Richard Smith's blog

Water: Blog Action Day 2010

The theme for the 2010 Blog Action Day is water. Unfortunately I don't have any big ideas to improve the inequality of access to clean water across the planet. However, I do hold out hope for efficiency improvements in industrial processes that use water. Why? Because when given the right incentives and resources, engineers' ingenuity can be channeled to overcome seemingly insurmountable problems. Looking for an example? Engineers landed men on the moon and returned them safely to earth over 40 years ago with the computing power of today's digital wrist watches.

Cyclone Separator: CFD SimulationCyclone Separator: CFD Simulation

How Much Does CFD Software Cost?

It seems you can go online and find the price of almost anything these days. You want to know the price of a Mercedes, just visit their website and there it is. If you want to know the price of a Honda, same again - it's easy. However, if you want to know the price of commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software then you are out of luck. I guess it's a case of 'if you have to ask, you can't afford.' Symscape is one of the few exceptions - if you happen to stop by our Caedium product pages you'll see how much our CFD software costs - what an innovation, actually publishing CFD software prices!

How much for CFD?How much for CFD?

Engineers as Loner-Loser-Uncultured-Geeks - Not!

Remember being shunned at college (at least in England) for being an engineer (or scientist) by the oh so trendy arts and humanities crowd? I do. We geeks were characterized as uncultured loners and losers. Well I've been re-examining the evidence and I think we should have stood our ground and turned this whole loner-loser-uncultured-geek thing on its head and fired it right back at the arts and humanities posse.

Engineers Did This: Apollo 11 Moon LandingEngineers Did This: Apollo 11 Moon Landing

April Fools - Caedium is not on the iPad

You probably guessed that yesterday was April Fools' Day and in the spirit of fake news we announced that our unified simulation environment, Caedium, was available for the eagerly awaited iPad. Well sorry to disappoint, but we don't have a version of Caedium for the iPad - at least not yet - who knows what the future holds though.

Caedium on the iPad

Following hot on the heals of the recent Caedium release for the Mac, Caedium will also be available on the iPad when it is released on Saturday (April 3, 2010). In a worlds first, iPad users will be able to perform Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations from the comfort of their sofa on the worlds most "magical and revolutionary product at an unbelievable price." The iPad version of Caedium makes full use of the multi-touch iPad interface, which enables you to control the actual fluid in the simulation in order to guide it to the answer you desire.

Caedium on iPadCaedium on iPad

Affordable Desktop CFD

Bigger is always better when it comes to Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), right? Big computers, big simulations, big budgets - fine if you are a big aerospace company or a big Formula 1 team. Though, it's not so good if you are a small business or a hobbyist who wants to perform CFD simulations within tight budget constraints on a desktop or laptop computer. Don't despair - we are here to help. It is Symscape's mission to provide Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) tools for all. We provide affordable software for performing meaningful CFD simulations on desktop computers.

Caedium CFD Simulation: Open wheel race carCaedium CFD Simulation: Open wheel race car

Kennedy Space Center: Saturn V

After attending the 2010 AIAA ASM Conference in Orlando, I took the opportunity to bask in the Florida sun (if not heat - it was unseasonably cold, though still a whole lot warmer than New Hampshire in January) and visit the Kennedy Space Center. The highlight of the visit to Cape Canaveral was the Apollo/Saturn V Center, which houses a complete Saturn V rocket - follow along for a pictorial review of my trip with historical perspective thanks to Wikipedia.

Tailgate: Up or Down?

Debate rages (OK, maybe rages is a little strong) amongst pickup truck drivers as to whether it is more efficient to drive with the tailgate up or down. The urban legend is that running a truck with the tailgate down reduces the truck's drag and therefore improves its fuel economy.

Airflow Around a Pickup Truck with its Tailgate UpAirflow Around a Pickup Truck with its Tailgate Up

3D Interaction Controls Revisited

Is it time for new interaction controls in 3D modeling applications such as Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) analysis tools? Interacting with 3D models on a 2D screen has always been less than intuitive. However, a recent flurry of innovation in human-computer controls holds out much promise for the future of 3D model control.

Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine Drafting

A recent study into vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) showed that their efficiency could be improved by arranging them into clusters to exploit drafting, i.e., placing VAWTs in the wake of other VAWTs.

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