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bgood44 July 20, 2009 20:44

Importing SolidWorks Model DIRECTLY into openfoam
Hello All,

I am currently working on developing a UAV for a university project. Unfortunately, the wind tunnels at my school aren't quite big enough for this uav and I don't want to go through the hassle of building a scale model. I have a very accurate SolidWorks model of the aircraft and would like to use OpenFoam to do some analysis ( specifically, I want to find the control derivitives, so essentially I just need to find the pressure distribution on the surface of the aircraft).

Is there a way I can use my SolidWorks model and generate a mesh using an open source software, and than use openfoam to find the pressure distribution on the aircraft. I would prefer to use openfoam ( Its a software I really want to learn), and I would like to use my current SolidWorks model. I know cosmos is an option with solidworks, but I would prefer not to go that route, so please don't go there...

Thanks for the Help!

hellorishi July 21, 2009 01:59

Hello Brad,

There are a few opensource meshing tools for OpenFOAM. You might have to export Solidwork file as STL for snappyHexMesh

Or IGES /STEP for NetGen or Gmsh

I am not sure if one can get boundary layers with NetGen or Gmsh.
SnappyHexMesh does that, but I find it a bit complicated to use.


hellorishi July 21, 2009 02:05

I forgot to mention EnGrid.

I have not tested this one yet. Seems promising.

bgood44 July 22, 2009 11:48

And all of the programs you listed work with solidworks? Is there any downside to using Engrid, NetGen, or Gmsh with solidworks ?

hellorishi July 23, 2009 04:45

These programs work with generic file formats like STL, IGES /STEP
Solidworks or almost any CAD package can export to the above 3 formats.

The downside of exporting to such formats is slight loss of accuracy in shape, due to approximations. e.g. it might export a circle as a 10sided polygon. You can increase the accuracy by exporting as 36 sided polygon for better approxitmation.

bgood44 July 23, 2009 17:53

When I download OpenFoam, do these programs come with it or do I need to add it seperately



hellorishi July 24, 2009 01:27

snappyHexMesh is native OpenFOAM.

Others have to be downloaded separately...

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