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Costs to do CFD

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Old   July 6, 2005, 12:23
Default Costs to do CFD
  #1
Dave
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I have a small company and we are thinking about starting to do some general purpose CFD. Before I'm inundated by hungry sales people, I'm trying to get some idea about how much money I should budget for the CFD software. Can anyone provide some approximate costs? Thanks.
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Old   July 6, 2005, 15:58
Default Re: Costs to do CFD
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Ben
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How long is a piece of string, depends what type of flow you are analysing, how complex you need it, if you need any special models or tools, if you want any CAD embeded stuff, if you are running parallel............
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Old   July 6, 2005, 16:37
Default Re: Costs to do CFD
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Harish
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Before you try to contact sales representatives just try to think about what exactly you would want to study. Since many of the problems can be studied with opensource softwares like openfoam have a look at the existing literature and then decide on buying ..

Harish
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Old   July 6, 2005, 16:58
Default Re: Costs to do CFD
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steve
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If you have never done CFD, the last thing in the world to do is get a piece of opensource software, with no commercial support, and no training, and try to figure out how to use it. In this case, you get what you pay for. You need to figure out which code and vendor does the things you need done and will provide the support you require. It may not be cheap but its money better spent than having one of your employees spinning their wheels for weeks.
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Old   July 6, 2005, 17:37
Default Re: Costs to do CFD
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Charles
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For the mainstream commercial CFD products, you are looking at something around US$ 15 000 to 25 000 / year for software. That would generally be a single license, possible one additional parallel at the higher end of the price scale. The pre- and post-processors that come with the software will normally use up a process, so for a minimalist facility you can't use the pre- or post-processor whilst the solver is running. If you don't have an experienced CFD person on the staff, factor in the time required for a person to become proficient when you do your cost estimate. In my experience, even with all the support in the world, he will be spinning wheels for weeks anyway. For unsupported software it just gets a whole lot worse (in terms of learning time).
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Old   July 6, 2005, 20:53
Default Re: Costs to do CFD
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Alex
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Dear Dave, your question is not so simple as it seems. First of all what kind of simulations you intend to perform with CFD ? External flows, internal flows, reactive flows, aeroacoustics ? Based on this answer you can specify some companies that have the most appropriated product to your necessity. The best practise then is to perform a workbench. Contact some companies and give them a problem to be solve. After that analyze the quality of the results, and call a meeting. At this point you will be able to have a personal contact with them. Evaluate some structural aspects of the company, just like: how many employes they have, how many years they are on the road, what about the user support they have, and etc. Step two...negotiate a nice discount, or a bigger number of licenses...remember that you will need a mesh generator , and maybe a post-processing software. You can put them together in the same order ! Don't forget the computational resources...you might need a cluster. The cfd-online is sponsored by few CFD companies check it out their sities. You can also go for the open source codes, like Isaac and Foam, and nice post-processing Paraview. But they do not have user support.

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Old   July 6, 2005, 23:07
Default Re: Costs to do CFD
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Ahmed
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From my experience, your possible clients will require you to use a specific software (this is the common practice) so check with your clients what software they prefer. Open source codes are not used in industrial applications, they are good research and academic tools but nothing more.
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Old   July 7, 2005, 04:44
Default Re: Costs to do CFD
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Steve
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I think <Alex> meant a "benchmark".

One additional thought is that you can get a rough feel for the total cost of CFD by getting a consulting company to do a project for you. There are so many of these companies around that their prices accurately reflect labour, hardware and software costs (plus minimal cost-plus profit). Choose a company that is itself using a commercial code so that the true cost of that code is factored in. Cost-plus profit rates from these companies typically vary from 0%-25%, so you can subtract that to get the base cost.
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Old   July 7, 2005, 04:50
Default Re: Costs to do CFD
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germ
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It may be also an alternative to give your problem to one of the CFD consulting companies (either independent or the application departments of vendors). They can supply you not only reports but als meshes, setups, result files etc. On the basis of this work you can do your own parameter studies a little bit easier than starting from zero.
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Old   July 8, 2005, 10:05
Default Re: Costs to do CFD
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Martin
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Dave -- If you are working from an MCAD model (Pro/E, SolidWorks, Solid Edge, UG, CATIA, Inventor, etc.) then you should think about taking this directly into a the CFD product, that reads the native geometry of these products. Have you done meshing before? If not, consider a product that does automatic meshing. This can save you hours if not days of time. Here's a great article that provides an overview of some popular CFD codes: http://www.deskeng.com/index.php?opt...=499&Itemid=25. It is possible to get fantastic, easy to use, yet very powerful, CFD software for a one-off cost under $20K. Another important point to consider is how often will you be using the product. Some of the high-end packages demand a dedicated analyst. Look for a package that is designed for the occational user.
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Old   July 8, 2005, 13:02
Default Re: Costs to do CFD
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Dave
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Martin,

Thanks for the link to the article about CFD on the Desktop Engineering website. It's a good article to help me better understand what CFD is all about and what I should look for before purchasing software.

Dave
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Old   July 9, 2005, 04:49
Default Re: Costs to do CFD
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Charles
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Having looked at that article, two points stand out 1. Know your problem and 2. Don't ignore the cost of training. But unfortunately the article is based mostly on interviews with suppliers ...

Having been badly bitten by this, my suggestion is that you get the prospective software vendor to demonstrate a good solution (i.e. properly converged, on a realistic mesh) of something that is really close to your problem. They will nearly always tell you that their software can model a specific set of physics, but once you actually start trying to do this, chances are that you will discover the shortcomings of their code really quickly!
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