Alignex Blog

Seriously Cool Enhancements in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation 2016

Tim Spielman on October 22, 2015 at 2:05 PM


SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation 2016 has several new enhancements to help you be more productive and get your work done faster than ever before. Let’s take a look at three specific areas: meshing, transient analysis and thermal analysis.


Flow Simulation 2016 features a redesigned Mesh Settings PropertyManager to give you more control over the mesh generation process through an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. You can now use equidistant mesh refinement to create refinement layers around a body of interest. You can even control the variation of refinement (i.e. how quickly the cell sizes grow) as you move away from the specified body. This allows for greater accuracy in the area of interest without having to refine the entire domain or create additional dummy bodies.

Meshing in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation 2016

All of the mesh control settings are now accessible through the PropertyManager, so they’re easier to interact with during the study setup.  You can toggle the Basic Mesh visual preview on and off, control the uniformity of the cell sizes, move the location of the control planes, check the mesh quality, and even close off narrow flow passages with solid elements…all in one window! This streamlines the study setup process and saves you valuable time.

Meshing in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation 2016

Transient Analysis

Speaking of saving time, the new transient flow solver in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation 2016 is faster than ever. In the past, there was very little control over how many iterations were used for a transient flow study. However, the new solver uses an implicit approach with nested iterations that you can control. This means that in most cases you can take a much larger time step and substantially reduce the total CPU time required to solve the study.  In testing, some solve times were reduced by over 50%. Additionally, you can now save time-averaged results for specified parameters.

Transient Analysis in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation 2016

Thermal Analysis

Finally, I want to mention a cutting edge new approach in the field of electronic thermal design that is now fully incorporated into SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation 2016. In electronic systems, heat generated at an internal source can follow many different paths to reach the ambient air outside. Some paths carry a lot of heat out, while others offer resistance to the heat flow and can contribute to temperature rises and overheating. The areas with high resistance are often referred to as “thermal bottlenecks” and eliminating them can be a significant challenge for design engineers. In Flow Simulation 2016, you can now plot the bottleneck number (Bn), which is a quantifiable parameter that identifies areas with both high heat flow and high resistance.

Thermal Analysis in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation 2016

Once these problem areas have been identified, you can plot another parameter called the shortcut number (Sc). This plot reveals areas of opportunity where new heat flow paths can be added to bypass the heat to cooler regions. These shortcut opportunity areas may be ideal locations for thermal vias, heat pipes or other conducting materials that will help reduce the temperature rise.Thermal Analysis in SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation 2016

For more information about these and other great enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2016, check out our What's New in SOLIDWORKS 2016 datasheet or register for an upcoming SOLIDWORKS 2016 Launch Event co-sponsored by HP and Intel® Core™ i7’ near you! 

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