CFD Direct began in March 2015 with Henry Weller (creator, architect and co-founder of OpenFOAM), Chris Greenshields (co-founder of OpenFOAM), and Jenya Collings.  We summarise below our principal activities for our third year ending March 2018, in which we were joined by Will Bainbridge, an experienced OpenFOAM developer.


We undertook 1234 man-hours of new developments, with 686 code commits to the public development line of OpenFOAM (OpenFOAM-dev). Customer projects funded ∼80% of the work, leaving 231 hours unfunded.  New developments ranged from water waves to productivity/usability tools.


We resolved approximately 400 issues on the Issue Tracking Site (with support of other contributors).  Our successful campaign for €100 k maintenance funding from year 2 enabled us to target critical components for redesign and major repair, e.g. the particle tracking algorithm.  Consequently, unresolved issues fell by 45%, a significant decrease that achieved our principal aim of the funding campaign.  However, out of 1217 man-hours of  work, 482 hours were still unfunded.

OpenFOAM Foundation

We continually manage the OpenFOAM Foundation, which owns OpenFOAM to ensure it is distributed free and open source only.  It provides a focal point for the supporters of OpenFOAM, including the organisations who fund OpenFOAM through Maintenance Plans and individuals who contribute developments and maintenance.  We did 475 hours unpaid work for the Foundation including:

Contribution to OpenFOAM

In total, CFD Direct contributed 1188 man-hours of (unfunded) work in-kind to OpenFOAM, for the benefit of its users.  This is 14% less than the previous year, which is moving towards becoming sustainable.  The decrease would have been 25%, but the Foundation work increased, in particular the work to promote sustainable development and maintenance funding!


We ran 60 days of OpenFOAM Training, updated for OpenFOAM v5, with our Essential CFD, Applied CFD and Programming CFD courses.  Courses were delivered as Classroom Training in London, Berlin, Munich, Houston, and Chicago; Virtual Training; and, On-Site Training.  We introduced our first “hybrid” classroom-virtual courses to London and Chicago, enabling us to host participants in person and remotely.  Our new Cloud CFD course was launched in January, training the tools and processes for inexpensive, secure, efficient cloud use using Amazon Web Services (AWS).


CFD Direct From the Cloud™ (CFDDFC) provides a turnkey platform including OpenFOAM v5 and related software, running in the cloud.  We released a command line interface (CLI) to enable quick, simple deployment of CFD workloads with CFDDFC.  As a result, total usage of CFDDFC increased to ∼500,000 core-hrs of AWS Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2).  The CLI launches EC2 Spot Instances by default, to provide a low cost of running CFD in the cloud.  It provides cost estimates for instances and data transfer, and uses strong security settings by default.

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