Fluff Report: Autodesk Simulation CFD

Fluff is what I call information packaged as news that is not really news. The CAE industry is full of fluff and the handful of trade publications left standing obligingly publish it as fact.

About a week ago Autodesk issued a press release to announce the availability of its “Autodesk Simulation CFD Software” (a product name that could only be born from a committee… but I’ll save that topic for another day).

The press release opens by stating the new software “builds on computational fluid dynamics capabilities that Autodesk gained in the Blue Ridge Numerics acquisition in March 2011.”

OK, that’s cool; they’re talking about the software application previously named CFdesign. Pretty amazing that only 4.5 months after the acquisition they could deliver a new release. I’m thinking these guys must be Rock Stars!

Next there is a mention that Autodesk CFD has some integration with Autodesk Fusion. That sounds really interesting since integrating some 3D direct modelling tools into a CFD environment — or vice versa — could really be useful to several segments of the Engineering community. Unfortunately the press release fails to expand on the claim. I’d love to know how these technologies have been integrated (is it just a launch button in the UI Ribbon or something more substantive?) and, more importantly, what specific new technical capabilities are available and who they will help most.

The next 1/2 of the press release focuses on “A host of new features in Autodesk Simulation CFD help engineers achieve more, faster.” Sweet! Now we’re getting down to business, right?  Sadly the host of new features is a list of 5 capabilities that were added to CFdesign in September 2009 (the CFdesign 2010 Release) and September 2010 (the CFdesign 2011 Release).

Bummer. If Autodesk CFD really has something important the Engineering world needs to know about the fluff makes it tough to see.


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