Aerodynamics simulation software

Any suggestions on which software is the best and easiest to use for running basic aerodynamics / fluid simulations.

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19 Answers

In terms of easy to use, Solidworks flow is very easy. If you have SW premium you get flow Xpress(or cosmos depending on which version you have). Its easy to setup air/water flow for simple 1 inlet 1 outlet conditions. If you need more you will need the full simulation package.

If you using Autodesk products, Algor simulation is very powerful but a bit hard to get used to using.

 
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In free open source software (FOSS), Foam is doing well. It is part of CAE Linux distribution. It is backed by the super computer maker SGI.

http://openfoam.com/

 
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Have you tried the flow analysis within SW? That looks fairly easy not tried it though.

I used Gambit and Fluent a couple of years ago... Granted not the easiest method but once its set up and running the results are worth it! :)

 
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It depends on what you need but I'd say Fluent in combination with Icem meshing kit (ansys workbench will fit and native, and you can integrate many things)

 
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Go for ANSYS CFX (new solver is more stable for large external flow analysis) or you can try COMSOL too.

 
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ABAQUS
With Abaqus/CAE you can quickly and efficiently create, edit, monitor, diagnose, and visualize advanced Abaqus analyses. The intuitive interface integrates modeling, analysis, job management, and results visualization in a consistent, easy-to-use environment that is simple to learn for new users, yet highly productive for experienced users. Abaqus/CAE supports familiar interactive computer-aided engineering concepts such as feature-based, parametric modeling, interactive and scripted operation, and GUI customization.

 
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I like the Russian-speaking closer SW Flow Works - the creation of fluid flow in a few steps, and you get particle motion traetoriyu! fast and intuitive (and many examples in the network).
The only problem - you need powerful equipment that payments do not leave the whole night!
all depends on the design environment itself SUT.
if the calculation is very simple - SW Flow Works.
the maximum result - Abaqus ANSYS or

 
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A fast, free, aerodynamic analysis program called Tornado123b does a great job at allowing easy and fast setup of aircraft configurations. I have used this program more than a thousand times to optimize UAV configurations. As with any "panel method" the absolute aerodynamic values have to be calibrated, but for configuration comparisons it is great. There use to be several complete aircraft design tutorials based on Tornado123b available on the Internet that you may find using a Google search.

 
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If you are looking at commercial software, then I'd say the one that offers the best bang for your bucks (we're talking in excess of $20K) is STAR-CCM+, hands down... ANSYS CFX should be next in line... CFDesign (now part of Autodesk) is also a good one. If you're looking for more cost effective, then there is symscape and OpenFOAM...

 
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I've been evaluating X-Flow from Nextlimit lately. It is a derivative from a movie industry CGI code, with added engineering content. It is particle-based, which means no meshing! It's only a transient code, but it is pretty darn sick... Check out the unbelievable animations at their youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/XFlowCFD

 
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It all depend on ur needs. In general ANSYS CFX and Fluent are dealt good flow analysis software. And with ICEM cfd meshing tool flow analysis is much simpler

 
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Check out the MicroCFD Virtual Wind Tunnel

http://microcfd.com/software.htm

The 2D version is free; 3D is relatively cheap and loads STL files.

 
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I have released Open VOGEL a couple of years a go as GPL3 free open source software. It is based in potential flow theory, so it is not in the same level as a FEM-base program. However, it does present some interesting features, and you might find it useful for solving problems like the interaction between surfaces and fuselages, and static aero-elasticity.

I have never used Tornado, but I believe from what I have read in their specifications that Open VOGEL is more complete (and I am not trying to sell anything). It also runs in windows as standalone, you don't need any special supporting framework behind (like Matlab).

So when it comes to free software, if I was you I would definitely give it a try. Most of other comparable rivals are proprietary software, and not cheap at all.
Just google Open VOGEL and you'll find it.

 
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If it is for quick CFD, take a look at the new ANSYS Discovery Live, pretty spectacular! http://www.ansys.com/products/3d-design/ansys-discovery-live

 
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