SimScale Update — Boussinesq Approximation & Porous Media

The SimScale engineering team has been hard at work over the last couple of weeks to improve and enhance SimScale’s capabilities. Find below some highlights of the last release.

Boussinesq Approximation for Thermal Flow Analysis

Natural convection plays an important role in many engineering and architecture applications, for example in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning design (see thermal comfort simulation of a theater room below) but also in the thermal management of electronics equipment. The available analysis type on SimScale for such buoyancy-driven flows has been enhanced to allow the user to switch on the “Boussinesq Approximation”. If this approximation is switched on, all effects of density differences within the flow are being ignored except the one due to gravity. This is a simplification of the actual physics which holds true for many low-temperate, low-speed flows and allows for significantly faster simulations!

theatre CFD analysis - Boussinesq Approximation

Porous media flow simulation enhancements

Defining parts of a flow domain as a porous media is a great way to efficiently approximate e.g. the pressure loss within a flow across a radiator or a perforated plate. So far only available in thermal flow analysis, porous media properties can now also be assigned within incompressible flow simulations as well as based on parts of the mesh and not just via geometry primitives. See below a screenshot of a project where this was used to model the radiator of a Formula 1 car.

radiator of Formula 1 car mesh

Unit awareness in Post-processor

We’re working on improving the result visualization and analysis capabilities of SimScale. As a first step, the post-processor became unit aware such that all result fields are now displayed, including the unit.


Identify problematic CAD regions

New reporting mechanisms help you identify and fix problematic CAD regions in case a mesh can not be generated successfully.

 CAD model

Orthogonal Projection in 3D View

The projection options of the 3D view have been extended with an “Orthogonal Projection” which is oftentimes advantageous in selection or alignment procedures. A new drop down in the viewer menu allows switching between “Orthogonal” and “Perspective” options. The drone CAD model below shows the different projection types: On the left “Perspective”, on the right “Orthogonal”.


And more …

Each week many small improvements, fixes, and enhancements are being shipped that never make it to such a blog post. Therefore find a couple of them listed here:

  • Faster project loading times: Both your private and public projects can now be loaded and searched much faster. Try it yourself over at
  • Faster switching between different 3D views
  • Convenient “Generate” button for meshes: The new “Generate” button takes you from CAD to Mesh with a single click!
  • Numerous meshing algorithm improvements: Based on tens of thousands of meshes being generated, the meshing algorithms have been improved and refined. Specifically, the hex-dominant mesher for fluid flow simulations has undergone a major update.
  • Streamlined design: To provide a more consistent user experience, the entire UI has been aligned to the same design.

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