Written by Megan Jenkins on June 19, 2019
June 4th, 2019
approx reading time
CFD software solutions have a reputation for being notoriously expensive. This is one of the main reasons why very few engineers were able to successfully integrate these tools into their design process, despite their many benefits. If you are designer facing a similar dilemma—don’t rush to break your piggy bank just yet. Free CFD software is no longer a myth that is too good to be true.
To approximately estimate the needed financial investment, let’s first consider the hardware. To successfully run a CFD simulation using traditional on-preemies software, you would need—at the very least—a decent 8 CPU workstation, which starts at around $3,000. Depending on the complexity of your analysis, you might have to go as high as 24 or 48 cores, and the price skyrockets as well. As for the software costs—depending on the vendor and the feature scope—they may range between $15,000 and $50,000 yearly. This puts CFD software solutions out of reach for many small- and medium-sized companies, young startups, and many individual engineers whose resources are limited.
The SimScale Community was announced in December 2015, with the aim of eliminating many of the barriers that prevent engineers from benefiting from the CFD simulation technology, and essentially becoming the world’s first free CFD software. Under the Community Plan, every SimScale user has full access to the platform and its many resources free of charge. Moreover, since the SimScale platform is cloud-based, the user no longer needs to make a massive investment into hardware—all simulations can be performed in the user’s browser, and are accessible from any laptop. A Community plan subscription grants the user 3000 core hours of computing resources, with the option of purchasing additional core hours as needed and flexibly scaling the simulation capacity.
No, the free Community Plan does not limit your access to the CFD functionalities of the SimScale platform in any way. It does not expire and the core hour quota gets refilled every year. No credit card details or any other payment information is required at registration.
Discover all the simulation features provided by SimScale by downloading the document below.
The idea behind the Community Plan is to build on the concept of “crowd-sourcing” simulation knowledge. Which is why when a user subscribes to the free plan, they agree to make their simulation projects public and visible to other users. When you create an FEA or CFD simulation project, it is automatically added to the library of public projects. In turn, you can also view other users’ projects, learn from them and use them as templates, if you wish.
The free CFD software available under the Community Plan is perfect for your open source and hobby projects, and it allows you to thoroughly test our platform for as long as you need. Once you are satisfied with the SimScale’s performance and wish to upgrade your subscription, our Professional Plan is for you. In addition to being able to keep your projects private, a Professional subscription grants you access to interactive CFD, FEA and Thermal analysis training, as well as individual support from SimScale’s dedicated engineering team. It comes with a yearly subscription fee, which is only a fraction of the pricing plans offered by most on-premises CFD software vendors. Learn more about the Professional Plan and its perks in this blog post: Why a SimScale Professional Plan Subscription Is Worth It.
Why don’t you give it a try and see for yourself? Create your free account in under a minute or download this case study to learn how CFD simulation with SimScale was used to test and validate the design of a ducting system.
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