10 Replies Latest reply on Mar 7, 2013 3:24 PM by Bill McEachern

    solidworks flow simulation...why should i use this instead of fluent ?

    T. I

      i m doing my thesis on car aerodynamics and looking for suitable CFD software. I talked to my prof. and he said  'solidworks flow simulation' is not a good option. But i think this is easier to use as a beginner. I don’t know much about simulation soft wares but I insisted to stick to solidworks. My prof. asked me to show one good reason to do so. Can anyone tell me how can I convince him? I mean, I need info about solidworks flow simulation, which method is used for solving, comparison with fluent  etc. and off course…accuracy. Plz help me out.

        • Re: solidworks flow simulation...why should i use this instead of fluent ?
          Bill McEachern

          Maybe this helps: Flow Simulation is a 2D/3D Finite Volume, multi grid, multi block time averaged Navier-Stokes code for the solution of steady state and transient compressible or incompressible flows over arbitrary geometries. The code supports conjugate heat transfer, all modes, and is capable of advanced radiation functions including absorption in solids and spectral sensitivities. The code also supports auto adaptive in solution remeshing, embedded restarts, using previous analysis results for initial conditions of follow on studies, etc. The code uses fully auto generated Cartesian cell generation with full support for mesh biasing to meet user requirements. This results in vastly reduced numerical diffusion over unstructured codes with the consequent reduced solution times and increased robustness typical of Cart codes. The modified wall functions approach is implemented with two approaches for both thick and thin boundary layers freeing the user from boundary layer meshing. A specialized K-epsilon turbulence model is used that is validated up to Reynolds numbers approaching 8 million.  The turbulence model has demonstrated success in modeling in large eddy simulations and flow separations on gradually changing geometries. Multi species are also supported for mixing applications. The multiple rotating frame approximation for turbo machinery is also supported.

          • Re: solidworks flow simulation...why should i use this instead of fluent ?
            John Ferullo

            Hi TI:

            A non-engineering thing to think about is that you have an opportunity here to gain experience in Fluent. Either tool may solve your problem. It would not hurt your resume to have both tools.



            • Re: solidworks flow simulation...why should i use this instead of fluent ?
              Paul Becker

              Good stuff.   I just met with a company today that is using and will continue to use Fluent (because of regulatory requirements in their industry), but they were in need of a tool that could actually be "useful" in day to day design.  Not only were the designers present, but the Fluent analyst were there and were able to see firsthand the demonstration of SW Flow Simulation and ask questions related to their current process.  I am aware of the technical expertise required to use Fluent effectively, but I was surprised at the time and resources required for them to turn around a CFD analysis in Fluent.  It was a major bottleneck in their design process.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing Fluent at all. It is a very adept tool that has capabilities beyond those of SW Flow Simulation.  But the thing is that the application that we discussed did not require these advanced capabilities.  It was clear that when these people arrived, they came with the preconceived notion that Flow Simulation was more of a concept-level, back of the napkin tool that would speed up design, but Fluent would still be used as the tool to get "accurate" results.  In the end, I think they were pretty impressed... not in the sense that SW Flow Simulation was a 'better' tool, but certainly at the fact that it could do all of the things that were currently taking them weeks to turn around in Fluent, and do them as accurately as Fluent.  So I guess that makes it a better tool for their application, doesn't it?  We even went to the level of confirming agreement between my data (using their models) and what they are used to seeing in Fluent.  SW Flow Sim satisfies the needs of the majority of CFD applications in industry and does it in an easy-to-use, efficient, and accurate way.  In most cases, if you need Fluent, then you need Fluent.  If you need SW Flow Simulation, then you don't need Fluent.  Do most people carry around a good multimeter in their toolbox or an oscilloscope?  One can do more, but do you need to make that investment and deal with the complexity?  Is the multimeter not accurate?   


              Your professor may have a good reason why he said SW Flow Sim was not a good option, but I'd like to hear it.   Sorry.  On a soap box.   Good for you for validating your own work and coming to your own conclusions on the tools available to you.  Also, as John said, it certainly doesn't hurt to learn Fluent as well if you have the opportunity.  Good luck.