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lovecraft22 May 19, 2012 16:31

What software to clean/fix/prepare CAD files?
Hi all;
I'm wondering what software do you use to clean, fix and prepare CAD files for the CFD…
What I mean is removing useless parts, cleaning possible blow up spots, re-orient surface normals and so on…

I know 3Matic quite well, somebody uses ANSA, I think there's also Goemagic Studio…

What else? Do you use one? Which one?

Currently I'm using openFoam to solve my cases, snappyHexMesh to mesh them and Paraview for the post pro. That means I can carry out the whole process from meshing to the post pro using free softwares only. I'm struggling instead for the CAD preparation phase. The softwares I mentioned above are quite expensive. At the moment I'm using Blender+Meshlab+Paraview to have the functions of one them and still, some are missing! I'm starting to have a look at Salome now but it seems like it does not add more functions to the other three…

Any advice?

Thank you!

phsieh2005 May 20, 2012 15:35


I am not aware of any open source software that can clean and fix CAD geometries.

I am using Spaceclaim and Siemens NX for these. Ansys Workbench also has some capabilities.


lovecraft22 May 20, 2012 16:17

They both seem to be more a CAD software than a "fixing" software… isn't it?

phsieh2005 May 20, 2012 18:05


Siemens NX is a very powerful CAD package, but, it can also has the capability to repair CAD geometries. It is not cheap though.

Spaceclaim is advertised as "history free" CAD package. So, fixing CAD geometries is quite easy -a good tool for CAE guys.


sail May 21, 2012 13:30

Hi Lore,

SpaceClaim have some very nice defeature tools, useful to quickly clean a geometry. there should be some videos about it on their website.

another cheap CAD i'm comfortable using to clean up the geometry prior to mesh is Rhinoceros.


lovecraft22 May 21, 2012 14:33

Anybody uses blender at all? Is cheaper than most of these software… actually it is free while any of those may cost up to 10000€…

JBeilke May 23, 2012 02:41

Blender can not even read your CAD files and working with triangulated surfaces is no option for real world problems.

Have a look at

Thinkdesign is very powerful for such jobs. You can work with solids, open solids and surfaces and the killer feature is GSM (global shape modelling). You can find some examples on youtube.

lovecraft22 May 23, 2012 11:03


Originally Posted by JBeilke (Post 362593)
Blender can not even read your CAD files and working with triangulated surfaces

That is not completely true…

julien.decharentenay May 23, 2012 19:24

Just to stir things up.

ThinkDesign sounds great - but why are they still advertising on the front page for a user meeting that is dated back in novembre 2011. Companies are releasing their "2013" version and ThinkDesign latest version is still 2011???

My preference is SketchUp (has the same pitfalls as Blender and has the same advantages: cheap, easily extendable and with a large user community).

JBeilke May 24, 2012 02:01

There was/is some confusing hickhack about the company. Now there are 2 companies claiming that they own the rights of thinkdesign. Try to aboid versata and go with

But the good thing is, that even the 2006 or 2009 version can do all we need for our purpose.

lovecraft22 May 24, 2012 03:10

Do you know how much it costs?

JBeilke May 24, 2012 04:19

I guess around 12.000 to 15.000 Euro. Just call the reseller and make sure that GSM is enabled.

Universities might get free for teaching purpose.

You leave thinkdesign with a clean iges or step file. Now you need something to get a nice triangulated surface. As a StarCD/CCM+ user I can choose between prosurf and the surface mesher inside ccm+ which is really good. There is the next big black hole in the open source world :-((

JoergPalluch January 31, 2017 04:39

For preparation of e.g. STL files in the context of OpenFOAM, you can possibly use CAESES. There is a free pro version for students and PhD students. This very short video shows how a closed surface triangulation gets created, including color settings for the patches (which is of interest for colored STL output).

Hope this helps.

vangelis February 4, 2017 05:44


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