Shape Optimization for CFD-Driven Design
Are you using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) to design flow-exposed products or components? Is the fluid dynamic behavior of your design critical for realizing the performance requirements? Are you doing a lot of manual iterative work, and hoping to find an incrementally better design? Would you like to boost your product development workflow by introducing an automated process that not only saves you time but also allows you to investigate tens or hundreds of design possibilities, resulting in superior products? If your answer is yes, then FRIENDSHIP-Framework could be the perfect solution for you.
FRIENDSHIP-Framework is a generalized CAE platform for the simulation-driven design of any products with flow-related tasks. Our software allows you to automate your design variation studies and shape optimizations. We integrate with most of the leading commercial CFD codes as well as in-house codes.
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FRIENDSHIP-Framework’s foundation is a powerful and flexible 3D parametric modeler. From the start, our modeling capabilities were specifically developed for simulation, especially CFD. Unlike traditional CAD tools, FRIENDSHIP-Framework’s main focus is the smart design of complex flow-exposed functional surfaces. For example, ship hulls, aircraft wings, arbitrarily shaped ducts, and turbomachinery blades are complex 3D shapes that are critical for achieving good performance in terms of the fluids flowing around or through them. Our innovative and proprietary modeling architecture allows you to create these geometries using intuitive parameters that are of direct relevance with regards to your design practices. With traditional CAD, your main design parameters include primary dimensions such as lengths, angles, and offsets. In FRIENDSHIP-Framework you can additionally specify smart parameters and distributions of these parameters such as curvature, cross-sectional area, volumetric displacement, center of buoyancy, etc.
Many of our customers use FFW as their primary CAD tool, whereas others use it in a collaborative and integrated way with their traditional design and production CAD tools (e.g. CATIA, NX, Pro/E, SolidWorks). These traditional tools, although powerful, are detail-oriented and encompass features which may not be relevant for simulation. Naturally the extensive features of traditional tools means that they are not perfectly suited for specialized tasks such as driving a CFD-centric product development process. Furthermore, specialized CAD designers are often the bottleneck to the CFD specialists, who rely on them for supplying the CAD model which they use as a basis for simulation. Instead, the CFD engineers can use FRIENDSHIP-Framework to build specialized and flexible models that perfectly suite their exact needs. When the optimized model is finalized, then FRIENDSHIP-Framework can pass the geometric data to the traditional CAD tool in order to continue the PLM process.
FRIENDSHIP-Framework is also an integration platform that can launch and control the CFD simulation studies. Any CFD code that can be run in batch mode from a geometry file and input script can be coupled to our software. Many of our customers are using FRIENDSHIP-Framework in conjunction with popular commercial codes or proprietary in-house codes (e.g. STAR-CCM+, ANSYS Fluent/CFX, NUMECA products, OpenFOAM, SHIPFLOW to name a few). Although our main focus is with regards to CFD simulations, other CAE tools can also be coupled.
Our optional SSH resource manager is a web interface that allows you to configure your PC resources on a network or cluster, so that you can utilize high-performance computing (HPC) for your CFD simulations.
Automated Variant Generation and Optimization
FRIENDSHIP-Framework’s parametric models are ideally suited for the automatic generation of design variants. Once the models are set up with smart parameters or functions of parameters, then they can be varied in a number of different ways. For example, you can configure a design engine to automatically vary the parameters within the set bounds in a user-specified manner. The engine will systematically investigate the design space by linking to CFD (discussed below) to carry out the simulation studies.
FRIENDSHIP-Framework contains many sophisticated optimization algorithms ranging from single-objective strategies for fast and efficient studies, to more complex multi-objective techniques which are effective at conducting a global search of a highly non-linear design space containing many local minima and maxima. These optimization algorithms provide feedback and drive the variation engines in order to find the best design as quickly as possible.
Variant Assessment and Post-Processing
FRIENDSHIP-Framework includes its own post-processing environment. You can easily step through the different design variants to compare the CFD results, sort them based on various objectives, investigate the influence of specific design parameters, and compare the most promising variants side by side. It is possible to look at overall performance characteristics (e.g. resistance, pressure loss, lift coefficient, flow rates) or at the details of the flow patterns (e.g. cut plots, surface plots, trajectories). You can further investigate your design space by viewing Pareto frontier plots and spider-web plots in order to understand the tradeoffs of changing the various design parameters on your performance objectives. Finally, with FRIENDSHIP-Framework you can automatically create PDF or CSV reports of your design study.
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