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Cell Types

"We are not so used to thinking in four dimensions"

This eminently readable discussion on how spaces can be broken into combinations of simple shapes – or, as Pointwise users would say, gridded – presents the theory of how polytopes and simplices come together. For the practical implications, see this video and this one. You may well view T-Rex differently!

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Visualization and a Higher Order

"Although it will still take some time ..."

Higher order elements have not thrived. “The most recent developments in the field clearly indicate that its future lies in higher-order methods“, wrote these authors in 2003, a good 35 years after their invention / discovery. CFD appears to be more fertile grounds, as noted earlier – here and here. This webinar presents Tecplot’s take on the challenges of visualization posed by these formulations.

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Polyhedra, Polygons and CAD

"the bottom of the CAD Format Ladder"

Nurbs, as noted earlier, are far from perfect. But for CAE they’re a few orders of magnitude better than JT, STL, and other such “discrete” formats. See this article for why – and this one for an excellent historical overview of how polyhedra came to rub elbows with Nurbs.

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Viridis: a higher quality colormap

"a pleasant smooth arc through blue, green, and yellow"

The hard truth that there is no cure for color blindness is one of the motivations behind the quest for perceptually uniform colormaps. This archived article is an excellent description of the issues that have led to the Viridis color map gaining in popularity. See this article for more such maps, and this one for added credit.

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Future-proofing Scripts

"Short-cuts make long delays"

Pointwise’s API always matches the current state of the software: as the software adds features, the API does too. While an old script may be less efficient / elegant, is it logical that it should still work? Yes, but only within limits. The API is a pathway between the foundational code and the scripts: if the foundation changes enough, the pathway may need to change.

Is there a way out? Yes. Remember that macros are convenient but limited. Restrict them to Step 3 and you’ll be on safer grounds.

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Analytic Geometry: Pros and Cons

"[the] main benefit ... is speed"

In a field whose motto could well be “Citius, Citius, Citius”, can it ever be a mistake to look for a faster way to do things? Yes, if speed comes at the cost of quality. This article discusses the merits and demerits of discrete and analytic representations of geometry both in general and with reference to specific applications in engineering.

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KFour Metrics offers technology solutions for engineering design, simulation and optimization.

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