Tuesday, August 10, 2010

When NOT to use comparative Charts for CFD software

Recently there was an article in Desktop Engineering where it compared several commercial CFD products in the marketplace today. I am all for this! Sure! What shocked most in the industry who read this article was how terribly inaccurate this was and how biased it was towards one single product. I wish it was featured in a "marketing section" vs. an engineering magazine such as Desktop Engineering. In this rebuttal article from Mentor Graphics (Dr. J), the author claims to even have received an apology from Desktop Engineering: "To their credit, when we notified them, Desktop Engineering apologised to us, sent out an apology to all of its readership and promised that such a chart would not go out again."

Here is a direct link to the rebuttal article: "Lies, Damned Lies, and "CFD Comparison Charts" - Part I" You can also see the original "comparative charts" here as reference.

In this article, Dr. J aptly points out the one-sided take by CF Design. Though he mainly talks about improper comparison of Mentor Graphics' FloEFD, there are several inaccuracies on this comparative chart when it comes to ANSYS CFD products (FLUENT, CFX) as well. Any current FLUENT and CFX user can testify to these inaccuracies! Dr. J, the count on "misleading statements" in the DE article are well beyond 27 if we include the ANSYS CFD products. I still don't believe this article ever got published! It begs more research and accurate information.

Having been in the simulation industry (FEA, CFD) for close to a decade, this false comparative chart regarding CFD products is really appalling, especially coming from a magazine such as DE. Negative marketing campaigns are not a good idea. If you do them, please know the facts about competition first! And then do not do it as a "guide" to helping engineers decide on what CFD code to chose!

Update: Folks from Blue Ridge Numerics have responded on LinkedIN forums on this and seems like they are working on it. Good to know:) You can follow their comments here: www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=66032

I look forward to your feedback.

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