Software for aero testing

Hi everyone. we use Solidworks at school for product modelling etc. I was wondering is there any free software we could put a cad file into, to test the aerodynamic drag of different body shapes? TIA.


  • Hi AKew,

    I strongly recommend the free student version of Autodesk Flow Design, you can download it for free here:

    You'll need to use solidworks to export to an STL file, then once imported you can perform your testing. Although the Drag Plot shows a value for CofD and drag force, these values will not match the real life performance and are only really useful for comparing different designs. You'll probably also want to increase the simulation accuracy above the default 100%.

    Also something useful but not documented is that you can right click on the 3D view cube (top right) to set the view to orthographic, which is much better than the default perspective.

  • Dan,

    that's brilliant. Thanks so much. We have autodesk on the school network too and I have it at home, although I have not really started learning it (although I really like the look of it). I have a Sixth Former who has just joined our team and I wanted to give her a specific project for the car so this would be perfect. I can get her to draw out the basic chassis design and then start modelling some potential designs to compare them.

    Thanks again,

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