Traditionally, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis has been conducted by highly specialized professionals siloed away from designers and other stakeholders involved in the product development process. But, this practice has recently begun to shift – as designers and engineers are becoming more empowered by tools which combine traditional CAD and simulation capabilities.
So what CFD analysis tools are available for the everyday CAD users as well as those specialists, especially PTC Creo users?
Enter Mentor Graphics, a company which is a leader in electronic design automation and mechanical analysis software.
The company specializes in bringing CFD analysis capabilities into the hands of the everyday CAD user.
Recently, Mentor Graphics and PTC partnered together to offer a new free Virtual Lab for users to tryout FloEFD for PTC Creo for 30-days without the burden of downloading any software, hassle with licenses or appropriate hardware. I recently sat down with Mark Fischer, Director of Partner Strategy with PTC, and John Isaac Director of Market Development of Mentor Graphics to learn more…
Q: What do you think made Mentor Graphics and PTC a good match for a strategic partnership?
Isaac: We see PTC as a market leader and we are proud to be platinum partners with them. PTC’s market offers us huge potential. As analysis is being leveraged by designers and engineers more often throughout the development process, it makes perfect sense for us to market to them. Furthermore, our product is very designer friendly. Mentor Graphics is viewed as a leader in electronic design and electronic analysis. However, mechanical analysis is a huge growth area for us. This is where the PTC partnership can help.
Fischer: Mentor Graphics is a strong and valued partner that helps solve challenges our customers face. PTC Creo includes a compelling set of simulation tools; including structural and thermal finite element analysis, fatigue analysis, kinematic and dynamic motion analysis, geometry optimization analysis, and tolerance analysis. A computational fluid dynamics solution is the final piece in a complete Computer Aided Engineering product offering. Mentor Graphics’ FloEFD for PTC Creo complements PTC extensive set of existing simulation offerings.
Q: What features and capabilities make FloEFD unique?
Isaac: I think FloEFD’s automated meshing technology is unparalleled in the industry. It is the most efficient framework for simulating fluid flows, heat, and mass transfers. This meshing process can be automated for even the most complex CAD geometries. The process is a huge timesaver, especially for non-expert users. The user experience is also intuitive and easy to understand. The fact that the product operates fully integrated within the PTC Creo environment is a huge plus. Also, users can see engineering outputs in a timely, intuitive manner and even export them to Microsoft Excel or Word to share with colleagues.
Q: What makes FloEFD for PTC Creo compelling to the everyday CAD user?
Isaac: There is a perception that computational fluid dynamics tools are so complex, that you need a PhD to know what you’re doing. However, with FloEFD for PTC Creo the everyday designer or engineer can benefit from the trial. Users can follow a detailed and extensive set of over 20 tutorials covering powerful CFD analysis examples in multiple industries to help them get up to speed quickly. With these multiple tutorials, a user is bound to find an example that relates to their specific industry
FloEFD for PTC Creo is integrated within PTC Creo Parametric and users can access it with the click of a button. This eliminates the need to export files out of PTC Creo and validate them with a third party. In essence, the tools are one and the same. Couple this streamlined user experience with the automatic mesh generation capability we discussed earlier and it becomes clear that FloEFD can be easily used by an engineer or designer without specialist knowledge.
At the same time, the tool set is very powerful. The trial itself gives users access to LED thermal characterization, CPU cooling analysis, hydraulic loss determination and more.
Q: What do users get with their trial?
Isaac: As mentioned, the tool is integrated directly within PTC Creo. However, the analysis work is conducted in a virtual lab, which is cloud based. This lab can be launched from any browser. If users have questions, we have integrated help which allows users to chat with our technical experts. There are many virtual lab modules ranging from introductory, intermediate and advanced topics which users can try. Beginners can experiment with ball valve design and porous media, while advanced users might want to take a look at radiative heat transfers or CPU coolers. When it comes to the virtual lab, trial users have access to all of the same features
Fischer: The virtual lab itself is ingenious; Mentor Graphics has put a lot of hard work into it. The best part of FloEFD for PTC Creo is that existing PTC Creo users can get immediate access to it and experience the power of the tool for themselves.
Q: Any last thoughts for our readers?
Isaac: I want to reemphasize the importance of usability to the everyday CAD user. If you’ve never done CFD analysis before you can do it seamlessly with this trial! This empowers non-specialist designers to be successful in their organizations because now they have the ability to conduct CFD analysis themselves, early and often in the design process.
Fischer: PTC Creo users now have immediate access to a powerful tool which enables them to conduct CFD analysis. FloEFD for PTC Creo is intuitive and efficient; we encourage all of our users to takeadvantage of the free trial.