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Virtual prototyping in 1D and 3D

John Day

John Day

Posted Jul 16, 2012

Automotive systems are increasingly complex and time-to-market deadlines are increasingly tight. Design engineers face relentless pressure to develop consistently reliable products quickly, so it’s not surprising that virtual prototyping is popular. The technology supports the “What if?” thinking that leads to innovation. It’s the way Thomas Edison worked, but much faster, and faster still when engineering tools work efficiently together.

Mentor took another step in that direction by launching an “industry first” software solution that combines 1D and 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD), specifically, 1D Flowmaster® and 3D FloEFD™ Concurrent CFD. Until now, middleware was needed to link 1D and 3D models – think time, cost, and learning curve.

The combination benefits several industries including automotive, where for example it could aid the design of a cooling system. Without having to call in (and wait for) a specialist, a design engineer can characterize system components, like a car engine, in 3D, then insert those component characteristics into a 1D system level model (the cooling system). Mentor’s technology eliminates the need for workarounds that may require significant time and/or computational resources. It also improves accuracy.

The 1D and 3D combination was made possible by Mentor’s January, 2012 acquisition of Flowmaster Ltd. Flowmaster is a market leader in 1D CFD, and FloEFD is embedded in or tightly integrated with at least six major MCAD systems.

Dr. Keith Meintjes, practice manager for Simulation and Analysis at CIMdata, credits Mentor with “delivering a very innovative solution for fluid and thermal system simulation.” He adds, “If the system performance is of primary interest, Mentor’s 1D-3D combination is a superior solution.”

A video of the solution is available at

CIMdata, 1D and 3D models, Thomas Edison, Flomaster, Mentor Graphics

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John DayJohn Day recently launched John Day’s Automotive Electronics News ( to provide news and feature coverage of the automotive electronics industry. Earlier he wrote for Auto Electronics magazine, Auto E-lectronics, EE Times, and other business and engineering publications. Visit John Day

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Comments 2

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I beliew this integrated 1D-3D solution is what engineer look forwards for long time. Greate job done! Yanfeng

Yanfeng yu
1:37 AM Jul 20, 2012

I have seen video of 1d-3d cfd simulation. I really like your presentation. Speedy testing and making of virtual prototype will save the time. I have done research on cam and follower. You can find my research at

Jigar Patel
4:30 AM Aug 18, 2012

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