ANSYS Discovery Live Explained

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TENZOR – Authorized Channel Partner ANSYS – Delivering pure knowledge to our communuty.
ANSYS Discovery Live amazed me do to the simplicity of the approach for real-time multiple simulation and design exploration concept. ANSYS has taken a bold step towards automation of CFD while not neglecting theoretical backed features.

In the following Q&A that I shall update as more questions shall be referred, I shall try to answer some of the queries concerning ANSYS Discovery Live.

Q1: What is ANSYS Discovery Live?

A1: ANSYS Discovery Live is the first ever simulation environment that provides real-time answers to engineering challenges. Discovery Live let’s its novice users it’s intended for (albeit also advanced users seeking for real time decision making) to interactively change geometry, physics inputs, and results displays all while instantly visualizing design performance.

Q2: How does it conform with ANSYS high-end CFD codes such as Fluent or CFX?

A2: Well, it doesn’t conform as it’s not the intention of ANSYS Discovery Live to replace these codes, but to make CFD much more accessible, following the notion of “Democratization of CFD” and transform how simulation gets done and WHO does what. By that, CFD, an art practiced by the few experts, makes its way into the mechanical designers world to allow a designer a real-time view of the changes in physics to an end result of presenting an optimal initial design.

Q3: Now, whats stands in the basis of ANSYS Discovery Live?…

A3: Talking to some guys in Ansys I learned that is it lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) is being used in the Ansys Discovery, incorporating that with the new idea to be able to modify model geometry on run and see stress/flow/temperature/modal results plots change in the same time, one might pose the appropriate question on how the mesh and corresponding tailored turbulence model for example are instantly adjusting to apprehend the physics of the problem at hand.
Well, the concept is somewhat related (but not exactly) to a field in mathematics that is called Reduced Order Modeling (ROM), a very active albeit not so new field of research. One of the aims in ROM is to reduce the dimensionality of the problems by finding some abstract function space. An analogy to that could be found in the extraction Fourier transform to perform time dependent calculations in to another space and returning back to time domain.
As it’s not the aim of the post to present an in-depth explanation of ROM, I find it best to rely on Francisco Chinesta’s awesome presentation on ROM in thermo-mechanic problems to get a glimpse on how real-time multi-simulations may be achieved:

Q4: So what make ANSYS Discovery Live such a breakthrough from an efficiency standpoint?

A4: Far and foremost what makes ANSYS Discovery Live such a powerhouse for real-time multiple simulations is head-on incorporation of Graphical processing units (GPUs) in the calculation process. GPUs are specialized processors with dedicated memory that conventionally perform floating point operations required for rendering graphics. In response to commercial demand for real-time graphics rendering, the current generation of GPUs have evolved into many-core processors that are specifically designed to perform data-parallel computation. The main difference between GPUs and central processing units (CPUs) are that GPUs devote proportionally more transistors to arithmetic logic units and less to caches and flow control in comparison to CPUs. Specifically ANSYS rewrote some of their solvers in CUDA to exploit GPU compute power.
Here is an cool simulation carried on a 3D Navier-Stokes fluid solver that runs entirely on the GPU (by Keenan Crane):

Q5: What does the future hold for ANSYS Discovery Live?

A5: Already in the pre-release the basic functionality to make it useful was all out and was far more than I expected for a pre-release. It is new, the approach shall take time to get used to and as explained in the above paragraphs it is not out there to replace time-consuming approaches that simply have more functionality such as Fluent or CFX conducted by expert CFD, thermal and strength specialists.
Over the next two to three years we will see it mature as functionality and accuracy shall improve all along tightly supported and technically backed as an ANSYS product.
The GPU’s it depends on shall offer more scalable performance and for much less money as well.
This is merely the beginning of an exciting journey, but already the pre-release is sufficient to do the experimentation and exploration it was designed to allow.

ANSYS Discovery Live – preview download

ANSYS guide


The end

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TENZOR – Authorized Channel Partner Ansys


Recommended reading:

Engineering Analysis with ANSYS Workbench 18

One thought on “ANSYS Discovery Live Explained

  1. Pingback: List of Webinars and late useful links – CFD ISRAEL – TAZ Engineering blog – Mecanical, Analysis and Optimiztion to the Level of ART

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