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Brett September 28, 2000 11:16

Best CFD Software\Hardware
Now let me set the stage, I know little about CFD but will shortly be in a position to hire an expert in the area of CFD. I would like to find out what the best CFD software\hardware combination is.

Using that information I can proceed with posting an open position rec.

If any of you are so inclined to offer your opinions I would greatly appreciate it.

Brett Apollo Aviation, Inc.

vedat akdag September 28, 2000 12:40

Re: Best CFD Software\Hardware
dear sir:

I suggest that you talk to us.

Metacomp Technologies 949-361-3349

Adrin Gharakhani September 28, 2000 15:08

Re: Best CFD Software\Hardware
If you are going to hire an expert in the area of CFD, and the operative word is expert, then I'd recommend that you leave the choice for the software and hardware to your then-local expert.

Note, there is a big difference between a person who is an expert in CFD; i.e., understands the "art" and science of CFD at the fundamental level as well as has good appreciation for flow physics, and a person whose resume is full of commercial softwares, having run this code and that code. An "expert" will be able to pick any commercial software (most of which operate on the same numerical fundamentals) and will be able to run the code in less than a couple weeks. I know quite a few similar scenarios where people have been hired based on their understanding of physics and the basics of CFD, and they were given the task of determining the hardware/software based on the local needs of the company. That works best, because your in-house expert will be able to ask the right questions from the vendors. In contrast, if you don't exactly understand CFD then your decision will most likely be influenced by how well the salesperson of a company tap-dances for you.

So, I suggest that this isn't a chicken and egg situation. You know what flow problems you want solved and you can decide (well) which applicant understands (or qualifies to solve) your problem. That applicant will also be required to have solved problems using CFD (not necessarily via a commerical code)

Adrin Gharakhani

Tolga Sakman September 28, 2000 15:58

Re: Best CFD Software\Hardware
Dear Brett,

I have to say that I completely agree with Mr. Gharakhani. The "right" person should be able to select the right software and the appropriate hardware (which should not be more advanced than what you use for regular office applications -except for the much higher RAM requirements- for most cases). If you do not know what physical models or numerical schemes that you will need for your problems, you will probably go with i)the most expensive one -which may or may not be suitable for your needs, ii) the one with the most enthusiastic sales person - and I must say that I like the tap-dancing anology there.

One thing that you may want to do before buying a software would be to give them your problem on a consulting basis to see how their software handles it. This will also give you an idea on the firm's technical support for future problems.

As a matter of fact this is usually how we sell our software; we encourage the potential client to give us a project on a consulting basis, and use our software ANSWER or PORFLOW to preprocess, solve and post process it. The outcome is usually a happy client who is confident that s/he has made the right choice.

If we can be of any assistance to you or your future CFD expert, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Tolga Sakman Engineer Analytic & Computational Research, Inc. -- ACRi 1931 Stradella Road, Los Angeles, CA 90077 pHonE: 310-471-3023 eM@iL: VVeB:

John C. Chien September 28, 2000 16:11

Re: Best CFD Software\Hardware
(1). Hardware: (a). Cray-type Super-computer, (b). IBM main frame computer, (c). workstation type computer, (d). PC type computer, (e). Multi-processor workstation type computer, (f). Parallel computing network and environment (multi-computer workstation or PC). (2). The workstation type would be the typical machine for cfd applications. The super computer would be the high end of the choice for cfd. (3). Software: (a). low speed pressure-based applications, (b). high speed density-based applications, (c). reacting flow applications, (d). specialized electronic cooling applications, (e). components software: geometry and mesh generation codes, post-processing flow visualization codes. (4). Engineers: (a). PhD level with major in CFD and has written large scale codes, (b). MS level with major in CFD and has done some code modification, (c). application engineer level with two to three years of experience of using a particular commercial code(s). (d) Exper level with PhD in CFD and many years of real world industrial experience, familiar with all aspect of CFD research , development, and applications. (5). Business: (a). short term problem solving and contract work, (b). research oriented CFD work, project oriented, (c). application oriented CFD work, product oriented. (d). service oriented CFD work, client oriented.

Kai Kang September 29, 2000 09:37

Re: Best CFD Software\Hardware
I would have to say that there is no Best CFD Software/Hardware, only the best choice of CFD software/hardware and it depends on the person you are going to hire and the work that is supposed to be done using CFD. And most of the time, it is the type of the work that determines the best choice of Software; and the person to hire will decide on the best hardware that he/she has been familiar with...

clifford bradford October 2, 2000 19:27

Re: Best CFD Software\Hardware
Brett, I think Adrin has given has probably given you the best answer so I can only add one thing. You should in addition to evaluating the person's knowledge of CFD, evaluate their knowledge of your business which i assume is aircraft related. the person should be versed in the design and anlysis of your kind of product. An engineer who's spend years doing CFD analysis of turbine blades for GE wouldn't necessarily be a good choice to come in and design your aircraft wing. even though he knows alot about fluid dynamics and CFD he may be weak in aircraft design.

nuray kayakol October 3, 2000 06:28

Re: Best CFD Software\Hardware
Here is a definition of being an exper valid for every research areat: Kknowledge is not so important but how fast he/she can learn the new subject is major concern. Everything chances so rapidly that one should update the knowledge like computers ability.

Selection of operating system(unix, linux, PC clusters) is basic point if you have own special open source code. You have an opportunity making performance test using your own special software on these systems. For the second choise, if you use commercial softwares like ansys, fluent etc., vendors may give good advice for their commercial products. They can also support your own projects successfully if you are a beginner. Nuray Kayakol

John Chawner October 3, 2000 09:03

Re: Best CFD Software\Hardware
Hello Brett,

Before anyone can advise you on what's best a lot more information is needed for the simple reason that best means many things to many people and we don't know what it means to you.

Most important is hiring a qualified person (with CFD experience of any kind) who is a team player and has good communication skills. A good engineer can learn your application and new tools. A team player will be able to communicate with experts in your domain of expertise and adapt his/her CFD knowledge to that field.

As for the hardware and software, you need to narrow the focus of the problems to be solved (wing body aerodynamics, hypersonics, pipe flow, turbine flow, etc.), the desired response time (do you need answers ASAP or will next month do), and your budget.

I wish you the best of luck in your search.

Brett October 3, 2000 11:04

Re: Best CFD Software\Hardware
Thank you all for your help. Each of you have taken time from your day to assist me and I appreciate that.

Several of you have asked for more information, so I thought I would go ahead and post some additional information.

I am a part of a start up company (Apollo Aviation, Inc.) that is in the process of designing a new business jet. I am looking to CFD to cut our costs in wind tunnel time as I have read this can and has been done using CFD. Assuming that the wing body aerodynamics can be tested via CFD, I am looking for a package that can do this. I have also read that there are some bleed air issues for pressurization and cabin cooling that can be addressed via CFD. Anything that we can do that takes advantage of technology, will usually cut costs in the long run.

Forgive me if I am being too vague but that is unfortunately the nature of our business. :) Thanks again for each of your comments, you have all been very helpfull so far.

I think the next thing I will do is ask you all to help me write the job rec. :)

Brett Bingaman Apollo Aviation

Noel Harrison October 26, 2000 06:51

Re: Best CFD Software\Hardware
If I were you I'd first of all go and talk to a top Fluid Dynamisist who'll tell you what you need to do to solve the problem. CFD is not a silver bullet and the BEST CFD takes very high quality fluid dynamisists to perform!!!! I have access to most of the CFD codes and the fastest/largest computers in the world and we struggle to obtain good results in a reasonable time frame. Be very careful and think carefully about the level of accuracy you require?

CFD needs highly qualified fluid dynamics people with a numercial bias to understand the results!

John C. Chien October 26, 2000 08:49

Re: Best CFD Software\Hardware
(1). Excellant statement. (2). Most, or almost all companies think (they don't have qualified engineers to think) that CFD is just like CAD or creating Internet webpages. (3). It is hopeless right now. Unless they happen to have an experienced CFD engineer/scientist at a high position in the company. In today's enviroment, the person in charge knows only buying and selling of companies. When the stock price drops, they sell the company. It is much easier than learning the real CFD.

Kai Kang October 26, 2000 09:33

Re: Best CFD Software\Hardware
I agree.

but I also disagree if I were the maker of those commercial CFD codes. At least for marketing purpose, these codes were made like a blackbox for easy-use.

As you said, it depends on the level of accuracy. In engineering, some work requires detailed information for product optimization, which will require high-preformance computing and modeling. However, there are also some other work that does not require those level of details or they simply do not have the money and time to let you do it, and as a person in that position you have to cope with it.

CFD is different from CAD in that it is more of a discipline of science rather than engineering, which most engineering companies do not realize or appreciate the value!

harjeetmaan September 20, 2012 04:27


I want to simulate the turbine placed in the duct as a part of research project. Can some body help me out in selecting the CFD tool - for geomtry, meshing and simulation. Being a begineer I want the simple software which is best for simulation. I have heard about
Ansys CFX & Fluent,
Gambit with Fluent
whether Solidworks can also work as efficient tool for CFD study means for simulation?

Also I want to know about the hardware specification as we have to order the system.

mashiro September 24, 2012 05:01

Gambit good software to mesh. But you can use TurboGrid in ANSYS. Gambit was not updated by FLUENT. I am using GAMBIT with no problem.

Hardware I think it depend how many cell you will mesh.

CNACFD October 12, 2015 15:55

Best CFD Software\Hardware
It depends on what simulations you are interested in and what's important to you. If you have a niche application there are CFD software built specifically for those. If you are looking for general purpose I'd suggest:

Cradle CFD (scSTREAM, SC/Tetra)

CFDfan January 1, 2016 20:43


Originally Posted by CNACFD (Post 567798)
It depends on what simulations you are interested in and what's important to you. If you have a niche application there are CFD software built specifically for those. If you are looking for general purpose I'd suggest:

Cradle CFD (scSTREAM, SC/Tetra)

I've heard a lot of good things about Cradle CFD (scStream and Heatdesigner), like low memory usage, friendly user interface and stability.

I think is a very good idea to start a Cradle CFD thread (but don't know how to do it) and will appreciate if somebody does it

supersweet January 1, 2016 22:27


But, I guess it depends on the type of problem(s) you are attempting to solve. Check for server mobos, cpus, and memory. AMD will be the best $ per core.

And if you want to go to the max Quad socket server mobo..

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