STAR-CCM+ v10.04 delivers two new features to help streamline your process for extracting the right information from your simulations. We have added an option to store a history of simulation data at the boundaries only, resulting in a significant savings in disk space and a substantial reduction in time to navigate the stored results. We have also added custom summaries, to enable you to choose exactly what content you want to save from your simulation file in a customized HTML report. With custom summaries, you’ll be able to focus on fewer details, resulting in more effective and efficient communication of the key elements of your simulation efforts.

We know a good scientific visualization when we see one – colormaps are a big part of this and when used effectively, they can make all the difference. The ability to create your own colormap within STAR-CCM+Ⓡ has been around for a long time and around this time last year, we delivered a full featured interactive colormap editor with the v9.04 release.

Still, what makes for a good colormap is not common knowledge. Surprisingly, the most frequently used colormap for scientific visualization, the rainbow colormap, is regarded as one of the least effective.

In this blog I'll tell you how to choose the most effective colormap for you application, allowing you to present your results in a more attractive, more informative way.

New colormaps in STAR-CCM+ v10.04

When asked about the amount of time he spent on his speech preparation, Woodrow Wilson responded: “That depends on the length of the speech. If it is a ten-minute speech it takes me all of two weeks to prepare it; if it is a half-hour speech it takes me a week; if I can talk as long as I want to it requires no preparation at all. I am ready now.” Perhaps some of us can relate to former President Wilson’s remarks. Without any time constraints, exploring a .sim file, or maybe several, in detail, could be an engaging and informative exercise lasting the better part of an afternoon. Yet more often than not, we only have that brief ten minutes to share our story. And, quite often, review requests come on short notice. What if you could quickly assemble and effectively communicate your results from several simulations in a matter of minutes? What if you could walk from one meeting room to the next, with laptop in hand, and be able to quickly collaborate with different teams? As it turns out, there is a way: STAR-View+, new and improved.

STAR-CCM+ v10.02 GPU UtilizationWe get a lot of questions about GPUs, and I think it’s fair to say there’s a lot of confusion and indeed misinformation on the general topic. So, to start things off, let’s clarify what we mean by GPU utilization. GPU is the abbreviation for Graphics Processing Unit. This aim of this enhancement is to enable you to draw (or render) images faster, using your local graphics resources, resulting a better interactive experience when working with STAR-CCM+.

Being able to plot solution quality metrics while your simulation is running, that is, live-processing as opposed to post-processing, is one of the most distinctive functional aspects of STAR-CCM+. This lets you critically interrogate your results and make changes on-the-fly, thereby increasing your productivity. There are many very capable 3rd party plotting tools available. However working with them requires exporting and importing data, adding several steps to your workflow and making it difficult to automate. Still, there’s an argument to be made that plotted results need to be legible and, to a degree, customizable. With this release, we have targeted visual plot quality as an area for improvement.

residence time on several axial cross sections for flow in a simple curved tube

When we initially consider the analysis of unsteady phenomena in turbomachinery, aeroelasticity and aeroacoustics, we’re quickly confronted by the simulation cost – transient analyses by their very nature will simply take longer to run compared to steady ones. And for these types of problems, where the simulation objectives (understanding of flutter and limit cycle oscillations for example) demand a time-dependent treatment, the time steps need to be small and the physical time required can be long. Not that this isn’t challenging enough, usually, the entire machine needs to be modeled at a high level of spatial fidelity, thereby driving up the size and cost of the analysis even further. But, all is not lost– enter the Harmonic Balance method, first introduced with STAR-CCM+ 4.04 in 2009, capable of delivering at least a 10-fold reduction in your time to a solution. And, that’s not the only benefit to be had with this approach – it’s possible to mesh just a single blade passage through all the blade rows in your machine and obtain a solution which varies from blade-to-blade, capturing critical blade row interactions.

Harmonic Balance post-processing

Many of us spend long hours (or what feels like long hours) in front of our STAR-CCM+ product interface and naturally, the question comes to mind – “How can I make things easier?” After all, as engineers, we are almost compelled to find elegant solutions, so most of us would leap at the opportunity to reduce time consuming interactions with the software. As luck would have it, STAR-CCM+ v9.04 is packed with a range of new time-saving features that are specifically designed to make your life easier.

STAR-CCM+ colormap editor

Volume rendering, a well-known scientific visualization method, is being introduced with our latest version of STAR-CCM+! (v9.02)

Spray Nozzle showing a Volume Render of the Droplet Volume Fraction
A Spray Nozzle showing a Volume Render of the Droplet Volume Fraction

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Brigid Blaschak
Communications Specialist
Stephen Ferguson
Marketing Director
Dr Mesh
Meshing Guru
Matthew Godo
STAR-CCM+ Product Manager
Joel Davison
Lead Product Manager, STAR-CCM+
James Clement
STAR-CCM+ Product Manager
Tammy de Boer
Global Academic Program Manager
Sabine Goodwin
Director, Product Marketing