Born out of pioneering CFD research done at Los Alamos National Laboratory, FLOW-3D is purpose-built to provide solutions for some of the world’s toughest CFD problems: transient scenarios with complex physics and free surfaces. We’ve structured it to excel at this core analysis and have developed dozens of supporting physical models that allow you to expand the set of equations being solved to include complex fluids, multiple dispersed or continuous species, multiple phases, chemical reactions, heat transfer, moving objects, electromechanics, and granular media. The breadth of physics included in the software has led to its use in an equally large number of application areas, from aerospace, additive manufacturing, and metal casting, to reactor safety and water resources engineering. There are too many interesting cases to cover here but check out our bibliography for some examples of what people have done using FLOW-3D and connect with us on LinkedIn to see what people are currently doing.
Powerful postprocessing & visualization
A solution is only useful if you can visualize and understand the results, so we develop an advanced postprocessor FlowSight™, to provide modelers with superior analysis capabilities within an intuitive user interface. Arbitrary 2D clips along spline pathways, 3D clips and transparencies, volume rendering, advanced data time series plotting, and calculators, streamline and vector plots are just a few of the amazing range of tools available. Combined with a rich feature set of multiple viewports and dynamic object visualization tools, FlowSight allows engineers to make the most of their CFD results for analysis and presentation.
Easy to use
Intuitive user interface
The user interface is one of the most important parts of any engineering tool since time spent in the setup and postprocessing are directly correlated to an engineer’s availability to work on other items. Because of this, we’ve invested heavily in a simple, intuitive design to help make file management, simulation setup, monitoring, and postprocessing as quick and easy as possible to make you more productive.
Intelligent meshing with FAVOR™
Creating a body-fitted mesh and setting the boundary conditions on that mesh is traditionally one of the most complex and time-intensive parts of creating a CFD model, especially when free surfaces, conjugate heat transfer, or moving objects are involved. We use a different approach to bypass the many challenges associated with body-fitted grids, making mesh definition simple and fast even for complex cases. This technique, called FAVOR™, retains the simplicity of rectangular elements while representing complex geometric shapes at a level consistent with the representation of the flow variables (pressure, velocity, temperature, etc.) within each control volume. It also spans both the fluid and the solid parts of the domain, so conjugate heat transfer, porous media, moving objects, and deforming objects all fit naturally within the framework and are easy to define. Our boundary condition definition is equally elegant, naturally matching the engineers’ intent even in complex scenarios.
On-demand video training
People have busy, complex schedules, so it can be hard to dedicate time to travel somewhere to learn a new software. To help with this, we’ve made a series of on-demand videos that cover the key concepts and use of FLOW-3D, that way you can learn it from your office as your schedule allows. This also saves time bringing new employees up to speed.
Fast and accurate
Nobody likes waiting for a solution (after all, time = money), so our developers dedicate their efforts to delivering an accurate solution as quickly as possible. Much of the work is behind the scenes, like allocating memory near the processor doing the work, building efficient nested loop structures, and excellent parallel programming. Other elements are kept visible, and these can also make a significant difference in simulation runtimes. For example, using a dynamic time step size ensures stable and accurate transient solutions while minimizing the computational burden. Similarly, our dynamic convergence criteria for the implicit solvers virtually guarantee a fast, well-converged solution out of the box. Or consider one of our core technologies in FLOW-3D: the volume of fluid (VOF) method that was devised by the company founder, Dr. C.W. Hirt. Our implementation of the VOF method, TruVOF, uses intelligent assumptions to provide a uniquely efficient, general, and accurate solution that only models the liquid phase, making it many times faster than other variants.
HPC and CLOUD computing
We’ve had a high-performance computing (HPC) version of FLOW-3D for almost twenty years and have been Intel Cluster Ready-certified since the inception of the program , so HPC systems and techniques are familiar territory for us. That doesn’t mean we’re resting on our laurels: in every release since the initial introduction of FLOW-3D for HPC, we’ve progressively refined and adapted our code to take advantage of the latest developments in parallel coding techniques, APIs, and hardware to boost performance on clusters.
If you don’t want to purchase and manage your own cluster, FLOW-3D CLOUD allows users to access a secure cloud-based workstation through their browser and run FLOW-3D on thousands of CPU cores. FLOW-3D CLOUD offers full graphics capabilities, so setup and postprocessing can be done seamlessly and efficiently through the browser.
Testing and Verification & Validation
As professional software developers, testing and V&V are a key part of our workflow. Automated systems check every code change with hundreds of V&V cases and unit tests, while our experienced teams of testing engineers, application engineers, and developers verify everything that’s too difficult for the automated systems to handle. This dedication to quality and accuracy ensures that everything works as it should with every update to the code.
We tailor each license to your exact needs for performance, capability, duration, and capacity, so we can create something that will work for your short- and long-term needs, whether it’s for a single user on a single project or for regular use by all offices in a global enterprise.
Scripting and third-party integration
One of the nice things about FLOW-3D is that we use simple, text-based input files. This, along with our command-line tools, makes it straightforward to connect our solver to optimization packages or embed FLOW-3D into a larger workflow.
We recognize that every company is different and that our standard offerings may not be exactly what you need, which is why we allow you to customize the solver to do exactly what you want. With a FORTRAN compiler and some programming knowledge you can add new outputs, modify or expand existing models, or even implement something entirely new within our framework. We also offer contract code development services if you don’t have the time or experience to do it on your own.
To learn more about how we solve the toughest CFD problems, contact your regional distributor.