From August 4, 2008 to December 15, 2009, the Design, Lifecycle, and Simulation team conducted a technology preview on Autodesk Labs for Shrinkwrap for Inventor. The Shrinkwrap add-in helped users create envelope parts from Inventor assemblies. The Shrinkwrap add-in took advantage of derived part workflows to create a stand-alone, single part solid version of a model assembly. Users identified component voids to be filled with solid materials, and the Shrinkwrap add-in filled any internal voids remaining in the assembly.
From August 13, 2014 to November 10, 2014, the Design, Lifecycle, and Simulation team is conducting a technology preview on Autodesk Labs for Project Ventus for Simulation CFD. Project Ventus for Simulation CFD is a surface wrapping tool that is meant to take a model, surface wrap it, add an external volume, and generate a CFD quality mesh that can then be imported to Simulation CFD. The intent is to easily generate a mesh for CAD models that might otherwise be difficult or impossible to mesh for CFD simulations without extensive CAD cleanup. The tech preview is intended for external flow analysis or wind tunnel type models.
Shrinkwrap for Inventor graduated from Autodesk Labs and is now part of Inventor. A frequently asked question is "How is Project Ventus different from the Shrinkwrap technology?" I consulted, Product Manager for Simulation CFD, Heath Hougton. Here is what he had to say:.
- Shirinkwrap for Inventor operates at the CAD level and its main purpose has been for simplifying complex assemblies and protecting intellectual property. It uses geometry level operations like booleans to accomplish that.
- Project Ventus takes your CAD designs and operates at the mesh level. This gives the application the ability to automatically heal or remove small gaps and other features that would require extensive user interaction to alter at the CAD level. The result of operating at the mesh level is that Project Ventus has the ability to take in a wide array of CAD formats and quite easily (for the user) end up with a model that is meshed and ready for use as a simulation model.
- An example of this workflow is the image in the Project Ventus splashscreen. That model originated in Alias and has a lot of complexity and details. Those smaller details wouldn't alter wind tunnel results, but they do prevent a CFD mesh from being generated without extensive CAD manipulation. It would take someone many man hours and the skills in CAD to alter that model for the purposes of wind tunnel simulations. In Project Ventus, it takes just a few minutes for the program to develop a mesh that is ready for Autodesk Simulation CFD to run that same wind tunnel test.
If you want to experience the difference for yourself, you can join the project. Technology previews are free for subscription customers, non-subscription customers, and students alike.
Differentiation is alive in the lab.