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Why StarCCM+ from a user's perspective

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Old   January 4, 2010, 15:49
Default Why StarCCM+ from a user's perspective
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I have been investigation various commercial CFD products over the past few weeks. I have been in touch with sales reps and support engineers from CD-A, Fluent, FloEFD, and CFDesign, and I've heard all the spiels.

I need to justify to management the cost of going with Star CCM+ over a much cheaper FloEFD. Does anyone have any insight from an engineer's perspective?

We will mainly be using it for external supersonic and hypersonic flows over aerial vehicles and projectiles. Thank you.
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Old   January 5, 2010, 14:16
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I was in a similar position two years ago. My company mainly does external aero over complete aircraft in subsonic-transonic regime.

In our case, we were moving from outsourcing our work to in-house. So, ease of use, automation, mesh generation (especially with poor geometry), and local support were important factors. Somewhere along the line, you have to weigh how much you'll be saving in the long run by going with less expensive solutions.

To get a better feeling of the software, we supplied typical geometry to some of the vendors, and had them go through the simulation pipeline, and present something to us. If you have the time, it might also be a good idea to try it out yourself with a trial version.

By the way, I noticed you didn't have any free NASA codes or CFD++ in your list ...
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Old   January 5, 2010, 22:06
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I'm currently working on obtaining evaluation copies of the software. Other than comparing forces and moments, I'm glad you pointed out evaluating meshing poor geometry. I have used EFDLab (predecessor to FloEFD) and it was quite a chore getting geometry to work.

I've spoken with a few colleagues about CFD++, and while it looks valuable, I'm afraid it would require a dedicate CFD expert. We currently don't have someone like this and probably wouldn't go out of our way to acquire one.

What can you tell me about free NASA codes? I have heard them mentioned, but I don't know much about them. Feel free to PM as I realize they require DoD authorization. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old   January 6, 2010, 12:53
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Yeah, geometry handling was important to us in the early phase since our legacy geometry was not perfect (had holes, wasn't watertight, composed of multiple disjointed pieces).

Our company did not have a CFD engineer as well. We purchased basic training from cd-adapco, and all support thereafter was free of charge.

Can't tell you much about the NASA code since I didn't use it. But from what I gather, out of all codes I considered it had the steepest learning curve, and all tools were separate. Here's the site:
http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/wind/
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Old   January 7, 2010, 08:17
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I have heard that some firms uses OpenFoam to save costs.
First time you have more costs because the guys have to understand the system. But you can use unlimited cpu's. Sometimes more important
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