SOLIDWORKS, Simulation, Flow Simulation

Top 5 FloXpress Features You Already Have

By Suman Sudhakaran on March 30, 2020

Did you know that every license of SOLIDWORKS includes the SOLIDWORKS FloXpress application? FloXpress is a computational fluid dynamics tool that evaluates the flow of fluid in a single internal cavity within parts and assemblies. Once you run a calculation on the velocity field, problem areas in your design will pop up, and you can improve them before manufacturing any parts. Different from SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, which is meant for complex fluid analyses, FloXpress is specifically designed to analyze fluid flow in a fully enclosed volume that includes at least one inlet and one outlet.

Check Geometry

FloXpress uses a wizard-based approach to guide you through setting up an internal flow analysis. For running an internal analysis, the model must be fully enclosed or water-tight. Launching FloXpress takes you to the Check Geometry Property Manager.  

SOLIDWORKS FloXpress Check Geometry

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If the model is not a fully enclosed single cavity or if the fluid volume is zero, Check Geometry reminds you to create lids to ensure that the model is air-tight. For this, openings at inlet and outlet must be closed by creating lids, which are solid features such as a boss-extrudes.

View Fluid Volume

FloXpress automatically calculates the computational domain and fluid volume. You can enable View Fluid Volume as shown in Figure 2, to check if the fluid volume displayed is indeed the volume/internal cavity you want to use for the fluid flow analysis. You don’t have to create additional volume to represent the fluid region.

FloXpress View Fluid Volume

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Inlet and Outlet Boundary Conditions

The FloXpress wizard gives you the option to select the fluid type, either air or water. The next step is to define the boundary condition. You can set one inlet and one outlet boundary condition. Inlet can be pressure, volume flow rate or mass flow rate to be applied along with the temperature of incoming fluid. Although there isn’t a way to view the temperature profile in the liquid, it does correctly calculate the temperature distribution. Outlet condition can be either pressure or volume flow rate. Unlike SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, FloXpress is limited in choice of available fluid types, boundary conditions and capabilities.

FloXpress Boundary Conditions

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Clicking the Solve button initiates the calculation of velocity field. Analysis can be paused if required. 

FloXpress Velocity Trajectories

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View Results

The View Results Property Manager opens automatically when the analysis is completed. Flow trajectories representing velocity are plotted between inlet and outlet. The color-coded velocity range depicting velocity value at each point is plotted. Note that the trajectory plots cannot be probed to find values at the exact location, and velocity is the only output. The color-bar legend displays the maximum global value or local plot value depending on whether you select an inlet or outlet for display settings.

FloXpress Analysis Results

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Flow trajectories can be displayed as pipes or spheres and can be animated as well.  Animations can be saved using the Record Video option in the SOLIDWORKS Screen Capture tool. 

Report Generation

The Snap Image option saves the image of active plot, so you don’t have to use print screen or another external application. The Report Generation tool inside FloXpress saves you time by generating a Word document report.

In summary, if you need to study flow patterns within a single cavity with just air or water, SOLIDWORKS FloXpress can give you useful feedback. Using this simple fluid flow simulation application readily available within SOLIDWORKS, you can detect product design issues early in the design phase and accelerate product innovation.

Fluid analyses can help you improve your designs. There are different simulation tests that you can run to make sure you’re on the right track with your models. Get to know SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation by watching our on-demand webinar.

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