SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Coefficient of Drag

Article by Jackie Yip on Sep 20, 2023

In this article, we discuss how to add a coefficient of drag goal into a flow simulation project. Derived from the principle of Bernoulli’s equation, SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation can help us obtain this value quickly by utilizing our setup parameters. 


We created an internal volume where the fluid enters via a constant velocity and exits due to environmental pressure. An ideal wall boundary condition was added to the top to prevent the fluid from slipping. In SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, we can make use of dividing the computational domain by half using the symmetry condition ensuring the conditions of flow are equal on both the top and bottom halves.

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Coefficient of Drag Setup

Cut Plot can display the pressure field interacting with the wall. In this example, the fluid entering from the left shows greater pressure at the front versus the backside.

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Cut Plot Example

For Goals, we can add surface goals to measure the total normal force on the flat plate (front and back).

Set Coefficient of Drag Equation Goals in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

Coefficient of Drag Equation Goal

To set up the equation, we first need to reference Bernoulli’s equation and substitute some of the unknowns based on our initial setup in SOLIDWORKS.

Equation for Coefficient of Drag

F will be determined from the normal force goals.  

Symbol for Density of Fluid in a Coefficient of Drag Equation is the density of the fluid and V is the fluid velocity, which is obtained from our boundary condition. 

A will be the surface area of the front flat face. This value can be obtained by measuring the surface area directly in the model. 

In SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, we will add an equation goal by right-clicking Goals > Insert Equation Goal. In the dialog, selecting items from our study tree can replace the known values in the equation. The equation goal also allows us to select the type of unit as in a dropdown. Since the drag coefficient is unitless, No Unit is selected.

No Unit Coefficient of Drag Goals

Before solving the study, we will right-click Input Data > Calculation Control Options and specify a criterion for when this goal converges. To enter a value, we can switch the auto setting to manual via the Criteria dropdown.

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Drag Input Data Calculation Control Options

Calculation Control Options Finishing Tab Options


During the analysis, we can add a goal plot to review the progress of the drag coefficient equation.

Results of a Coefficient of Drag Setup in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

The goal value can also be obtained in the results section by right-clicking Goal Plots > Insert... 

By selecting the goals, the Show button will list this value in a table. 

Insert Goal Plots in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

Show Equation Goals SOLIDWORKS Flow

I hope you found this quick SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation tutorial helpful.

GoEngineer YouTube Video SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Drag Equation Goal To learn more about this subject and to see a live demonstration, check out our YouTube video: SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation – Drag Equation Goal.

More SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Tutorials

Intro to Creating Lids in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation: How Many CPU Cores Do You Need?

Calculating the Center of Pressure in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Heat Pipes Explained

SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation: Adding Local Mesh Control



About Jackie Yip

Jackie Yip is a Technical Support Engineer at GoEngineer. When Jackie isn’t assisting customers or teaching a SOLIDWORKS Essentials class, he enjoys road biking and keeping up on the latest tech trends.

View all posts by Jackie Yip