Did something change on the Community Plan?

Last time I used my plan I have 2400 CPU hours left but now it says I only have 10 simulations left. What does that mean? It used to be I could simulate up till 3000 CPU hours now can I only do 10 runs total? Please clarify if this is a new policy? Thanks.

Hi Robert,
I’ve recently join under new Community plan arrangements that came in place on April 19th.
As far as I understand re- the Simscale Dashboard banner & looking at limited comments in the Forum…you get free;

  • Max 10 successful simulations with all numerical/graphical outputs (previously appeared limited by core hours)
  • Still, Max of 3000 core hours
  • After exceeding 10 simulations runs & assume still available core hours… you continue to
    get graphical output in Solutions area, but no numerical results, except for convergence
    residual plot

As I say, I’m only a newbie, but I hope the info help you

Chuck Mulder

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What defines one simulation? Is it literally one single run? If so, it takes several just to work out the bugs which would be used up quickly. Also, I noticed the ‘Basic’ plan which costs 2000 Euro’s or Dollars only allows a total of 100 simulations! This seems like it places SimScale out of reach for most practical engineering work of smaller companies and single users.

Hi Robert01,
Yes, it’s very challenging’ to achieve a successful simulation at the start and even with some experience.

One ‘successful’ simulation is just that, by leaving a simulation to run its full course to the End time.
If you are monitoring the simulation and you can see a lack of acceptable convergence plots and/or from the results area then cancellation of the simulation allows you to start over and rethink your setup.

Simscale have put considerable financial resources into significantly simplifying the simulation FEA/CFD world, having said that, it’s still not easy to achieve successful simulations. I’ve generally found the Step by step tutorial very helpful, but again, still challenging when trying to apply to a new model/situation.

Following the economies of scale concept, savings in past development costs gained by an increased level of users may eventually drive Simscale prices down as they gain more fee paying clients from new and other older CFD/FEA software companies. If Simscale continues on its journey to increase the simplification and ease of simulation use, the user base will grow wider and quicker. They are also increasing the breadth of the total product.

When you look at other longer established FEA/CFD packages they are faced with considerably legacy issues that make beginners & commercial companies lose interest almost immediately, due to the idiosyncrasies of those packages. Growing Simscale’s market share with ‘easy to use’ FEA/CFD will eventually lead to price reductions as past development costs and current operating costs are spread across an increasing fee paying user base. Simply put, grow the user base within a competitive market drives prices down.

Fusion 360 is currently on a somewhat similar journey of growing its user base, being originally totally free as it ironed out bugs with the community and now free with some restrictions or with low fees. Autodesk produced Fusion 360, a non-legacy software (S/W) package that has gained exceptional traction with new users and is now pulling older users away from established S/W due to lower pricing from a growing user base. It’s now enticing customer to upgrade from its free Tinker cad towards the free version or the low fee paying Fusion 360 version. At one time it had FEA included free but this has been sliced off. Simscale had a wider free offering originally, with compressible flow free as well as it pushed out into the market, but operational costs attributed to user question would have been high, so now we get a taste of the products that have less user issues, given increased complexity of compressibility.

I’d like to see a suite of small packages, for FEA, or CFD …etc, but unless you are totally into FEA that is not available. When you have come from seeing your first handheld calculator at age 14 (1973) & using 286 & 386 - 16Mhz machines, dot matrix b/w printers, & Strand5 at university it’s an amazing world provided by Simscale, even if its just for a taste of what you can do.

Well that how I see it, my brief look into the world of simulation offerings and pricing :slight_smile:

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Hi Robert01,
In essence, the previous 3,000 free core hours are still available when one joins up.
For new members now, as per ChuckMulder notes, only 10 successful full term simulations are now available and a reduction in simulation types with compressible flows and possibly others like the new Sonic solver are not available under the free community licence.

Simscale is a great initially free product and evolving and developing a user base similar to Fusion 360 as per Chuck’s comments. I’m hopeful one day less expensive hobby priced packages like Fusion 360 offers will be rolled out from Simscale and packages to suit those commercial business. For me its an expensive option for my hobby interests in CFD simulations, if I wish to continue. Currently the only option for me as a non-commercial user is to buy the full suite of simulation solver types that I’ll possibly will never use to any great extent. Maybe the option to provide the MacDonald’s type approach of huge clients and low fees will allow Simscale to dominate the market and lower CFD prices for those people like drone simulators and F1 car enthusiasts etc and hobbyists to make use of the product.

My simulation free community time is almost at an end…but hopefully I can help others with their simulation setups in the future.

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It’s seems obvious to me SimScale no longer wants hobbyists like us to use it. The ‘basic’ plan doesn’t make much sense either… 2000 dollars for a mere 100 simulations? It makes the hassle of learning OpenFOAM, a free open source CFD package look more reasonable.

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Hi Robert01,
Yes, I loaded OpenFOAM years ago in an ubuntu environment, so a little bit of a learning experience, the new operating system & using OpenFOAM, but that was some 5 to 10 years ago and when I liked to dabble in coding. I also got into Paraview which was interesting and my icon image is from those times.

It’s possibly worth considering the raw OpenFOAM without the Simscale interface, but the simulation turnaround time and non-cloud computing means seriously upgrading my computer to a high end computer $$ or waiting overnight for simulations to complete, then finding an error and doing it all again :slight_smile:

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Dear Robert, you know, they have to pay for everything they have set here. The core hours, all their staff, their platform and tutorials. That’s expensive. You cannot expect that to remain “free”. If you had initially 3000 core hours free, they were giving you for free at least 300 USD in base-core hour price. This does not include anything else (personnel, platform, etc), IMO it would be at least 1500 to 3000 USD per “free account” the sum they had to invest.

The best thing you can do if you want to run CFD simulations on your personal computer (OpenFOAM) is to learn CFD. I have noticed here (forums) that plenty of computational power is wasted because people do not know how to mesh properly or set the case. The issue with OpenFOAM is that it really requires knowledge of CFD theory to work. It will take time and money.

Therefore 2000 USD per “mere” 100 CFD simulations is more than fair. I charge about 500 to 1000 for each “basic” CFD aerodynamics simulation (steady-state RANS).

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