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Flotherm vs Flotherm XT vs FloEFD

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Old   January 10, 2019, 13:56
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You are correct about electronic component smart parts. I was referring to the PCB smart part. FloEFD 17.3.1 does not create this automatically as FloTHERM XT 3.2, 3.1 does. Instead EFD creates individual materials for each layer and puts them in the project. This is extraneous bookkeeping for the analyst. A single layer material is unique and not useful for any other pwb so it isn't necessary to have the part in the engineering library or project. Just creates extra work when switching the PCB type from compact, detailed or explicit. Additionally if you start with a detailed pwb (layers each with lumped bulk properties) and switch to compact pwb (single 1 layer lumped parameter body) you have no pwb component. Have to make one. Then with two versions of the pwb SolidWorks mates become problematic and have to be adjusted as well. The approach I use is after importing immediately take the %Cu for each layer and create a smart part PWB with it. The %Cu is in the name of the material after importing the EDA file.

I use both XT 3.2 and EFD 17.3.1 because of the model and user preferences and needs as Boris mentions. One limitation is even though both standalone versions use SolidWorks they are not compatible. XT uses SW 2017. After EFD V17.1 EFD uses SW 2018. Not backwardly compatible. So if you make or change the model in EFD 17.2+ you can no longer use it in XT. If you need to use both XT and EFD have to stay with EFD 17.1 (in which the parametric processor has useability glitches, fixed in later versions)

Another used asked about differences in the EDA. Although they are all called FloEDA Bridge they have differences. FloTHERM classic's EDA Bridge can plot power density (power versus area of a component). Neither XT or EFD do that. A very useful feature for an initial survey of critical components.

Another difference. The mesher in FT classic is different and has localized grids that behave differently than XT and EFD. They cannot touch each other. On a part such as an inclined block this takes up a lot of real estate and causes modeling difficulties for high packaging density. Say in a 2U-24 disk drive server for instance. Both XT and EFD have capability to have mesh refinement directly adjacent.

Even though XT and EFD are based on the same engine the meshing is different. in XT a 2 x 3 inch 12 layer pwb, using thermal territory explicit for a couple of BGA's, didn't finish geometry transfer after 18 hours....didn't even get to meshing stage and it was only using 1 core. This is with Dual XEON Gold 3+GHz processors on turbo (24 cores), 256Gb RDIMM memory using all channels, and hyper threading turned off. EFD mesher is better. Import geometry checker is better also.

Difference: Classic and XT sums all applied powers. EFD doesn't. Leaves out 2-R parts and network assemblies. Have to add them up manually.
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