CAD data use for other applications such as FEA or CFD

If I work for one of the major CAE vendors (FEA or CFD, abaqus, ansys, MSC Nastran, CFX, FLUENT, Star CD, Open Foam, etc) or an engineering consultancy or Freelance, am I allowed to use CAD downloads from Grabcad in customer demo's in FEA or CFD simulations (to my employers customers), do I need to reference the original CAD person who uploaded to Grabcad (no problem), etc.
Some of the CAD models are absolutely brilliant (meaning the CAD quality is exceptional, easy to mesh, etc) and can be easily used for demonstration FEA or CFD simulation examples with an appropriate mesh and FEA or CFD analysis.
You will be surprised (or maybe not), just how much bad CAD is out there lurking..seems okay until you try to mesh with a FEA or CFD code, then you will find every single error in the CAD geometry.
Thanks
Simon S.

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4 Answers

So, your point is that there is a lot of (CAD) rubbish around when it comes to simulation? Of course there is...

However (my modest and worthless opinion) not all work uploaded here was designed/made to be used in simulations, often, actually, more likely, public files are results of learning or exercise. I'd say that less than 10% of all members on GrabCAD do upload files that are perfect in every aspect and detail. I also think that you shouldn't expect every file found here to be perfect. I often upload some of my work that is the third copy of the original (designed for production), and the uploaded file is just for visual presentation only, mimicking the object that was designed for production. Good for making a render, nice to look at, but useless for making a product from it. In my case, the original is a set of part files with clean geometry for fabrication, laser cutting etc, the second set is an assembly that is used as a sub-assembly and often saved as a part file to avoid rebuild errors in the big assembly with a lot of sub assemblies, and the third version is when I build up a copy of a sub assembly as a part. That third version can be uploaded to public places like GrabCAD and shared with other people. I expect you'd get a file that wouldn't really behave well in simulation, but it was never the intended purpose...
Just my two cents...

 
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Hi Richard, Thanks for your comments.

1. I intended to say 'most of the CAD models on Grabcad are outstanding excellent CAD quality', so much so, that they import easily into 3rd party FEA and CFD software tools', and mesh easily. That makes some examples excellent for FEA and CFD demo's.

2. Are the models copyright free or if I(or somebody else) used CAD models from Grabcad for 3rd party FEA or CFD demo's, should I reference the original Grabcad author?...which is no problem, meaning, I did not create the CAD used in the FEA or CFD simulation.
Thanks
SimonS

 
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It's always best to ask the author's permission. Most only want a reference for the use of their work.

 
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I too would like an answer. Are the models copyright/ royalty free to be used commercially?

 
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