Computational Fluid Dynamics


Fluid Dynamics

The MechEng Software Archive [GOOD]
A free software database by ASME with a lot of engineering related programs. The fluids section contains many CFD related things. Several other sections might also be of interest. Most programs are for the PC architecture.
Free and Low-Cost CFD Software [GOOD]
A comprehensive and up-to-date overview of low-budget CFD software. The site is maintained by Culbert B. Laney as a part of the web site for his book Computational Gasdynamics. The main focus is on compressible flow solvers. Many of the software packages presented are free only to US citizens. You can also find links to mesh generators and visualization packages here. It is a very good compilation, probably the best of its kind on the net. Highly recommended!
CFD Codes List
A summary of commercial and free CFD software available on the net. Contains short descriptions and often contacts or links where you can find further information. This list was created by Tomasz Plewa, but he stopped maintaining it in 1997. It is a bit outdated by now.
MGNet Code Repository
Multigrid related software packages.
Downloadable Software, Aerodynamics and Design
A collection of programs for analysis and design of wings etc. By Dr. W. Mason, Viriginia Tech. Nice!
Software for Dynamic Simulation of Fluid Power Systems
A list of software packages for dynamic simulation of hydraulic and pneumatic fluid power systems. Also covers more general dynamic system modeling and simulation.
Public Domain Aeronautical Software
Sells a CD with a collection of public domain aeronautical programs.

Selected Codes

OpenFOAM is a general purpose open-source CFD code. OpenFOAM is written in C++ and uses an object oriented approach which makes it easy to extend. The package includes modules for a wide range of applications. FOAM was written by Henry Weller and others at Imperial College. For a few years FOAM was sold as a commercial code by their company Nabla. However, in 2004 they decided to release the code under GPL and rename it to OpenFOAM. OpenFOAM is a very capable code which you definitely should check out if you are looking for a state-of-the-art CFD code with source-code access.
An open-source package for computational mathematical modeling. Has some functionality to solve Navier-Stokes. Looks very nice. FEniCS is being developed very quickly and can become very interesting for CFD people. FEniCS and its sister projects are used extensively in education.
An open-source CFD code written in C++. Mainly focused on turbulent, unsteady and incompressible flow.
A large object-oriented C++ framework for solving PDE's. Uses overlapping structured grids. This is a large research code for people who know how to install and compile things themselves.
Gerris Flow Solver
An open-source CFD code for incompressible flow. Focused on marine and ocean flow applications. Looks nice and well documented.
Phoenics V 1.4 as Shareware
CHAM distributes old versions of Phoenics as shareware.
A free software package for conservation laws by Randall J. LeVeque.
FEAT is a general purpose software system for solving PDEs with the finite element method. The system includes a lot of tools and an incompressible fluid-flow package called FEATFLOW. The software is available freely with source (F77) and the site has a lot of further information available online. The FEAT group are from the University of Heidelberg.
A compressible Euler/Navier-Stokes code written in F77. Developed mainly to test turbulence models. Worth a look if you want a code with advanced turbulence modeling (it has several two equation models, explicit ARSM models and full differential RSM models implemented).
A spectral Navier-Stokes simulator in C++. Comes with full source and documentation.
A free CFD code with source code included. Uses finite volume discretization on a cartesian non-uniform staggered mesh, VONOS/SMART higher order upwind schemes and Adams-Bashforth time discretization. The code is parallelized with MPI and can handle complex geometries by a simple cell decomposition/enumeration technique.
MOUSE is an open-source object-oriented framework for finite volume computations on unstructured grids. It can be used as a development library, or as a finished application. Mouse currently supports 2D laminar flows, but further extensions to 3D are planned.
VH-1 (Virginia Hydrodynamics - 1)
A multidimensional ideal compressible hydrodynamics code written in Fortran. Based on the Lagrangian remap version of the Piecewise Parabolic Method (PPM). Has a user guide in html format
A free 2D, laminar, incompressible CFD code based on the SIMPLE algorithm with QUICK interpolation. Only available in compiled format for Macintosh platforms.

General Numerical Software

A few selected software repositories where you can search for free numerical software. For a more complete list look at Mathematical Software (GSCI), Numerical Methods (Tomasz Plewa), Links to various software archives (CSC), Other Sources of Math Software Information (GAMS/NIST) or Yahoo Mathematics Software section.

For software libraries to use in your code see also the Programming & Computing > Software Libraries section.

Netlib [GOOD]
A very large archive of numerical software.
NIST Guide to Available Math Software [GOOD]
An online cross-index of free mathematical software from several sources. You can identify the routines you need by following a problem decision tree. Highly recommended!
Numerical Recipes
This classical book is now available directly online in both C and Fortran versions! There is also a lot of additional information here. You can get the book for free, but you'll have to pay to get access to source code.


This area is so big that all information can't be included here. For a more complete list, look at the Free and Low-Cost CFD Software: Graphics Packages [GOOD], SAL: Scientific Data Processing & Visualization [GOOD], Scientific Visualization Sites [GOOD], Software for Graphics and Data Analysis, Yahoo - Visualization or read the newsgroup I have tried to extract the few visualization packages that might be of special interest for CFD researchers. If you have any other suggestions on what to include here, please let me know
ParaView [GOOD]
A state-of-the-art post-processor designed to be able to handle very large datasets. Distributed as open-source software. Can read both Ensight and Plot3D formats. Highly recommended!
A full-featured open-source scientific visualization package based on IBM's Visualization Data Explorer. OpenDX is a very capable package and it runs on most UNIX platforms. Highly recommended!
MayaVi Data Visualizer [GOOD]
A very nice & free scientific data visualizer. MayaVi is based on VTK and runs on Linux, most Unix'es, and Windows. Source code available.
GMV - The General Mesh Viewer
A free 3D visualization tool. Runs on Linux, most Unix'es and windows. Source code not available.
Flow Analysis Software Toolkit (FAST)
A software environment for analyzing data from numerical simulations. Developed by NAS. FAST is free and you can buy the source code. Unfortunately it only runs on SGI workstations.
Visualization Codes at MIT
pV3, Visual3 and Visual2 - all developed for CFD. Some versions are free!
A free scientific data visualizer for 2D & 3D AMR data sets. Based on VTK and runs on Linux mainly, although you might get it to run on other Unix'es. Source code available.
A generic scientific visualization package from CERCA. VU is available for free to Universities. Companies have to pay an annual fee. VU runs on most Unix platforms. The site gives further information and has a tutorial and a manual available online.
CAF2D / FEMFlow and CAF3D / PostFlow
Free flow-visualization codes from CAF Lab.
VIGIE is a visualization packaged developed at INRIA. It supports X11. You can download the entire package for free. It also includes source code.
DAVID, Data Visualization and Diagnostics
A free visualization package developed at the Laboratory for Visiometrics and Modeling, Rutgers University. DAVID is written in C and should run on must UNIX boxes. It uses X Window and also supports PostScript output.
SciEntific LAb for VIsualization - a scientific data visualization package with an animation engine. Works on MS-Windows platforms. Free for academic and non-profit use.
HIGHEND - Interactive Graphics using Hierarchical Experimental and Numerical Data
A free data visualizer developed by DLR.
NCSA UNIX Products
NCSA provides several good free visualization packages - look here for more information.
Hierarchical Data Format (HDF)
Information about the HDF data format used with NCSA software.


ICASE Visualization and Graphics Research
Complex three-dimensional visualization problems. The emphasis is on applications in computational and experimental fluid dynamics and related areas.


Advanced Visual Systems Inc.
Develops and sells AVS - a very big scientific visualization system.
Tecplot, Inc. [GOOD]
The makers of Tecplot, a technical plotting and data visualization package.
Computational Engineering International, Inc. [GOOD]
Develops and sells EnSight - a software package for the visualization of simulation results.
Intelligent Light [GOOD]
Develops and sells Fieldview - a CFD postprocessor.
NAG, The Numercial Algorithms Group, Ltd.
Develops and sells IRIS Explorer, a visualization system.

Mesh Generation

Mesh Generation Software [GOOD]
A large list of public domain and commercial mesh generators. Maintained by Robert Schneiders as a part of the excellent Mesh Generation & Grid Generation on the Web site.
Meshing Software Survey [GOOD]
A large survey of mesh generation software by Steve Owen. Includes both commercial and public-domain software. Very nice!
ISGG Software/Public Domain
A list of public-domain mesh generators. Provided by the International Society of Grid Generation.
CEWES MSRC Grid Generation Software Catalog
A nice directory of grid generation software. Includes several common CFD grid-generators. They used to have reviews of many packages available online, but they seem to have removed the reviews now.
Grid Generation Enhancement at ERDC MSRC
A nice evaluation of many commercial grid generators, including ratings of many important features (time to learn, grid quality, ...). The evaluation was performed in 1999. Many comments are still valid though. Well worth a visit!

Commercial CFD Packages

A good place to go if you are looking for a commercial CFD code is to check the list of CFD Online's sponsors. If you can't find the company you are looking for there you can check the Homepage Database, Companies Section. If you have any questions about CFD codes you are also welcome to post them on the CFD Online Discussion Forum. This forum is monitored by most CFD code vendors. The links below are a few collections of CFD codes that can be found on the net. These are not complete and often not that up-to-date though.
CFD Codes List, Commercial Products
Links to many commercial CFD products. The list is getting a bit old though, and the structure isn't optimal.
COSMIC - NASA's Software Technology Transfer Center
Software information exchange between NASA and the public. Has an online catalog with more than 850 program abstracts. The codes usually cost money to get.
IBM Catalog of Software from Third Parties
Includes a few titles related to fluids, CFD and flow analysis.
SGI 3rd Party Applications Directory
Includes more than 80 CFD titles.
Sun Catalog
Catalyst Solaris Products. Hides a lot of CFD software packages
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