EFD updated by Flomerics

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Flomerics has launched a new rev of its Engineering Fluid Dynamics (EFD) fluid flow and thermal simulation product family. If you’re not familiar with the company, Flomerics have a range of CFD based tools that serve a range of markets, for architecture, mechnical and electronic design. The EFD tools are the result of the aquisition of Nika a little while ago. The concept behind EFD is that its based on the same mathematical Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) principles as all the other codes out there but is embedded in CAD.

Updated goodies in this release are an optimised mesher that’s less hardware intensive for larger models, Vista recognition, a brand new interface (yup – ribbons a go-go) and more porting of Flomeric’s electronics knowledge. One thing that’s intriguing me is Feature Recognition. The press release says: “unique functionality by recognizing features and parameters on an imported solid body. Therefore, users maintain all the benefits of parametric-based solid modeling and can easily modify geometry parameters to take advantage of effortless “what-if” testing regardless of where the solid model was created.” So, are they reconstructing features and allowing you to play with the parameters? that’s pretty impressive.

UI Rant

One thing I did notice is that with the rise of the Ribbon tool bar, the old days of saying that all these systems DID the same thing, is now compounded by the fact that they all LOOK the same. Look at the screenshot above – what’s that, is it SpaceClaim, SolidWorks, EFD? And is this a good thing? I’m not entirely convinced it is. The workflow of design and engineering, 3D modelling and interaction with geometry is NOT the same as filling out a spreadsheet and writing a word document. Should we be following the same user guidelines? Perfect example is AliasStudio – the interface is unlike anything else and never has been. And there’s a very good reason for that: you’re working with conceptual surfaces or class A surfaces.

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