What do you do when an overwhelming number of your customers and potential customers are shouting out for improvements to the visualization capabilities of your CFD tool kit? If you're Flow Science Inc., which delivers free-surface CFD modeling capabilities for industrial and scientific applications, you strike a partnership with a company that specializes in that arena.
Flow Science, known for its Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) analysis capabilities for examining dynamic liquid and gas behavior for the metal casting, civil hydraulics, and microfluidics markets, was strong on the solver and number crunching side. But it perceived a gap in what it could offer its users in terms of showcasing those numerical results in a meaningful, graphics-based way that makes the data more accessible to non-CFD analysts and experts.
"Our customers love our solver and its accurate results, but they said it was difficult to get the kind of animations they wanted," Tom Jensen, Flow Science president told us. "People's expectation of how things ought to look, and how they ought to be able to communicate CFD results has gotten higher and higher, to the point that what we do, which has sufficed in the past, was no longer enough. We needed to make some kind of move."
In this case, the move was to partner with a company that specializes in CFD visualization software as opposed to trying to reinvent the wheel on its own, or buy a company outright. Flow Science's partner of choice is CEI Inc., which markets the EnSight CFD 3D visualization tool. By integrating the latest release, EnSight 10, directly into FLOW-3D, users will gain easy access to high-end, post-processing, and visualization capabilities beyond the basic options currently included in FLOW-3D.
What EnSight can do to enhance the CFD equation can be likened to what consumers now expect to see when gaming. Much as today's online games are all about hardcore realism, including textures and life-like facial expressions, EnSight brings a higher level of realism to the CFD simulations, according to Darin McKinnis, CEI's vice president of sales and marketing.