CFD Tutorial: Inlet Flow, Air over a Wing, and more SolidWorks Flow Tutorials – Part I

Today I explored the SolidWorks Flow Simulation folders, a CFD (computational fluid dynamics) goldmine inside the SolidWorks Education Edition that I didn’t know existed, so I thought I would share our flow tutorials, curriculum, and my goldmine with you. There is so much information that this will be a two part post.

No matter what level you teach, there are examples that you can provide to your students or to learn on your own.  I always liked best practices– if someone has set up a problem, use it to learn from, and then go work on your own creation. 

SolidWorks contains short tutorials in flow simulation.  These are fun and straight forward for students and follow the Flow Simulation Wizard.  Easy to set up, run and view the animation.  Ball value inlet flow can be investigated in the SolidWorks Flow SimulationXpress Tutorial in 14 languages. 

SolidWorks Flow Simulation Ball Valve 

For educators, the customer portal contains an Instructors Guide to Teaching Flow Simulation complete with Powerpoint presentations in English, French, German and Japanese.

SolidWorks Flow Simulation customer portal 

For students with basic math and algebra skills, I recommend our F1inSchool car project or CO2 car project that utilize SolidWorks Flow Simulation to illustrate drag. If you have the SolidWorks Education Edition, the CO2 project is available on the SolidWorks Customer Portalor under “student curriculum” in the SolidWorks Resource pane.  In 7 languages.

SolidWorks Flow Simulation F1inSchools car 

We start these projects with 10 year old students, but I have seen educators use them in high school and in the university.  Increase the math level, and these projects provide great examples to engineering students of all ages.  This project emphasizes how design interations improve physical characteristics of a product.

 SolidWorks Flow Simulation F1inSchools Trajectory Design Change

If your students have some physics background, I would review the Seabotix ROV SolidWorks Simulation Hands-on Test Drive that illustrates flow over a robot underwater  located in the SolidWorks Customer Portal under “Educator Resources”.

 SolidWorks Flow Simulation Hands On Test Drive

SolidWorks Formula SAE project, also located in the SolidWorks Customer Portal, Educator Resources,  illustrates air flow through an engine manifold.

 SolidWorks Flow Simulation Intake Flow

For more examples, select Tools>Add Ins> and check SolidWorks Flow Simulation.  Then select Help>SolidWorks Simulation>Flow Simulation Online Tutorial. 

SolidWorks Flow Simulation 2011 Tutorial 

My goldmine begins with this  step-by-step pdf document containing examples in designing a ball valve, heat transfer, porous media, cylinder drag, heat exchange efficiency, mesh optimization, non-Newtonian flow in a channel and project examples with a textile machine, rotating impeller, and more.  Part 2 of this post will investigate validation examples in SolidWorks Flow Simulation directed towards those taking or teaching Fluid Mechanics, Hydraulics, Computational Fluid Dynamics courses. Marie

Assembly Model:  Download Ball_valve

Video: Download CFD Tutorial – SolidWorks Flow Tutorial Part 1

Model was created in 2011.  You can work through this tutorial in 2010 and achieve the same result,  Use Select Other and select on inside faces for inlet and outlet conditions,  You want the surface where the fluid will touch!


Marie Planchard

Marie Planchard

Senior Director, Early Engagement, 3DEXPERIENCE Works at Dassault Systemes
Marie Planchard is an education and engineering advocate. As Senior Director of Education & Early Engagement, SOLIDWORKS, she is responsible for global development of content and social outreach for the 3DEXPERIENCE Works products across all levels of learning including educational institutions, Fab Labs, and entrepreneurship.
Marie Planchard