Of the many phrases and terms used to describe developments in digital technology, one that very clearly captures the essence of how this can be harnessed in the world of engineering design and operations is the “digital twin.” In essence, the digital twin is the building of computer-based models that replicate real-world behavior and responses including mechanical, electrical, structural, fluid or hydraulic and chemical. Building a digital twin provides the means to design, validate, optimize and operate a component or product, engineering system, manufacturing process or production facility in the virtual world.

Back in 2012, the Steve Portal was launched to supplement the best-in class support our customers were already receiving. The Steve Portal provided another way of receiving support by having access to all the latest information in the way of FAQs, along with the ability to open and manage cases with their dedicated support engineer. In the nearly 5 years since its launch, the Steve Portal has populated to over 4,000 knowledge-base articles, including demonstration simulation files, how-to videos and step-by-step best practices for specific applications that have generated almost 2 million views.

Our recent STAR Global Conference 2017 showed again the growth of modeling and simulation in the Life Sciences sector. Over the three-day conference, our customers gave wide-ranging presentations, showing the huge benefit that STAR-CCM+® software is bringing to this sector. One innovative use of STAR-CCM+ was presented by Professor Klaus Affeld, from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Professor Affeld, with co-workers Bente Thamsen and Michael Lommel, is using STAR-CCM+ to predict the formation of blood clots in heart pumps, aiming to improve pump design and reduce the formation of potentially life-threatening clots. In this blog post, I have asked him to describe his research and share his latest results with us.

The greatest discoveries in the 19th and 20th century, in general, pointed to very similar observations in numerous fields: every quantity that appeared to be continuous was discovered to be discrete. Light consists of photons, matter of atomic and sub-atomic particles, the energy level of electrons consisted of quantas, digital information flows in bits and even hereditary information is transferred in smaller discrete units called genes. Most of the efforts of scientists revolved around building the nature of reality from such discrete elements and their transport. Developing fundamental models for the discrete behavior gave the necessary understanding and the tools to recreate the apparent continuity in the observable phenomenon.

Stewart Bible, of Resolved Analytics in Durham, North Carolina, has become the first Siemens PLM Platinum Level Certified STAR award recipient. Stewart was presented with his Platinum certificate in an online ceremony attended by Global VP of Customer Success, Stephen McIlwain, Training Manager and Global Support Team member Aaron Bird, and Dedicated Support Engineer, Chandraprakash Tourani.

For years, simulation has been used with tremendous success to reduce engineering time and costs through validation and troubleshooting. Digital design exploration, however, is often seen as a luxury that cannot be afforded due to the investment needed in purchasing, learning and deploying optimization tools. With today’s business pressures you need to explore the design space early in the engineering process to discover innovative products faster and meet your customer's expectations. Design exploration cannot be a luxury anymore; it needs to be part of the standard engineering process and that means removing the barrier to entry that has so long existed. That is why I’m pleased to announce the release of Design Manager, the brand-new design exploration feature of STAR-CCM+Ⓡ software version 12.04.

I have to say, if you haven't yet taken a look at the latest release of STAR-CCM+, version 12.04, now is the time. Design Manager, Expanded Dynamic queries, 3D-CAD to Parts Sync and Replace Assembly all coming out in one release means there is a confluence of features that can make every user more effective in nearly every application of STAR-CCM+. In today’s blog, I want to shine a light on one of these four features, Replace Assembly, hence the blog title.

Just one numerical simulation contains a wealth of information – we can gain a lot of insight on how a device performs, and from that, we can infer how to make that device better. To confidently recommend one design over another, though, we’ll need to run more than one simulation. As our device knowledge is informed through simulation, we can expect to make numerous geometry/part modifications to the original design. How quickly we can turn these changes around will determine how many simulations we can run within our time budget. Without a highly efficient and flexible workflow, we might find ourselves in the position of being less certain of our final product recommendation. Risky.

Now, you’ll be hearing a lot soon about Design Manager, a native capability within STAR-CCM+ v12.04® to do design exploration – that’s not this story. Instead, I want to share how two mouse clicks can now get you quickly from that first simulation to the next one, and to the one after that and the one after that...

As we move into the summer months, I am ever thankful that modern commercial aircraft systems have been developed to provide a safe and comfortable passenger experience. The Environmental Control System (ECS) is responsible for keeping the cabin at a comfortable temperature, pressure and humidity throughout the flight profile. This is done through a complex system of ducting, pressure regulators, heat exchangers and air conditioning components. Before the FAA can certify a new aircraft for commercial flight, the manufacturer has to be able to provide proof that the system can respond to situations where things go wrong.

When my kids were younger, one of the favorite entertainment options at children’s parties was the balloon artist. These artists were able to make anything from a monkey to a pirate hat simply by twisting balloons together. Usually, but not always, you could tell what the animal or object was meant to be, but it would take the most imaginative child to see the multi-colored lumpy lion in front of them as the real thing.

Whilst lions are not the most common shape for non-spherical DEM particles, should you have the need to model such a thing, previously your only option would have been the composite DEM particle and the result would have been much the same, a bunch of spheres of various sizes stuck together.

All of that is set to change with the polyhedral DEM particle in STAR-CCM+® software version 12.04. Now you will be able to accurately model real objects, putting the corners back into your particles, by building or importing a realistic representation as a geometry part which then forms the basis of your particle. For many objects, this new polyhedral particle is less computationally expensive then a composite particle which can require many spheres to get close to a realistic shape. Polyhedral particles also provide a more efficient solution, reducing simulation time.


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Matthew Godo
STAR-CCM+ Product Manager
Stephen Ferguson
Marketing Director
Brigid Blaschak
Communications Specialist
James Clement
STAR-CCM+ Product Manager
Dr Mesh
Meshing Guru
Joel Davison
Lead Product Manager, STAR-CCM+
Ravindra Aglave
Director - Chemical Processing
Sabine Goodwin
Director, Product Marketing