CFD Software Said to Provide Electronics Industry's First CAD-Driven, Multi-Scenario Design Study Environment

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CFdesign screen shots showing the tight integration between NX 7 and the multi-scenario design study environment in CFdesign.
(Graphic: Business Wire)

Helps Mechanical and Thermal Engineers Achieve Pass-Fail and What-if Engineering Objectives Early in Design Cycle

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.--Blue Ridge Numerics (now Autodesk) recently announced the availability of CFdesign (, reported to be the first computational fluid dynamics (CFD) application to provide "a comprehensive CAD-driven design study environment that enables design engineers in the electronics industry to achieve pass-fail and what-if engineering scenarios as part of a highly efficient workflow." According to the company, CFdesign is a major upgrade; it addresses the needs of design engineers by providing an integrated airflow and heat transfer environment that enables simulation of the design, placement, and performance of critical components, as well as the entire system. First time, occasional, and advanced users are able to make decisions that satisfy pass-fail targets, while exploring ideas that can improve quality and drive innovation--all from the CAD system they are currently using.

According to Blue Ridge Numerics, CFdesign streamlines and strengthens the decision-making process. It provides what the company calls a flexible and lightweight environment to create and manage electronics cooling and thermal management studies containing single or multiple scenarios. The new Decision Center provides a dashboard-like interface to assess process performance comparatively against competing designs and specified critical values. Additionally, design feedback is expressed in standard engineering terms.

As a result, engineers can locate critical pieces of information--such as junction temperatures, heat sink design, and fan performance and location, as well as vent and airflow path location--on the first try, without having to be a CFD expert or dig through mountains of CFD outputs. The straightforward, flexible workflow brings the opportunity for design teams to satisfy multiple design criteria and drive innovation to the forefront, the company says.

"It is increasingly important that companies make simulation an essential part of the product development process," said Keith Meintjes, Research Director - CAE, CPDA: Collaborative Product Development Associates, LLC. "Design engineers need to be able to achieve confidence in the performance of their product designs before committing to a physical prototype, and CFdesign is a great step in that direction. CFdesign empowers non-expert CFD end users in the CAD environment with a tool that allows easy evaluation of fluid flow performance with new single and multi-scenario design study capabilities. The new design study environment enables engineers to quickly compare different designs and make assessments of product performance upfront in the design process, resulting in overall improved product quality and innovation."

"Traditional and embedded CFD products historically have not supported engineering design studies, as they have been built for a single analysis as the engineering objective, making multi-scenario design studies too time intensive, impractical, and at times impossible," said Derrek Cooper, product manager, Blue Ridge Numerics. "As result, very few companies are getting the business impact they need from a CFD investment. CFdesign does what every CFD product has promised, but until now failed to do. It enables engineers to quickly create and compare different scenarios and make important product design decisions to satisfy pass-fail, quality, and innovation objectives early in the development process, all from within their CAD software packages."

Autodesk offers CFdesign upfront CFD software that integrates comprehensive fluid-flow and heat-transfer simulation into the early phases of design and engineering. According to the company, the software can dramatically improve product quality, time-to-market, and ultimately, profitability through the product life cycle.

Full Support for NX 7

The company also announced that its recent (winter) release of CFdesign fully supports NX 7. As a result, the company says, NX users can conduct computational fluid dynamic (CFD) studies seamlessly from the NX 7 environment. According to the company, the winter release of CFdesign leverages the synchronous modeling tools found within NX 7 and provides even tighter integration with CFdesign's multi-scenario design study environment. CFdesign is said to provide full associativity with the NX 7 CAD platform; NX customers can begin a fluid flow or heat transfer design study without having to export their geometry.

"The CFdesign support of NX 7 continues to provide NX users the value of working in their CAD-familiar environment and being able to efficiently run fluid flow and heat transfer simulations," explains Derrek Cooper. "CFdesign enables engineers to quickly create and compare multiple designs and make important design decisions early in the development process."

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