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Cheapest and best way to do simple CFD project

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Old   October 20, 2010, 23:43
Default Cheapest and best way to do simple CFD project
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Drew
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I recently graduated university and a family friend wants to pay me to do CFD and heat transfer on a patent he is developing. I could sneak back into the university lab and use solidworks and fluent academic versions, but this would be illegal. What is the cheapest way to create a quick CAD model (Solidworks or CATIA V5) and perform CFD with solid heat transfer on it (COSMOS CFD or Ansys Fluent)? Is there any place to rent computers with this software by the hour? I'm really limited in how I can help this friend without these tools that I am used to in college. He understands that this work is pricey and is willing to pay for the license if the general idea works. To figure out if the general idea works would probably take me about 20-30 hours. So what I need is ~40 hours of access to a commercial copy before purchasing the full program. Thanks for you help.
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Old   October 21, 2010, 07:43
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Pei-Ying Hsieh
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Hi,

You should contact ANSYS (who owns Fluent now). They might have "pay on demand" thing, ie, they charge by the hours you use Fluent. You might have to upload your case to their server and run it on their server.

I believe there is at least another company offers pay on demand.

Pei
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Old   October 21, 2010, 11:02
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Andy Jones
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Hello
I would suggest installing a Linux operating system on your computer.
The best open source software runs on Linux. You need a minimum 30 Gb of hard drive space, 4Gb ram, 64 bit, Quad core preferred. It is easy to set up a dual boot system with windows.

Open Source is free. A Linux OS with CFD and Science/Eng software already installed is the fastest easiest way. It is difficult to install a big open source CFD program by yourself. CAELinux has a Linux distro based on Ubuntu that works very well. OpenInnovation also has one.

OpenFoam is a great program. If you must use Windows, Elmer is a great CFD program as well. Salome Meca and Code Aster/Code Saturne are very good also. CAELinux comes with OpenFoam/Elmer/Salome Meca/Code Aster/Saturne and about 20 other Math Eng/Science/CAD programs. Free Download is 3.7 Gb and you burn an ISO image to a DVD to install.

If you work in Academia or Science, you will need to know something about Linux. 90% of Supercomputers run on Linux. Open Source programs are used on the vast majority of Supercomputers.
That is where the opensource cfd/sci programs came from, they were built for supercomputers in academia/government and then given to the public.
For CAD, you can use open source also. Salome-Meca/Code Aster/Saturne does CAD.

Commercial CAD...you may be able to find TurboCad Pro 12 or 14 pretty cheap. TurboCad Deluxe is 2D with some 3D functionality. Uses the same ACSIS engine as Autocad, you can find Deluxe 14-15 for $25-30 USD .Older TurboCad Pro-$200 Versions 12.14,15, Windows only.

But there are a bunch of free CAD apps on CAELinux.
http://www.caelinux.com/CMS/
Academic CAD programs watermark everything in the program as academic, so you do not want to use academic cad, or most likely any thing academic anyways. Employers do not want their CAD librarties contaminated with Academic watermarked CAD libraries/models.
You also are going to need a second computer, since it might take days at a time to mesh and solve/Visualize a complex CFD problem.
There are limits to what you can do with a single personal computer with any software. You can set up a cluster or grid of PC's.
You can partition your CFD problem into sections and solve one section at a time.
Commercial CFD, CAD, Math programs are extremely expensive!!!!

I would seriously consider going open source.
good luck
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Old   October 21, 2010, 21:49
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Thank you for the replies. I had contacted ANSYS and they told me they could do it month to month, still waiting on reply about by the hour.

I think doing it opensource will definitely be the cheapest and something that I should learn how to do for the future anyway. I will start working on that install if I have some free time. Thanks for the lengthy reply with lots of detail, very much appreciated!

Another question: the current version of Solidworks costs ~$4000, but last years on some websites is selling for $400. What is the big difference? I bet it comes with no support and you can't update it, but for $400 I would still go for it. Can the CAElinux package import Solidworks models? The geometry is a little complex and would like some of the variable tools in Solidworks to create multiple models with different dimensions. Like the ones where you can make a dimension reliant on numbers you enter in a table? Does any of the opensource CAD software have this feature?
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Old   October 21, 2010, 22:54
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Hello
As far as Solidworks going for $400, here is what I would watch out for: 1. It could be an Academic only version (academic cad watermarks everything as academic) and you would not be able to use it
2. It could be a promotional copy which is not allowed to be resold 3. It could be a client only license for a company that has a server and pays for each computer accessing the program on the server 4. It could be an Upgrade version ,that only works if you already have an older Solidworks version already installed and you are going to upgrade it to the current version. 5. It could be a media only, the DVD rom with no license key 6. It could be a government only version, that can only be used by a governmental entity 7. It could be a bootleg pirated copy 8.It could be a legitmate deal, complete with documentation and manuals and a transferable or unused license key. You need to find out the part number on the DVD rom and on the retail box and research those numbers and see an actual picture of the DVD and the box to make sure its real.

TurboCad is just as capable as Solidworks, although maybe not quite as polished, but it has been developed since 1985..they started out about the same time as autocad.
As far as open source CAD, there is BRL-CAD..made by the defense dept, its ok..full featured..it is not in CAELinux, but your could add it.
CAELinux has FreeCad..lightweight easy to use., PyCad..a python lightweignt program..comes in handy because you can use python math scripts to create objects...SAGAcad..more features. Salome Meca and code aster all do some cad ..thoough they are not dedicated cad only programs..They are primarily CFD and Mechanical Engineering and some Civil Eng.. oriented You need a plugin for Salome Meca.. to import Solidworks..Blender does CAD. There are also some newer Linux Cad programs..but since I use TurboCad..I dont know much about them
There is some very good stuff out there that is open source.

Open source gives you personal "staying power" since you can use the software as long as you want and upgrade when you like..no real financial considerations. Use something you can afford to keep using. There are some used Autocad programs out there also. SolidEdge by Seimens is free, but is 2D only. nice program, but if you need to go 3D its about 5000 dollars , if I am not mistaken.

TurboCad is the cheapest way I know of to get a full blown cad program..They wrote Sketchup cad for google..which is free by the way. There is no easy cad program made..they are all difficult to use. Anyone claiming otherwise is lying in my opinion.

Cad modeling would be the most time consuming part of the project. Autocad has the largest user base. I would look on Amazon for TurboCad..I got Deluxe 14 for a spare computer that will work on Vista/7 64 for $15.

Cant go wrong at that price. Its likely TurboCad Deluxe will do more 3d than you will ever need. Almost exact GUI as the pro version. Shader not as fancy. Pro is what you want though..its full 3d. Ver 12 on. Current latest version TurboCad Pro is about $1300.

http://www.amazon.com/Turbocad-15-De...7715940&sr=8-4

But is always nice to use well known commercial stuff, if you can afford it. but its not really necessary or practical.
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Old   October 21, 2010, 23:11
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So the two sites I found the cheap solidworks on are:
http://www.crystal-downloads.com/sho.../?s=solidworks
http://www.top-oem.net/shop/search/?s=solidworks
And both list the same contact phone number. Seems pretty fishy...

The reason I found these versions was that when I talked to Solidworks sales representative, I asked about transferability of licenses and he was very vague. More or less saying that you can, but he couldn't talk about it. Kinda odd.

I will definitely look into getting TurboCAD. A nice polished CAD model would greatly help my friend present to venture capitalists.

Thanks for all the help!
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Old   October 21, 2010, 23:29
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TurboCad Deluxe is used on more Patent applications than any other. It is sort of an inexpensive standard for inventors and patent drawings. Its also very similar to Autocad, so if you ever need to switch to autocad..its easy. Imports and exports absolutely every cad format imaginable.Aslo does SteroLithography files for rapid protoyping, and there is a CAM plug in available for computerized numerical control routers. Or use easyCam..free.and works with turbocad.
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Old   October 25, 2010, 13:52
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- for the cad generation and meshing step, if you're project is not too complex, I guess gmsh would do.
- For the solver I'd go for Code_Saturne: serious code plus very user friendly GUI (unlike OpenFOAM).
- for post-processing, I think paraview is quite good.

Good luck!
JB
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Old   October 26, 2010, 13:32
Default re :simple CFD project
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mark boucher
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even i would recommend the same Gmsh if your project is not a complex structured...
i think given above reply having all the answers of your doubt....


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