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[ICEM] Future of Icem CFD

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Old   March 23, 2020, 18:51
Default Future of Icem CFD
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Dear friends,

I have been using Icem CFD for a long while now and I have a feeling that it is not supported anymore because of features which are not improved such as the interface, etc. Is there any news about this software that I have maybe missed?

I have tried ANSYS and Fluent Meshing but I was rarely satisfied with the quality of their mesh (especially at the boundary!!!) and the necessity of learning their many tips and tricks. I have spent years on Icem CFD and now I am able to control almost any aspect of a mesh and create very good block-structured meshes.

I would really appreciate your input here. If this topic was already discussed, then I am sorry for posting this and I would also appreciate if you pointed me to those posts.

Kindest regards
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Old   March 24, 2020, 03:54
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ANSYS will tell you that they are still working on ICEM. A lot of the functionality is now being put into SpaceClaim's new Interactive Meshing. ICEM has also been omitted from the Student Edition.
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Old   March 24, 2020, 05:53
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Indeed, ICEM has not improved a lot lately. I think it is more or less end of life time.
In my opinion ANSYS discourages its use, e.g. by no longer allowing the import of .stp and .igs files after normal installation. You have to add the library links yourself manually. Grrrrrrr.

I used ICEM for hex meshing but also a lot for tet meshing, because it is very forgiven for sloppy CAD drawings. There was even a time that I drew everything in ICEM. But after the introduction of Spaceclaim, it is easier to repair sloppy CAD in Spaceclaim, making the route to ANSYS Meshing a more logical one. So, I use ICEM less and less for tet meshing. Also because I notice that it is much slower than ANSYS Meshing.

For hex meshing I still use ICEM. However, ICEM hex meshing features are being introduced (as a beta feature) in Spaceclaim. So, I expect that Spaceclaim will take over. ICEM will no longer be supported in the near future.
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Last edited by Gert-Jan; March 24, 2020 at 09:27.
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Old   March 25, 2020, 16:02
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Originally Posted by siw View Post
ICEM has also been omitted from the Student Edition.
On the ANSYS homepage you won't even find any information on ICEM anymore, try using the search.

ICEM's front end and many of the functionality is written in tcl/tk. It even has it's own special framework to be quick enough.
I would speculate, this structure has become difficult to fit into the rest of the tool chain of ANSYS or plainly it become to costly to maintain.

As a general question for the discussion, how many peers do you know using ICEM?

I have seen many occasional users (mostly students), which have tried ICEM, but only very few became advanced users. I'd estimate only a few hundred engineers are there worldwide actively using ICEM, maybe a low 4-digit number. If that would be the case, the size of the user group might have become to small for ANSYS to justify further development?

I also still work with ICEM, but mostly to get structured/hybrid meshes, or certain geometry operations. For unstructured meshing, other tool (chains) become more comfortable and reliable.

For some time now, I try to find suitable alternatives. Are the beta features in SpaceClaim promising? I haven't played with the main line tools for while.
Currently, Pointwise is very appealing to me, though in my current work environment subcribing it has been ruled out for now...
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Old   March 27, 2020, 05:56
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Thank you very much for all of your answers. Now it is clear to me that ANSYS is not keeping the Icem users up to date.

I know currently 7 colleagues actively using Icem. And I know some research groups strictly using block-structured meshing approach for turbomachinery and building aerodynamics problems.

Thank you also for sharing your alternatives to Icem. So much appreciated!
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fluent, icem 19.0, workbench

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