Simulation-driven design is widely considered the key to innovative product development. While the integration of modeling and simulation is already well-established in structural mechanics, this is not yet the case with its fluid dynamic sibling. This is because computational fluid dynamics is very demanding in terms of resources. Therefore, the intelligent modelling of functional shapes, such as ship hull forms, propellers, pumps and turbines, is of paramount importance.
Naval architects have always been subjected to non-planar shapes and have developed techniques that capture the essence of a complex geometry with as few defining elements as need be. These elements, normally called form parameters, are used to generate and vary a product. By closely coupling parametric modeling to simulation, a synthesis model is created. Adding techniques of formal optimisation, the process is further enhanced: it now provides the playground for serious work, complementing the human being's intuition, experience and ingenuity.
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