NUMECA | Lifehacks

Tipps and Tricks by the NUMECA Team

While talking to our customers during training and support, we observed that many users face similar challenges. We answer some of these questions in our Lifehacks. Peppered with the tips and tricks that we also use when working on customer projects, they intended to simplify the introduction to the software and new modules even further.

Thematically, there is something for everything from design, grid generation and simulation to analysis. Some Lifehacks are for a specific industry, such as “Lifehack #11 | Propulsion modelling in ship simulations”, but for most of them, we use an example from a particular field, but the hack itself is industry-independent.

We are also happy to receive feedback on our Lifehacks. How do you find the idea and the format in general, and which additional topic interests you? Because we are constantly working on this format. We publish the latest hack in our monthly newsletter. Subscribe here, and you will never miss a Lifehack.

And as always, have fun watching and doing it yourself!

Lifehack #32

Customising the Solution Process with OpenLabs™

Do you know OpenLabs™?
OpenLabs™ combines the flexibility of an open-source code with the ease of use and numerical stability of commercial software. In today’s Lifehack, we will introduce the possibilities and the basic approach. As an example, we use the detection of the surge limit for a radial compressor.
If you are interested in the script, please contact

Lifehack #31

Matching Multi-Block Meshing


This lifehack will show you how to set up a multi-block meshing in Fidelity™ Hexpress and which two options lead to a matching connection between the individual mesh domains.
Example case: the meshing of a ventilation pipe with a heating element and air filter, whereby a separate mesh block is created for each component with matching connections between the mesh domains. And all of this is done in a single mesh setup.

Lifehack #30

Surface to Volume (S2V) Meshing in Fidelity™ Hexpress


Are you aware, that we can do unstructured meshing with a surface-to-volume (S2V) algorithm?
No? Then you are not alone. The Volume-2-Surface approach is typically associated with the mesh generation in HEXPRESS™/Hybrid or Fidelity Hexpress. However, S2V has been in use for several years. This lifehack provides all the important information to start with your first S2V mesh setup.

Lifehack #29

Post-Processing in Cadence Fidelity


Making highly technical results understandable is a core competence and sometimes even an art. The visual evaluation options which are available for the presentation of simulation results are an advantage for your own understanding as well as for the explanation and discussion of flow phenomena in meetings. In the first Lifehack about post-processing in Cadence Fidelity we start with some basics. The second part explains the automation. But you can look forward to getting more…

Lifehack #28

NUMECA Lifehack Series Optimisation

Optimisation is an important topic in our office. That’s why we decided to focus on optimisation in the coming weeks. In the first video of our Lifehack series, we will give a brief overview of the whole process, motivation and some case studies.

In the upcoming lifehacks, we will focus on each step of the optimisation process, i.e. parameterisation, database generation and data mining.

Lifehack #27

Refinements in Fidelity Hexpress


In Fidelity Hexpress (former HEXPRESS™/Hybrid), we count on clever refinement strategies, when we are facing the challenge of finding a compromise between appropriate mesh size and the resolution of geometry details that may have a decisive impact on the result.
In this lifehack, we pick out two of them. First, we will look at the options when using “Refinement Geometry”, and second, we will show a new method within “Proximity Refinement”.

Lifehack #26

Preview Fidelity Agile


The reliable design tools from Concepts NREC are now integrated into the Fidelity interface. So, everything from the 1D preliminary design to a detailed 3D CFD analysis of turbomachinery is included in one workflow. See for yourself the possibilities of a more efficient workflow. Let yourself be convinced when Patrick needs just a few clicks to start the CFD simulation of a preliminary design or creates a parameter study.

Lifehack #25

Autocomplete: Facilitate Coding for Fidelity


Get your Fidelity Python Commands quick and right with autocomplete.

Lifehack #24

ZR-Effect in Fidelity Automesh


We return to meshing axisymmetric geometries, and this time, we show you how to create them in Fidelity Automesh. In the first video, we explain the basics on a simple backface leakage path with one connection to the main channel. In the second part, we show you what to consider when there are two connections to the main channel, and we will demonstrate how the meridional effect could be attached with a matching connection. In the third Lifehack, we go even deeper. We explain the manual blocking of a ZR effect and describe how you can have an even stronger influence on the grid point distribution in the main channel.

Lifehack #23

Python Hook Scripts in Fidelity CFD


Automizing long and complicated CFD procedures can be challenging. Minor changes in your workflow often require modifications or additional flexibility in your code. Hook scripts enable you to take advantage of small and modular python procedures which can be directly applied on selected objects in Fidelity like a simulation or mesh setup. Albeit being implemented as a beta feature, we want to give you a first introduction to this new tool in Fidelity CFD.

Lifehack #22

Basic Scripting


You have prepared some simulations and want to run them gradually over the weekend. Then this Lifehack is what you are looking for. We get into the basics of programming for Fidelity (previously OMNIS) and give some ideas, e.g. where to find an overview of Python commands with explanations. We also show you how to start your prepared simulations with a simple Python script.

Lifehack #20

Flexible Working with Cadence CFD Software


Maybe you have the same experience as us? Today we work in the office and tomorrow from home. For a flexible choice of work place, it is essential to have secure and reliable access to your data, projects and, of course, the current CFD simulation with the Cadence software. Home-office is not an issue for you? Then perhaps remote access to a cluster or a powerful workstation.

Lifehack #19

Unsteady-RANS Simulation


In many cases, steady-state simulations are sufficient to predict the performance of the final product – but there are limits. And then, unsteady simulations may become unavoidable. In this lifehack, we give an overview of the procedure for classic URANS simulations. We will look at the domain scaling approach and explain the most important expert parameters. Attention, there are a few differences in setting up the simulation with FINE™/Turbo and FINE™/Open.

For turbomachinery applications, there is a second approach aside from the classical Unsteady-RANS simulation: The Nonlinear Harmonic Method (NLH). We already dealt with the common questions when setting up NLH simulations in Lifehacks #7 and #7.1.

Lifehack #18

Design of a liquid propellant pump (LCH4)


The three-part lifehack series focuses on the design of a three-stage pump running with liquid methane. Part I explains the 1D meanline workflow in Concept’s PUMPAL. The second video shows the 3D design workflow in Concept’s AxCent. Part III demonstrates the complete CFD simulation workflow in Cadence® Fidelity™.

Lifehack #17

Trim Optimisation with C-Wizard Matrix Mode


A very simple yet effective tool to reduce fuel usage is the trim optimisation, which finds ideal ballast distributions, without the necessity for hull or propulsion modifications.
The various operating conditions to find the optimum can be evaluated easily with CFD. And it’s even much simpler with our C-Wizard, which provides the full setup and the simulation matrix with just a few clicks: check out today’s lifehack to see how it works.

Lifehack #16

Intuitive Design of Turbomachines – Part III


Our preliminary design tools enable you to design various types of turbomachinery very efficiently. If you already have the geometric dimensions from a 1D preliminary design, then you can start right away in AxCent from Concepts NREC. In this lifehack, you learn how to generate and modify a 3D model in AxCent.

For tips and tricks on design analysis and improvement, you can have a look at our Lifehack #8.1.
If the preliminary design is not ready yet, have a look at Lifehack #8, where we demonstrate how our preliminary design tools enable you to design various types of turbomachinery very efficiently. The most important features, from the meanline design tools from Concepts NREC are introduced.

Lifehack #15

Working with Background Mesh in OMNIS™


Unstructured grids can often be improved with only minimum extra effort via the usage of an adapted background mesh. This way, unstructured grid lines can be aligned with the main flow and hence achieve almost structured-grid mesh quality.

See Pac-Man? How about a cylindrical mesh? Or something fancier? Check lifehack #15 and see what you can do in OMNIS.

Lifehack #14

A smart way to prepare complex 3D simulations - The Blade-to-Blade Approach


Sometimes it is a challenge to find the right balance between detailed preliminary investigations and a quick project start. Careful preparation, for example, through mesh studies and the comparison of different simulation settings, can shorten the project duration.
One way to quickly check the mesh and simulation setup for a turbomachine in a few minutes is to use the Blade-to-Blade mesh. We show you the basics in this Lifehack, and it’s almost as quick as the simulation…

Lifehack #13

Creating a Template for Repeating CFD Design Tasks

German spoken

The use of the family tree shows its advantages, among other things, when creating templates for recurring tasks. The post-processing options have also expanded significantly over the past year. This includes co-processing, which enables evaluation during the simulation. Whether it is cross-sectional or 3D-view, rendering options or a cartesian plot of the pressure – in this lifehack we will show you how post-processing can be done with just a few clicks.

Lifehack #12

How to convert HEXPRESS™/Hybrid project into OMNIS™ project

English spoken

To enable you to take the knowledge and experience gained in meshing projects with HEXPRESS™/Hybrid into the OMNIS™ environment, we will show you how to quickly and efficiently convert your existing projects into OMNIS™ projects.

Lifehack #11

Propulsion Modelling with Actuator Disk

English spoken

We have a close look at the propulsion modelling with the “Actuator Disk” in marine applications. Aside from the accurate capturing of the propulsion direction impact on the vessel motion, the usage of the actuator disk enables the analyses of the propeller-hull-interaction. For this approach, the meshing and simulation of the propeller are not necessary, which lead to a small computational effort compared to a propeller simulation with a sliding grid.

Lifehack #10

AutoGrid Scripting: Classic vs OMNIS™-Style

German spoken

It doesn’t matter if you are thinking about starting to script or if you have already fully automated all your AutoGrid™ processes and are now venturing into OMNIS™. This Lifehack has something for everyone. We will show you how to load, start and debug a script in OMNIS™ and the essential components and commands of such a script. In addition, you will learn how to transfer your existing classic AutoGrid5™-scripts to OMNIS™.

Lifehack #9

A Glimpse on Overset Grids and AGR

English spoken

We show you when and how to use Overset Grids and Adaptive Grid Refinement (AGR) in your marine CFD simulations. Furthermore, we point out the advantages these two techniques provide.

Lifehack #8

Intuitive Design of Turbomachines

English spoken

Our preliminary design tools enable you to design various types of turbomachinery very efficiently. We will demonstrate the most important features, which you should know in the meanline design tools form Concepts NREC. As an example, we give a brief introduction how to design a centrifugal compressor. In the second video we show you who to analyse, modify and improve the three-dimensional shape of this design in AxCent.
As an example, we use the centrifugal compressor from the last lifehack. And please stay tuned even if you are usually concerned with other turbomachinery applications.

Lifehack #7

Nonlinear Harmonic Method

German spoken / English spoken

Nonlinear Harmonic Method (NLH): Which harmonics do I need? And how many at all? In the first part of Lifehack #8 will give some answers and provide you a script that will make it easier for you to estimate how many harmonics are necessary. In the second part we focus on the post-processing. Which harmonics do you see in the evaluation? How to prevent confusing the harmonics during the analysis? Or upgrade the presentation of the results with a reconstruction in time. Nothing is more vivid than moving images.

Lifehack #6

Design Choices & Mesh Automation in OMNIS™

How can a simple automation for the study of geometry variation look like in OMNIS™?
We provide the answer here: We show you how to use Python to automate the process from geometry import to meshing and how to work efficiently with templates in the GUI. From partial to full automation in batch mode, everything is possible. The choice is entirely yours.

Lifehack #5

One Mesher - Two Interfaces

English spoken

Our unstructured meshing kernel has been given a second look with OMNIS™/Hexpress in addition to the classic HEXPRESS™/Hybrid interface. So, the question is: How do the workflows differ?
We answer that question by sharing our own experiences with you and compare some meshing process aspects. “One mesher – two interfaces”: The choice is yours. Due to the same meshing kernel and mesh setup, the resulting grid is independent of the interface.

Lifehack #4

AutoGrid5™ ZR-Effect

German spoken

Naturally, it would be favorable to consider seals and cavities during the CFD simulation of the turbomachine – but the meshing setup… For axisymmetric geometries the usage of a meridional effect (also called ZR-Effect) can make the meshing significantly easier. You will learn about this in our life hack. In the second part, we will demonstrate for two configurations, how the meridional effect could be attached to the main channel with a matching connection.


Matching Meridional ZR-Effect with a Single Block


We return to meshing axisymmetric geometries. Today we focus on a special kind of ZR-effect. If a matching connection to the main channel cannot be established, a single-block meridional effect may help. In this case, the main channel mesh is extruded into a single block. How exactly this works is considered in this lifehack.

Lifehack #3

Automate your Workflows

English spoken

Automation speeds up processes and reduces the margin for human mistakes. For CFD related tasks, it can range from a simple action to a complete CFD workflow chain. This lifehack addresses the possibility to combine the NUMECA scripting language with a tailored graphic user interface and how you can take advantage of that feature.

Lifehack #2

A short peak into AutoGrid5™

German spoken

The example of a centrifugal compressor is used to demonstrate the meshing with the help of the Wizzard in AutoGrid5™. The focus is on bulb meshing and manual adjustments of the cell distribution to improve the grid.

Lifehack #1

An Introduction to CFView™

German spoken

This life hack shows how you can visualise the results of turbomachinery simulations in CFView™. A special attention is paid to the blade-to-blade view, colour contours and the usage of shortcuts for more efficient work.

Newsletter Registration

Don't miss any more of our lifehacks!

Be first to know when the NUMECA team gives exclusive insights into their work.