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Old   July 7, 1998, 22:15
Q. Diao
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Hi everyone,

I like to learn how to use Fluent and Flotherm. I know some companies offer free trial copies. Does anyone know if Fluent and Flotherm has similar offer?

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Old   July 8, 1998, 14:46
John C. Chien
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It is really not necessary to learn how to use a commerical CFD code in order to solve a fluid dynamics problem. It's like saying , " Can anyone show me how to use a word processor because I like to write an award-winning novel." You don't need to use a word processor to write a novel at all. This is because the technology changes everyday. By the time you learned how to use DOS , the world has already moved on to Windows, 3.1 , 95, 98 etc.. So, the important thing to remember is that in order to become a CFD professional you must have rigorous training in fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, heat transfer, numerical methods, partial differential equations, thermodynamics, turbulence modeling, geometry modeling, mesh generation, computer programming language, computer systems, computer graphics, just to name a few. Most commerical codes are just a big library of codes, routines to handle geometry, mesh, graphics, numerical methods, turbulence models, etc.. They don't tell you how to solve your problem or whether your problem can be solved at all. Some commerical code companies are just like consulting companies, they provide services to you to help you solve your fluid dynamics problems. If you have a problem to solve, just give them a call, then they should be very happy to handle your problem.( they are the one who created the code, I am sure that they know how to use it .) On the other hand, if you want to get your hands wet, it's a good idea to have some formal training in the above mentioned fields. There are at least several hundred CFD codes out there. You will be spending your whole life time learning how to use these codes. As I said, most commerical codes are just a big library of codes and routines, therefore, you need to know whether your computer system can handle it in the first place.( this includes ram, CPU, graphics, OS ) Depending on the complexity of the problem you are trying to solve, it's not un-common for a problem to take days and weeks to reach a solution. ( a simple 2-D problem may take only a couple hours to set up; complex 3-D problem tends to take several weeks.) In addition to the computer system constraints, the license fee of a commerical code is also an important factor to consider. Most of the time, free training is included in the license. In this case, you don't have to worry about the free demo disk at all. Like any product on the market, commerical CFD codes depend on the market needs, the contents of the code is really secondary. ( In old days, a typewriter was all you need to write a report. Now, you need a computer, windows , word processor, printer in order to do the same thing. Because there is a market there. ) It may be a better idea to ask what was included in the code, how it was implemented before you ask how to use it. But, if learning how to use a commerical code will give you a better job , then it's something worthwhile to consider (?). Well, I sure can squeez out some disk space for a free demo code on my Pentium PC if the demo code is available. ( Rick, are you reading this ?). Thank you for your time.
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