AnsweredAssumed Answered

Flow Simulation differece with Mentor FlowEFD?

Question asked by Andrew Castelino on Jun 16, 2014
Latest reply on Jun 18, 2014 by Jared Conway

Dear Solidworks team,


I read Joe's post on the Flow Simulation. I found the post and comments (including one from Bill) informative, and there are several questions I would like to inquire about:


"More than one person has told me that we should rename SolidWorks Flow Simulation to SolidWorks Flow and ThermalSimulation, because (a) it does a lot more than just flow calculations and (b) it is the best design tool to use for thermal simulation especially when convection is involved.”

The argument seems compelling since the task is estimating heat transfer coefficient h is eliminated.


Is this a unique capability of SW, or also available with other software?

  1. Historically, fluent was first released in 1981.
  2. First version of Solidworks was released in 1995.
  3. The finite volume method appears at about 2001.

Q1: The finite volume method was after the release of both. So does Fluent now use finite volume code, as Solidworks?


Q2: Secondly, is the automatic calculation of heat transfer something very special/advanced, or commonplace? In project settings for the outer walls we are asked to specify heat transfer coefficient when the type was “Internal”, however, for inner walls for cavities containing liquid or gas, there has never been requirement on heat transfer coefficient specification, and all is done automatically.


And when using “external” type of analysis, aren’t we just extending the automatic convection calculation from “internal” to “external”, which is a very straightforward process and should not involve too much additional development work? If it is just such an easy extension from “internal” to “external” in which the same mathematics simply extends its domain from internal to include external region, what makes it unique and qualified as the Best tool for thermal analysis?


Q3: Additionally I see the mentioning of Mentor Graphics in “About” of Solidworks Flow Simulation. On mentor webpage I see they develop FlowEFD as modules for CATIA, NX, Creo, but the list didn’t include Solidworks. Is Solidworks Flow Simulation the same as those other MCAD software when they are equipped with FlowEFD? Does it have any distinction among the competitors?


Referring to Joe’s quote above: why is it best when (natural) convection is involved, as comparing with FlowEFD plus CATIA or Creo or NX?


Finally I am curious that whether Solidworks completely uses Mentor’s licensed thermal technology, or actually also develop its own? How much percentage of Solidworks Flow Simulation we use is due to Mentor?