Autodesk Simulation CFD has very strong ties to the leading CAD tools used in industry. By using the same geometry engines as the CAD systems, Autodesk Simulation CFD reads the native model without the need for STEP or IGES translations. Parametric changes to the geometry are read directly into Autodesk Simulation CFD (as Designs are updated within the Design Study), and model settings from similar analyses are automatically applied when Designs and Scenarios are cloned.
This functionality delivers two significant benefits:
- Multiple designs and scenarios are easily studied without having to go to great lengths to fix IGES or Step translations for each design alternative.
- Corporate PLM/PDM initiatives are supported because geometry manipulation occurs ONLY in the CAD system, where it can be tracked and archived. When geometry is manipulated in a third party system (such as many of the other CFD tools), changes often are lost, or have to be re-created back in the CAD system.
The Geometry Process and Related Links
Step 1: Flow geometry
An effective analysis starts with good CAD techniques both in terms of model integrity and proper creation of the flow region. The first step is to design your CAD model for the flow analysis. For basic information about the flow volume
Step 2: CAD Tool Specifics
Due to the differences in CAD tools, we have developed specific guidelines for several of them. These techniques help you to create geometry that works well with Autodesk Simulation CFD:
Step 3: Create CAD Entity Groups for Automation
- Use CAD Entity Groups with Rules to assign settings automatically.
- Use them to automate the creation of design studies with the Design Study Builder.
Step 4: Launch from CAD
The Autodesk Simulation CFD launcher is added to the User Interface of each CAD tool.
For more about CAD launchers
Step 5: Design Study Manager or Design Study Builder
The Design Study Builder and the Design Study Manager are complementary, and provide different levels of automation:
- You can use the Design Study Manager to launch and update designs individually.
- Apply settings in Autodesk Simulation CFD and add designs by cloning existing designs.
- Return to CAD and modify the geometry.
- Launch the Design Study Manager to update each newly cloned design.
- You can use the Design Study Builder to construct a complete design study in the CAD system.
- Do the following to prepare the CAD model:
- Create a separate variation for each design permutation. (Autodesk® Inventor uses "i assemblies." Solid Works uses "Configurations." Pro/Engineer uses "Instances.")
- Place objects that will be assigned settings into CAD Entity Groups.
- Do the following in the Design Study Builder:
- Create a design study consisting of multiple designs. Link each design to a different CAD model variation.
- Define settings, and associate them to the CAD Entity Groups.
- Launch into Autodesk Simulation CFD to run the analyses.
- Update and add designs to existing studies by cloning directly in the Design Study Builder.
To Add a Design to a Design Study
Each tool has a different workflow for adding a design to an existing design study. These workflows are summarized:
Design Study Builder
Design Study Manager
- From the CAD system, add a new design to the CAD model.
- Select the option to launch multiple instances.
- In the Design Study Builder, select the design study from the list.
- Clone an existing design, and associate the clone with the new CAD design. Modify settings as needed.
- Launch into Autodesk Simulation CFD.
- In Autodesk Simulation CFD, clone a design.
- Return to the CAD system, and add a new design to the CAD model.
- Select the option to launch the active model.
- In the Design Study Manager, select the newly cloned design from the design study.
- Select Update design.
- Launch into Autodesk Simulation CFD.
This is the key difference:
- The Design Study Manager requires that designs be cloned in Autodesk Simulation CFD prior to returning to the CAD system.
- The Design Study Builder provides tools for cloning designs. It is not necessary to clone in Autodesk Simulation CFD.
Most CAD systems provide a mechanism for managing design variations. Each system uses a slightly different approach, but they all provide the same functionality.
- Inventor calls this mechanism "iParts" and "iAssemblies."
- Pro/Engineer calls it "Family Table Instances."
- SolidWorks calls it "Configurations."
A new option in the embedded CAD Launcher is an option to launch the designs contained within a model. This opens the Design Study Builder, a tool for configuring a complete design study prior to launching into Autodesk Simulation CFD.
Each CAD launcher conforms to the CAD user interface and uses appropriate terminology.
Automatic transfer of CAD Environment and Settings
The launchers transfer several environment and model attributes from your CAD tool to the Autodesk Simulation CFD Design Study:
These connections streamline the analysis process and simplify the workflow transition between the CAD tool and Autodesk Simulation CFD.
Direct Import of Mesh
This allows import of a mesh generated in a tool other than Autodesk Simulation CFD.