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daneng January 19, 2010 05:26

Free CAD for CFD analysis

I am looking for a good 3D CAD freeware that is capable of medium level 3D modelling (modelling buildings, pipes, road tunnels, furnaces etc) and that can provide .iges and/or .stl files as output.

I so far I have been looking at 3Dvia shape and avoCADo.

The tools available at my company are autocad versions, tekla and microstation. I do not know if theses tools are good for making 3D models->CFD.

I need a basic tool that is easy to learn and will create good surfaces.

I have experience from working with Ideas and Catia V5.

Best regards
Daniel Engman

daneng January 21, 2010 10:38


Ahmed January 23, 2010 11:51


Originally Posted by daneng (Post 243310)

Look that top menu bar, the third (or First) button from the right says [ Search]
your query has been answered so many times
good luck

jchawner January 23, 2010 18:56


I'll give this a shot since coincidentally a friend recently asked. In no particular order...

DoubleCAD XT -
Blender - (the OpenFOAM folks seem to like this)
MiniCAD -
OpenCASCADE - (This is a CAD kernel, not an end user tool)

Also, don't forget about Google's SketchUp.

Rophys November 24, 2011 13:09

Hello gents,

I am using a software called freeCad. It is quite powerful CAD and it looks quite similar to SolidWorks and Catia.

Using it, I made a simple geometry (a sphere) to test the export tool. I need to generate a .stl file but I didn't find to do this in freeCad. I the official website there is a information that is possible to export geometries in .stl but I only found "Mesh format". I tried to use this format and didn't work properly.

Anybody knows how to deal with this problem ?



SergeAS November 25, 2011 06:05

Try Salome. It is not CAD, but it has good 3D modeller with the ability to export 3D models into various formats (.stl and.idges also)

Rophys November 25, 2011 09:16

Hi Serge,

Thanks for this.

I played a bit more with freeCad and a get a .stl that paraView can read.
In this way you need to select "Mesh format" in the export option save your file like file.stl. When you open this file you will see a lot of estrange symbols but this happens because it was generated in binary form. Using the paraView we are able to see the geometry and also save it in ASCII format.

Thanks anyway about the Salome program.


julien.decharentenay November 29, 2011 21:58

Autodesk 123D

carstenf January 30, 2017 10:43

There is a full pro version of CAESES for students and PhD students. The software comes with a specialized CAD modeler for CFD engineers. The focus is simulation-ready geometry, and it is able to export STL, IGES, STEP and more.

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