Let's Talk Meshing
Automotive Design Optimization using Pointwise, Sculptor, and OpenFOAM
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High quality meshing coupled with robust shape deformation techniques enable large design space exploration for optimization without the need to remesh the geometry. To demonstrate this, we introduce a collection of best practices for cleaning complex analytic CAD encountered in the automotive industry and demonstrate a robust meshing technology that can automatically generate high quality boundary layer resolved meshes that retain their quality when morphed by Sculptor during the optimization process.
The case study for this work is the DrivAer model developed by the Institute of Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics at the Technische Universität München. Using this geometry, we demonstrate a technique called Solid Meshing to heal faults in the geometry and recover the original engineering intent and when coupled with T-Rex (anisotropic tetrahedral extrusion) enables automated, high quality volumetric grid generation.
Using the DrivAer mesh, we define a set of volumetric shape deformations using few design variables within Sculptor. A technology called Arbitrary Shape Deformation is used to smoothly morph the nodes of the mesh that are inside of the volumetric deformation space. Even for large deformations, this technology can maintain surface boundary layer thickness and orientation.
By eliminating the requirement to remesh after each volumetric deformation, solution changes are minimized and primarily subjected to the changes seen by the OpenFOAM flow results due to model differences. Also, all tools have been coupled to form an automated optimization framework making it possible to find the subtle shape changes that produce large improvements in design performance.
Discover how to:
Figure 1: Hybrid volume mesh generated for the full DrivAer model using Pointwise's T-Rex with cells colored by volume.
Figure 2: A baffle behind the vehicle has been inserted to provide additional wake resolution.
Figure 3: Arbitrary Shape Deformation Volume control points have been placed to perform precise volumetric grid deformation.
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