5 Reasons to Optimize Your Designs through CFD Online
Performance optimization is an integral part of the product design process, regardless of the industry. It is becoming increasingly more crucial with the current trends towards sustainability and efficiency. Thus traditional trial and error strategies of the past no longer meet the industry standards. The multitude of factors and scenarios that need to be analyzed require state-of-the-art simulation techniques — Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is one of them and it is becoming an essential tool for many product designers, in particular with the emergence of cloud-based platforms allowing engineers to test their designs through methods like Finite Element Analysis (FEA), thermal analysis and CFD online.
What is CFD?
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 – essentially make the invisible visible, significantly simplifying the design optimization process. It’s a method that has a wide range of applications, including HVAC, turbomachinery, cleanrooms, aerodynamics, pipes and valves, cooling of electronics and many more. It helps engineers and designers implement a variety of design improvements — from air quality and thermal comfort to optimal energy consumption and race-car performance.
Advantages of a Cloud-Based CFD Solution
While the benefits of CFD cannot be disputed, the difficulty of access to such simulation tools has prevented many product designers from benefiting from them. Until recently, CFD had been the realm of Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) experts and analysts belonging to big companies which can afford large investments in multiple software licences and high-performance hardware. They still dominate when it comes to traditional CAE solutions – however the playing field is being leveled as a much more practical alternative has emerged which helped fundamentally democratize CAE solutions in general and CFD in particular.
With a cloud-based solution offered by companies like SimScale, engineers can test, validate and optimize their product designs using analysis methods such as CFD online — everything 100% in their browser. This brings with it a number of significant benefits.
Modeling through CFD online means lower software and hardware costs.
Unlike traditional on-premises software, a cloud-based solution requires no large upfront investments. Since the tool is not bound to the user’s desktop and high-computing power can be accessed remotely via the cloud, a basic inexpensive laptop or tablet would suffice for even the most complex simulation projects. A pay-by-use subscription system on the other hand eliminates the struggle with separate licences and gives you access to state-of-the-art simulation features, all in one tool.
It is flexible and scalable based on your changing needs.
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 kind unpredictable and diverse workflow is not uncommon for many companies — and if you 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. The flexible pricing model of SimScale allows you to start with simulation for free through the Community plan or Professional account 2 weeks’ trial and scale the simulation capacity depending on the size of your project, only paying for the cores that you use.
It is no less powerful with a wide variety of advanced modeling functionalities.
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 :
- Incompressible and compressible flow
- Laminar and turbulent flow
- Mass and thermal transport
- Multiphase flow
- Advanced modeling
- Fluid-solid body interaction
It requires minimal maintenance and fosters collaboration within your team.
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 CFD online, that problem is in the past. The cloud-based platform gets updated automatically, which not only saves you the trouble to install the necessary updates but 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 — your progress will always be synchronized.
State-of-the-art encryption technology provides a highly secure work-space.
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. And 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, a technology that also protects online banking and shopping. You can learn more about the security measures of the SimScale platform on this page.
Conclusion — Why Should You Make the Shift to the Cloud and Start Optimizing Your Designs through CFD Online?
CFD has long been an essential tool for CAE experts in big companies from a wide range of industries. Now with the continuous democratization of simulation solutions and the possibility to validate designs through CFD online, 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 from smaller companies from using CFD tools has allowed many more players to enter the playing field, making it more competitive than ever before. 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.
 mentor.com, The Democratization of CFD: Mind the Gap?