Autodesk Labs Opens Project Calrissian for Computational Fluid Dynamics
Steve Olson posted on June 28, 2016 |

Labs is a division of CAD/CAE company Autodesk which beta tests a variety of product enhancements across the company’s software offerings. The Autodesk Labs team just opened Project Calrissian, software for simulation and analysis of computational fluid dynamics (CFD), for public participation. 

The CFD Technology Behind Project Calrissian

This project blends of two previous projects, Project Falcon and Project Ventus for simulation CFD, with its own unique functionality. Project Falcon graduated from the lab to become the stand-alone product Autodesk Flow Design, while the mesh generation software of Product Ventus was eventually retired from the lab.

Simulating air flow around a vehicle in Flow Design, formerly Project Falcon. (Image courtesy of Autodesk.)

Autodesk Flow Design, formerly Project Falcon, is a virtual wind tunnel for simulating air flow around vehicles, buildings, outdoor equipment and more. The tool works with virtually any geometry and users see simulation results within minutes of opening the software. 

Users are able to gain an understanding of the air flow around their objects by seeing the effects of changes in wind direction and velocity, which are updated in almost real time. Not only can users visualize results with 2D and 3D flow lines, shaded result planes, vector plots and surface pressure shading, they can also gather outputs on velocity, pressure, drag force and drag coefficient.

A "shrink-wrapped" mesh created using Project Ventus.

Project Ventus for simulation CFD was a solution for generating CFD quality meshes on models that were difficult to mesh. For example, Ventus could be used to mesh models that traditionally required a lot of CAD cleanup to get a successful mesh. 

A secondary benefit of Project Ventus was that it could read and generate meshes for objects that simulation CFD could not, some of which included Autodesk Alias, SketchUp and STL and OBJ files. Although this project is currently retired from Autodesk Labs, it has left its mark on Project Calrissian. 

Project Calrissian Offers New CFD Technology

The surface-wrapping technology introduced by Project Ventus is available in Project Calrissian with the option to send those surfaces to Autodesk CFD 2017 for further analysis. Project Calrissian also boasts enhancements to Flow Design’s functionalities. Project Calrissian is not, however, merely a blending of two previous technology previews. The new technology has solver optimizations and the ability to pause an analysis and lift or drag charts. Project Calrissian has also added new results viewing capabilities. 

As is typical with Autodesk Labs projects, the technology preview is open to the public. In the case of Project Calrissian, it is available to download and will operate until August 30, 2016. 

Autodesk Labs is seeking users of all skill levels to test Project Calrissian. Depending on user feedback, the project will graduate to a new or existing product, retire or be extended for additional testing and feedback.

The future of CFD is in the hands of the CAE user community. Let us know your thoughts about Project Calrissian in the comments below.

Recommended For You