< Back to Blog

April 2019


Luma Bendini

Quick guide through CFD Simulation tools

Keeping up to date with all tools available in the market is hard. That is why we have prepared this guide, where you can find how Ingrid Cloud integrates with some of the main CFD software out there.

Butterfly - Ladybug tools

Ladybug Tools is essentially an interface for several industry-standard engines such as OpenFOAM, the most famous open-source code for CFD simulations. Most of Ladybug Tools are written in Python 2.7.

Butterfly is a Python library for creating and executing OpenFOAM cases.

Ingrid Cloud is a fully automatic software-as-a-service for CFD simulations. Butterfly is a plugin available for Grasshopper and Dynamo proprietary software with specific installation requirements and knowledge.

  Ingrid Cloud Butterfly
CFD code Unique code that uses the Finite Element Method (FEM) together with adaptive mesh refinement based on adjoint techniques and a posteriori error estimation.
OpenFOAM based
Method used Implicit LES From simple RANS to intensive LES
Knowledge needed No CFD knowledge is needed. The entire simulation process is automated. CFD knowledge is needed to run simulations because you have to have access to other software in order to launch the plugin.
Common uses Wind Tunnel, Wind Comfort, Wind Load (more apps planned to be launched during 2019-2020, such as indoor comfort, data centre cooling, microclimate, air pollution dispersion, etc). Indoor Airflow, Outdoor airflow, Buoyancy, Indoor Comfort, Outdoor comfort, HVAC Systems
Price It’s pay-per-use, simulation prices start at $ 495. Although Ladybug Tools are free and open-source, most members of the Ladybug community use commercial solutions for a Rhino environment. The cost of labor will be a significant post due to lack of automation.

Rhinoceros 3D

Rhino is a paid software for free form surface modeling. Ingrid Cloud supports Rhino files when exported in 3DS, STEP, and STL. It’s possible to run a simulation with models created in Rhino interface.

Within Rhino 3D runs Grasshopper 3D, a proprietary visual programming language. Combining Butterfly interface and Grasshopper you can do airflow modeling, although that’s not a traditional approach to fluid dynamics modeling.

Autodesk Revit

Autodesk Revit is one of the most common Building Information Modelling software. It allows architects, designers, and engineers to design buildings and structures in 3D format.

Revit enables a broad number of tasks; the work environment allows users to manipulate whole buildings or assemblies or individual 3D shapes.

Ingrid Cloud is available as a plug-in for Autodesk Revit. Users can download Ingrid Cloud from Revit App Store and start simulations directly from the Revit project. The big advantage is to spare time preparing the model for simulation – the process is 100% automated.

Go to Autodesk Revit App Store

Updates coming soon...

Feel free to send us a message if you want to know how a specific tool relates to Ingrid Cloud or CFD.