Industrial design/mechanical engineering firm, Design Edge was
contracted by chip manufacturer AMD to design an eye-catching PC
enclosure that had to be super small, super quiet and delivered
ASAP. Super small and super quiet meant there was little room for
heat-dissipating components and fans, while the tight schedule ruled
out the traditional approach to thermal analysis using prototype-build,
test, modify and retest.
CFD software was the only way to squeeze thermal analyses into
an acceptable schedule, but Lisa Sura, Director of Product Development
knew CFD software was expensive. She needed a package that would
do the job at a price her small firm could afford.
After an Internet search of available offerings, Sura discovered
Coolit, the CFD tool geared specifically toward electronics applications.
Coolit sold for less than competing software and also included free
viewing and animation software, CoolPlotŪ. Furthermore, the software
dealt readily with the mixed laminar and turbulent flows, a condition
often found in electronic enclosures.
"One of the Coolit turbulence models is very accurate for mixed
flows," points out Sura. "That is rare and hard to find in CFD packages."
Initially Design Edge focused on delivering the PC using an existing
processor and with plans to adapt the design later for a future
higher speed processor. But using Coolit the team quickly determined
that the new processor, with its higher heat load, would require
an extra cooling fan and associated ducting, and extra side venting.
Design Edge was able to incorporate the changes before the initial
design was even tooled, eliminating costly retooling charges.
Throughout the project, Sura found Coolit Technical Support invaluable
in dealing with troublesome analytical issues.
"The Support Team was awesome," declares Sura. "They responded
immediately, either fixing the case file or explaining how to proceed."
The final PC package is a futuristic design that attracts attention
with its very un-PC-like looks. Tiny, quiet, and cool, the spiffy
enclosure arrived on schedule thanks to the time savings and thermal
visualization power of Coolit.