algorithmic modeling for Rhino

hi everyone,

does anyone know any (+ or - simple, although that could be almost impossible) software for fluid dynamics visualization?

I know the discussion is not about Grasshopper, but I thought that this site is a very good place to ask these types of questions.


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I've used RealFlow a bit, but unless you have a massive multi-core machine, it's not really an option.

What do you mean by visualization though? Are you looking to compute or display fluid simulations?

David Rutten
Poprad, Slovakia

I once sat in on a sales workshop for Solid Works where they did a very impressive fluid dynamics demo.

Good Luck

Stan Carroll
Blender has a pretty good fluid system from what I've heard, and of course, being free helps. Maya also has fluids. David's suggestion of RealFlow is a good one as that's "practically" the industry standard in regards to fluids simulation/visualization, but its not an analysis package. Although it does take a lot of horsepower (actually all of them most likely will), you're most likely going to be letting it sit for a while anyway.
Does the package that solves the physics not come with a post processor?
Hi everyone,

Thanks four your responses. I was actually thinking more about fluid dynamics analysis, like the module that comes with ANSYS, for example.

Maya and Blender have really cool fluids simulation but they are aimed for animations in games or films. I was thinking of the air within a building.

Any more clues?

I think FLUENT is the only other one that I know of, but that may be part of Ansys, I'm not sure. I will say that of all of the visualization stuff that gets done, fluid dynamics is probably going to be the most mathematically based of all of it. So even though they may be more for visualization, they might be able to help you understand airflow in a way that can influence your designs. The reason why I say this is that its not your (I'm talking generic "you" here) responsibility to quantify a given design, that would be your engineer's responsibility. Your responsibility is to make the design decisions that maximize the value of the different aspects of the project, only one of those aspects may be performative. So if you can gain an understanding enough to make those design decisions that might be enough.

The other side of the coin is that the CFD analysis packages are generally much harder to learn and use that the visualization fluid pakages, so there might be some hurdles there.

There is a package that Next Limit is developing called X Flow. It hasn't been released yet (AFAIK), but it essentially an analysis package.
Sure, Damien, I agree with what you say. I´m not trying to make myself an expert in CFD analysis because it´s out of my scope. But I would really like to understand a bit what lies behind those termodynamics and make visualizations to use them in my designs.

I´m sure that trying to make an accurate analysis would be much too complicated. I´d be satisfied if I could get to have a quantification only for design purposes.

Very interesting that X Flow you mention, by the way.
I have used CFD packages within ANSYS. The main problem with CFD is creating a mesh (after solving the problem of watertightness) that will ensure that the solution converges. This requires careful graduation of mesh size. This invariably leads to using lots of elements typically 1 million for a 3D analysis (and therefore long solution times). The problem becomes more acute if the object that you want the flow around is not streamlined such buildings etc.
Once you get the solution, the visualisation is easy as ANSYS comes with good post processing facilities






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