Benefits of Thermal Simulation
Computational Fluid Dynamics refers to the simulation process that can replace or add on to your experiential and analytical methods. In comparison to prototyping and creating elaborate experiments, CFD can help engineers design and analyze products more efficiently. In more common terms, these simulations create the perfect “what-if” scenario to assess what the best overall design can be. This in turn leads to faster design solutions at a fraction of the price.
Now that we further understand the use of the software, the idea of successfully completing a thermal simulation seems much more realistic. Let’s get into the specifics!
Frontload all CFD simulation inside of NX
One of the most attractive new features within NX is the power to embed other software into your workspace. In our scenario of thermal simulation, Simcenter FLOEFD is embedded directly into NX. This means that you do not have to learn new software and, most importantly, can continue working in an environment that is native to you. Another powerful addition to this software is that by embedding Simcenter FLOEFD into NX, the changes that you make are automatically detected and synchronized to your design.
Utilize component control to select geometry
● Enables detailed copper distribution
● Minimal additional computational overhead
Cloning for comparison
After your thermal representation of the PCB has been completed as a sub-assembly, you can now use the “Add from Components” feature to re-enter all the inputs back into the original model. Along with the new PCB, you can also select and replace the component model for the processor with a more detailed model to better represent the thermal conditions expected. This detailed model of processor could be imported, or a new model can be created using Simcenter FLOEFD’s built-in Package Creator. In our case, adjusting the specifications of the package to match those of the microprocessor in the model is the best way to get the results we are looking for.
Clone the model and solve
Once the PCB sub-assembly is reviewed and closed, return to the main simulation model. Before running the simulation, remember to create a second simulation. This is so you can compare how the modified covers with cooling holes perform versus the standard rear cover. The next step is vital in completing the simulation correctly. Before solving the projects, you need to tell Simcenter FLOEFD to ignore your original model and include the modified model that you are experimenting with. It is now at this point that we can solve both projects.
Reviewing thermal simulation results
Once both simulations have finished, you are now ready to review the results. In most cases, it should be clear the impact the experimental model has on the thermal dynamics versus the stand model. By utilizing thermal simulations, we have been able to clearly and efficiently find the impact that two contrasting designs can have on your model without ever leaving NX.
We hope you have enjoyed following along through this example. Running thermal simulations throughout the design process can be a great way to be confident in the thermal characteristics of your product without ever having to leave NX. Remember to check back in to learn about more new features coming out in the June release of NX.