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Using a template CDL file for quick case set up in CFD-CADalyzer

If your simulations with CFD-CADalyzer typically include the same or similar type of physics, materials and boundary conditions then you can make the case setup process very efficient and quick with the use of a template file - a CDL file that includes the typical simulation settings.

For example, say you typically run simulations that involve air cooling of Copper and Aluminum components, where air flows in through an inlet or inlets with known mass flow rate and exits out into the atmosphere. Instead of repeatedly setting up these operating conditions for each of your cases, you can simply create a template CDL file and then use the File → Update Physics option to import the settings from this file into the actual model that you want to simulate.

Creating a template file: For the kind of simulation mentioned above, your template CDL file could include a single simple geometry, as shown in the image below. In this file you could activate Solve Flow and Solve Heat under Physics → Modules, and create 3 materials - Air, Copper and Aluminum under Properties. You could associate/assign the geometry to one of the three materials or not make any associations at all. Similarly for BCs, you could set one of the cube faces to be a fixed mass flow inlet (with a typical value of, say 0.1 kg/s) and set the other to be an outlet with fixed pressure. In fact, if your typical settings include additional boundary conditions, you could create as many of these BCs, and like for materials, you do not necessarily have to associate them to the boundaries of the cube. In other words, a template file needs to include a geometry just for the sake of being able to save a CDL file. Note that it is a good practice to specify appropriate names for the materials and BCs you create (and not leave them with their default names like Material_1, Material_2, Inlet, etc.).

Similarly, you can make all other typical settings in this file (type of Summaries to output, Monitor Points, Solver settings, etc.) and save it as, say , template.cdl.


Figure 1: Template CDL file

Using the template file: Now, when you are to start working on your real case, import the real geometry, perform any geometric operations (inversion, split, bounding box, etc.). Then, from the Menu Bar, click File → Update Physics, and select the template.cdl file. A dialog appears, as shown below, where you can specify whether to import all settings or only certain types of settings.


Figure 2: Update Physics data import selection dialog

After making your selection (All Settings, in this case), click Import and you will see that all settings from template.cdl have been imported into your current simulation. For materials, you will need to specify (associate) the material for each of the parts/components of the model by choosing from the imported materials list. You can do that in the graphics window itself (as shown in figure 3 below) by simply right-clicking each of the parts, selecting Set Material and then choosing the appropriate material from the list. The relevant BCs need to be similarly specified/associated (as shown in figure 4 below).


Figure 3: Associating or specifying material for a part/component


Figure 4: Associating or specifying BC for a model boundary

At this point you can make any changes to the imported settings or make additional settings and your case is set up and ready to go.

In the Update Physics dialog in figure 2, the last check box ‘Associate to Geometry’ tries to automatically associate/assign the BCs and Materials imported from the template file to the boundaries and parts in the current geometry. This option should only be selected if the topology of your template file matches exactly the topology of the geometry you are setting up. In other words, if your simulations typically involve the exact same topology, you could use the same geometry to create your template file and then when importing the settings for a new simulation, check this ‘Associate to Geometry’ option. All associations for BCs and Materials will be automatically created and you will not have to do it manually.

Generally speaking, you could create multiple template files, one for each of your commonly simulated applications, thus making case set up effort easy. In addition to being convenient and quick, use of templates can also lead to consistent operating conditions being used in a team setting where multiple users are creating and running simulations independently. It can also help new users to start contributing to the team’s simulation efforts sooner, by using templates created by more experienced users.

Santosh Kini
ESI CFD Support Team

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