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.
Let’s Do a Simple Cost Estimation of Your Options
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.
To address that need, SimScale is offering free CFD software under its Community Plan.
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 or even a tablet. 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.
Is this just a trial or a light version?
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.
So What’s the Catch?
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 a 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.
And once you are confident that SimScale fits your needs…
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 our interactive CFD, FEA and Thermal Analysis training, as well as individual support from our 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 our 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 and start simulating right away!
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