of CFD on our SimWiki. Come and find this and many more interesting articles.
While the benefits of CFD simulation software are indisputable, many product designers have been unable to benefit from it because it is difficult to access. Until recently, CFD had been the realm of computer-aided engineering (CAE) experts and analysts working in big companies that can afford large investments in multiple software licenses and high-performance hardware. While these big companies still dominate when it comes to traditional CAE solutions, the playing field is being leveled because cloud-based CFD simulation platforms like SimScale have emerged. These cloud-based solutions are democratizing CAE solutions in general and CFD simulation software in particular.
With a cloud-based solution like SimScale, engineers can test, validate, and optimize their product designs using analysis methods such as CFD online. Everything is done in the web browser. This has a number of significant benefits.
Unlike traditional on-premises software, a cloud-based solution requires no large upfront investments. The cloud allows you to use a basic, inexpensive laptop for complex simulation projects since the tool is not limited to the desktop and the cloud provides access to high-computing power. Furthermore, the pay-by-use subscription system eliminates the struggle with separate licenses and gives you access to state-of-the-art simulation features, all in one tool.
Not every company requires simulation tools on a regular basis, and those that do might need different simulation functionalities for different projects. Those projects may also vary in size and complexity of the analysis required. This unpredictable and diverse workflow is not uncommon for many companies and if your resources are limited, an investment into traditional simulation software becomes too risky to undertake. That is not the case when you perform your simulations via CFD online on a cloud-based platform. SimScale’s flexible pricing model allows you to start with simulation for free using the Community plan. With the free 14-day trial, you can also use the Professional account. You can scale the simulation capacity depending on the size of your project and only pay for the cores that you use.
The cloud-based CFD software component of SimScale allows the analysis of a wide range of problems with can be investigated using a simple browser:
Your colleague is running his simulation on the software version 4.2 and you on 4.3 and your results do not match? If you are performing your analysis using web-based CFD simulation software, that problem is in the past. The cloud-based platform is automatically updated, which not only saves you the trouble of installing the necessary updates but also simplifies collaboration within your team—each member always has the latest version of the software and the simulation project in his browser. More of your team members can actively contribute to your design optimization, regardless of where they are—everyone’s progress will always be synchronized.
Skeptics tend to treat anything involving the cloud with suspicion citing security concerns. Online banking went through the same phase of intense scrutiny before it became the commonplace practice it is today. While being extra careful is justified when it comes to highly confidential new product designs, security measures have become sophisticated enough to reduce that risk to a minimum. SimScale makes it a top priority to ensure that our users’ data is secure. Data transferred to and from the platform is protected with industry standard encryption technology. We use external data centers as well as hard drives on the company’s servers which are encrypted using the state-of-the-art AES technology–which is also approved for protecting the security of government documents. The communication between your computer and the SimScale platform is done via SSL encrypted connections, the same technology that protects online banking and shopping. You can learn more about the security measures of the SimScale platform on this page.
CFD has long been an essential tool for CAE experts in big companies from a wide range of industries. Now with the continued democratization of simulation solutions and the possibility to validate designs through CFD simulation software in the web, an ever-growing number of engineers turn to this analysis method effectively making the industry standard. With the elimination of many barriers that prevented engineers and entrepreneurs in smaller companies from using CFD tools, this development has allowed many more players to enter the playing field, making it more competitive than ever before. A lack of resources is no longer an excuse—in order to remain relevant and stay ahead of the curve, making CFD your go-to design validation method is crucial. Make the shift to the cloud today and try out SimScale’s powerful simulation functionalities by creating a free account here.
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