PreonLab 3.0 released
Three years ago, FIFTY2 was founded under the premise to bring the revolutionary PREON® fluid solver from university to industry. Today, this dream has become reality – PreonLab has found adoption by engineers around the world. Now, it is time to look ahead and open up PreonLab for more applications. PreonLab 3.0 is by far the most transformative update yet and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with you.
An extract from the extensive list of new features in PreonLab 3.0:
- Distributed computation: PreonLab becomes MPI capable – use clusters for even faster simulation results.
- Additional simulation capability: add thermodynamics and evaporation models to your simulation.
- Improved water wading simulation: increased reliability by taking into account the vehicle suspension.
- Improved workflow: an entirely redesigned Playback and Simulation control and improved connection editor improves the workflow.
Distributed computation with MPI
PreonLab is renowned for its cutting edge performance which can be attributed to the combination of a unique numerical formulation, highly efficient data structures and powerful parallelization techniques for shared memory systems. With 3.0, we take this a step further by supporting distributed computations on clusters using MPI. We invested great effort to achieve good scaling behavior for a wide range of scenes, while at the same time preserving PreonLab’s excellent performance on shared-memory systems. Given a sufficient number of worker nodes, MPI simulations can easily run an order of magnitude faster than simulations on a single machine which is also the case for the dip coating benchmark given below.
Improved user interface
Since day one, our mission is to craft a user-friendly CAE tool that can be used by anybody after one day of training. The positive feedback we have received about the ease of use of PreonLab is purely overwhelming and shows us that we are on the right path. With 3.0 this journey continues. The great ideas and constructive comments from users have influenced the new timeline and the updated connection editor which makes working with PreonLab so much more fun.
PreonLab users love the Preon renderer and its capabilities to create close to photo-realistic images. The new color gradient background allows for even richer visualizations and is a great tool to enhance the quality of fluid reflections.
Thermodynamics and evaporation
In 3.0, the PREON® solver is extended to compute heat transfer within the fluid and at the interfaces with air and solid geometries. Temperature-dependent changes in the viscosity are taken into account which will improve simulations of oil for example in gearbox applications.
Furthermore, we have enriched the PREON® solver by a simple, yet powerful model which efficiently computes the evaporation of wetted parts into air regions. This model can be applied as the second stage, e.g., of raining or wading simulations to predict corrosion hot spots.
Car suspension model
Vehicle wading is a challenging water management application as the interaction of large water volumes with a car have to be computed. For realistic results, it is highly important to capture certain conditions in the simulation such as the velocity profile of the car, the spinning of wheels and the car diving into and out of the curved water channel. The meshless PREON® solver, the powerful user interface and Python scripting minimize the manual effort for scene setup. In combination with the outstanding solver performance, the time from setup to insight is a matter of days, not weeks, which makes vehicle wading a standard use case for PreonLab. However, there are specific settings in which the forces exerted by water onto the car underbody will cause significant deflections of the sprung car parts and, thus, change the water flows around and inside the car. With 3.0, we introduce a simplified suspension model which computes the spring deflection for the front and rear axle due to water forces, automatically.
Roadmap for 2018
PreonLab 3.0 marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for PreonLab and the following releases will expand upon that foundation. With your feedback, we plan to optimize the MPI implementation further throughout the year, most notably by adding support for distributed thermodynamics and post-processing. However, we also have completely new features lined up that didn’t quite make the cut for 3.0. The most exciting one is undoubtedly a new experimental particle-based rigid body solver capable of handling concave and complex geometries. Expect more on that later this year!