Using Computational Fluid Dynamics to Engineer the Un-seeable

Written by: Cat McClintock

Read Time: 3 min.

Guest post by Rich Moore, Executive VP Strategy, OEMs, Partners at Simerics, Inc. 

What if all CAD users could see the un-seeable in their designs? For example, air, the inside of a bubble, heat, nitrogen, oxygen, pressure, pressure forces, or even water (because it’s usually in a pipe or in a pump or under the earth or seeping into your house).

Let’s call these un-seeables in your CAD designs and models, digital fluids. If you could model these digital fluids in your CAD system, you could save your company dollars in hardware prototyping costs and offer your customers lower cost products with the money you save.

To model digital fluids (the internal volume, external volume, or combination of both), we need an extraction tool in our CAD system. There’s a good rumor going around that Creo Flow Analysis, a PTC product, has this capability and it works on and inside of Creo Parametric models. Yes, it’s true; you can now extract fluid volumes automatically from Creo Parametric, using Creo Flow Analysis.


These fluid volumes make computational fluid dynamics (CFD) usable by CAD users. The CAD user now has a digital fluids model—fully associative with systems like Creo, Windchill, Vuforia Studio, and Creo Simulate. So if you change the model, your CFD settings in Creo Flow Analysis remain the same, saving you tedious labor time and costs no matter if you do this work in house today or outsource it. And it’s fully part of your digital thread.

Digital fluids cover the following: Fluids; heat; fluids and heat (conjugate heat transfer). All things that you can’t 3D print or prototype. But since you can’t print air or the inside of a bubble or heat, you would typically make a prototype(s) and watch the digital fluids run and operate in the physical world. Or you might hand the problem over to an analyst or outsource it to a specialist.

With Creo Flow Analysis, that’s no longer necessary.

Use it for things like the inside/outside of a blower, fan, a black box, valve, pump, compressor, heat exchanger, car, plane, propeller, water jet, tank, pipe, duct work, or gear boxes. The digital fluids results from Creo Flow Analysis are prototype accurate within 1% of how the un-seeable (heat and air) portion of your designs actually work.

To create Creo Flow Analysis, PTC partnered with Simerics, Inc., a company with 14 years’ experience developing high-end CFD for analysts. Together, the two companies produced a usable, affordable, and prototype accurate tool just for Creo users.

Now you can make accurate digital prototypes for the un-seeable using Creo Flow Analysis. Seeing is believing, and if you haven’t had a chance to look at Creo Flow Analysis from PTC and Simerics, you might see something in your product that you have never seen before!

Download the Creo Flow Analysis datasheet to learn more.

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Tags: CAD Retail and Consumer Products Connected Devices Simulation

About the Author

Cat McClintock

Cat McClintock edits the Creo and Mathcad blogs for PTC.  She has been a writer and editor for 15+ years,  working for CAD, PDM, ERP, and CRM software companies. Prior to that, she edited science journals for an academic publisher and aligned optical assemblies for a medical device manufacturer. She holds degrees in Technical Journalism, Classics, and Electro-Optics. She loves talking to PTC customers and learning about the interesting work they're doing and the innovative ways they use the software.