If you ask any software development company what they’re doing to help with the COVID-19 pandemic, you may find they’re using their software in unconventional ways to solve, and in this case, simulate, the challenges that could help improve the design of so many personal protection equipment (PPE) initiatives.

Dassault Systèmes has released a video simulating a human sneeze, showing how all y’alls mucus particles blast through the air, contaminating surfaces.

The video is a computational simulation developed using SIMULIA PowerFLOW and is based on published data including gas velocity as a function of time exiting the mouth as well as droplet particle size and distribution. The video shows how the turbulent jet helps distribute the mucus particles through the air and highlights the surfaces of the shielded individual that are being contaminated with a red/purple color.”

The simulation also suggests small particles are entrained behind the shield coming into close proximity of the shielded individual. These simulations can provide valuable insight into the flow physics of sneezes which can be used to aid in making decisions about PPE. The simulations are computationally efficient allowing for rapid exploration of design space that could include shield length, width, the distance between individuals, for example.”

Multiply this by 6 billion, throw in some randomization, and you’re in for a real mess — which isn’t too far from where we are. However, it’s solutions like this that are giving us a leg up to help us kick this coronavirus right in its glycoprotein mass.

It’s encouraging to see what so many companies are doing. It’s a testament to the tenacity and inventiveness of the private sector doing what a government could not even begin to even think about wrapping with red tape.

Have any other examples companies are using/rethinking their software to help?


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.