SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Software
What is Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Software?
Computational Fluid Dynamics or CFD is a technique that deals with the solution of fluid flow fields through numerical analysis. SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation is a CFD software designed for the everyday SOLIDWORKS user and analyst. It provides dynamic feedback on the fluid flow and Thermal performance of their products. With Parametric optimization capabilities, users can automate the design and analysis process to discover the best iteration of their design within the familiar SOLIDWORKS CAD environment
“…exceptionally knowledgeable and professional in helping customers as well as demonstrating the full potential of the software and background information.”
– Haojun Fu, Vyaire Medical
Simulate Fluid and Gas Flow
Flow Simulation enables users to simulate a wide variety of liquids and gases for different engineering scenarios. A few common applications are flow through manifolds, heat exchangers, electronics cooling and aerodynamics. Check out the videos to see some examples of fluid flow and heat transfer situations in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation.
SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation
Premier CFD Analysis Tools to ensure quick and accurate results of your 3D CAD Designs
System level design requires optimizing for fluid behavior and material strength. Because SOLIDWORKS incorporates CFD analysis and FEA, designers can incorporate both with the FEA transfer from SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation. This allows Engineers to use the resulting force and heat transfer effects from their CFD analysis as the load inputs in their FEA analysis to fully understand the structural behavior based on the fluid behavior.
Rotating System Analysis
Coming up with optimal designs for systems with fan blades or impellers is impossible without accurate results. SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation provides users with tools that allow for rotating regions and sliding mesh methods to accurately simulate the behavior of these types of systems based on geometry, angular velocity, and transient behavior of the fluid.
External Flow Analysis
External analysis is used when we need to understand the fluid behavior around our model based on the environment conditions. Wind Turbines, Airplanes, ships, heat sinks, and automobiles would all be studied using external flow analysis. In External studies, the computational domain acts as our virtual wind tunnel with boundary conditions, heat sources, and transient behavior all applied through the user friendly setup wizard.
Internal Flow Analysis
PCB enclosures, valves, pumps and manifolds are all examples of internal analysis studies. Because SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation functions inside of SOLIDWORKS, setting up computational domains, boundary conditions and heat sources can be done in minutes. The results of your analysis can be applied directly to your design allowing you to test more iterations in less time.
Free Surface Dynamics
Free surface is a condition with a freely moving surface between two fluids that don’t mix such as air and water. Using the Volume of Fluids approach, we can accurately simulate transient conditions such as tank sloshing or any open bath fluid behavior. Not only can these test give us a better understanding of what the fluid is actually doing in the system, but we can also gather useful quantitative results such as force or pressure on internal walls.
Electronics Cooling Module
An add-on for SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, the Electronics Cooling Module (ECM) provides additional materials and material models that are specific to circuit board and PCB enclosure analysis. The Two-Resistor component model is a JEDEC approved method for simulating chip temperature such as BGA, QFP, QFN and SOP. The PCB-generator understands layer properties to provide an accurate orthotropic thermal behavior. Joule heating capabilities mean designers can apply current as the input to estimate heat generation.
For certain applications the fluid in a design might contain solid or liquid particles. The behavior of these particles and the fluid that interacts with them is critical to the function and efficacy of your system. With particle studies in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation we can analyze the particle behavior and see results for erosion and accretion of the system and the particle based on material properties, mass flow rate and other physical characteristics of the system design.
SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation is a robust and complete CFD analysis tool. But it’s integration into SOLIDWORKS CAD means it’s also a powerful design tool. This integration also opens the doors for optimizing your parameter-driven design based on the iterative results of the CFD studies and user-defined goals for the results.
Accurately understanding HVAC systems is a complicated task. That’s why SOLIDWORKS created the HVAC add-on module for SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation. This tool provides additional capabilities such as advanced radiation which modifies the way radiation between bodies, including semi-transparent materials such as glass, is calculated to provide higher fidelity of result information. The tracer study function allows the simulation of pollutants in a volume and shows how and where that pollutant will disperse in an environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
The software is as accurate as any general purpose CFD program. There are validation examples that come with the installation that showcase the similarities between experimental and analytical results with results from Flow Simulation.
It is recommended to have a system with the following attributes – Clock Speed: >3Ghz, CPU: Single CPU with 4 to 10 Cores, RAM: >16 GB, SOLIDWORKS recommended graphics card
Yes. Using the remote solving capability, users can send their Flow Simulation calculation to another computer on their network.
Since Flow Simulation is embedded in SOLIDWORKS, it can use any solid body geometry that was created or can be imported into SOLIDWORKS.
Besides the supplied Flow Simulation tutorials, GoEngineer offers two day classroom training, four half-day online courses, and custom training tailored for your applications of choice.
Flow Simulation does not currently simulate phase change. As a workaround, there are a few attributes that can be manipulated in the fluid material properties like specific heat capacity to mimic this phenomenon
Yes, Flow Simulation is an add-on to SOLIDWORKS, so it will work within an existing SOLIDWORKS license. Flow Simulation can be a standalone or network license independent of the SOLIDWORKS license.
Yes. The Electronics Cooling Module and the HVAC are add-ons require a Flow Simulation license. These modules give users additional features over the Flow Simulation software to solve challenges in these fields.
SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Features
Create flow analysis projects directly on your models without importing or exporting geometry. The Flow Simulation module is fully embedded within SOLIDWORKS and utilizes the CAD User Interface to setup the analysis.
Fluid Volume Recognition
The software automatically recognizes the fluid volume in your design based on the type of analysis. Users will no longer have to manually extract and define the fluid regions for their analyses which significantly simplifies the setup process. Identify and fix leaks in the model using the check geometry and leak detection tools.
Guided Analysis Setup
Utilize the Analysis Wizard to setup multiple CFD scenarios through a guided process. Build analysis templates with the appropriate input criteria and avoid missing parameters that could be critical to the accuracy of your analysis.
Solution-Based Meshing Techniques
Take advantage of the dynamic meshing technique that auto-refines the mesh in regions of high fluid activity. Utilizing the powerful grid-based cartesian meshing algorithm, the software can adaptively change the mesh during the solution process to yield accurate results.
Investigate multiple design variations using the optimization tools in Flow Simulation. The parametric study functionality takes design variables and simulation criteria as inputs to automatically determine the best design for a variety of flow and thermal scenarios.
Simulate fluid flow and heat transfer simultaneously to tackle a variety of challenges involving conduction, convection and radiation. Determine the effect of fluid flow on the thermal performance of your designs.
Material Library Customization
Besides the large material database that ships with the software, users can create custom materials for solids, liquids and gases with thermal and flow characteristics. Special features such as fans, perforated plates, porous media, heat sinks, thermo-electric coolers, contact resistance can also be added and modified.
Run a collection of analyses that belong to a certain design in a user-defined order. Specify hardware utilization and run upto 2 analyses simultaneously with the Batch processing tool in Flow Simulation.
Additional SOLIDWORKS Simulation Resources
Simulation provides designers and Engineers the tools they need to quickly test their designs and intelligently iterate on them. Utilizing NAFEMS validated FEA solvers, SOLIDWORKS Simulation can provide accurate, reliable results for a wide range of study types from basic linear static analysis to more complex nonlinear and dynamic analysis..
SOLIDWORKS Plastics is the injection molding flow simulation add-in for the SOLIDWORKS CAD package. It simulates the flow of the plastic melt into the mold cavity and provides results that will help part designers, mold designers, and injection molding manufacturers validate and optimize their products.
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