June 16, 2015

Understanding the Simulation Flow Wizard

Flow Wizard - How to Set up your Flow Anlaysis:

SolidWorks Simulation is a versatile software that allows a user to conduct analysis of a part in a virtual environment.  In order to help the user set up a problem correctly, SolidWorks has a built-in Study Advisor functionality that guides the user through the process of setting up an analysis. 

 Simulation is a large branch that includes static analysis, thermal analysis, frequency analysis, and also flow.  Flow simulation uses computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to enable the user to run liquid and gas analysis to understand fluid flow, heat transfer, and forces on component parts.  SolidWorks Flow Simulation has the Flow Wizard functionality, similar to the Study Advisor, to help users set up the flow analysis.

Consider a simple pipe as shown below.  To begin, let’s select the Flow Simulation tab and select Wizard at the top left.

solidworks flow simulation

A pop-up window should appear for Project Name.  This is where you will be able to enter the project name, comments and where you can select which configurations you’d like to add to the project

flow wizard solidworks

The next tab allows you to select and set your unit system.  You are able to control the unit of measurement as well as the number of decimal places shown for each measurement.

solidworks flow wizard

The next tab allows you to choose the analysis type.  This is an important choice.  With regards to the pipe we have modeled, are we interested in fluid flow within the pipe or are we interested in fluid flow over the pipe?  An internal analysis would be considered for an enclosed flow such as inside the pipe.  An external analysis would apply for an unbounded flow, or blow over an object.  Once you have decided on which type of analysis you may input additional physical features such as time dependence, gravity and rotation.

flow wizard solidworks

The next tab allows you to set your working fluid, it may be liquid, gas, compressible, non-compressible, etc.  
SolidWorks Flow simulation can analyze up to ten fluids of different types provided that you separate the areas of different fluids from each other.  

working fluid in flow simulation

The next tab indicates the wall conditions where you can treat them with different roughness or thermodynamic parameters such as adiabatic. 

parameter setting in flow wizard

The next tab allows you to set the initial conditions of your fluid flow including pressure, temperature and velocity.

fluid flow wizard

The last tab allows you to set the result resolution for your flow simulation.  This determines the accuracy of the result.  Higher accuracy generally requires longer runtimes.

results and geometry resolution flow wizard

The last step is to complete the wizard which should put you in a good position to start your flow analysis.

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