ANSYS ICEM CFD Output Interfaces

The ICEM CFD Product vision is to provide the best meshing tools for "any" CAE application. This includes being able to export to "any" solver. Currently ICEM CFD is used with well over 100 solvers. The output interfaced are developed on the basis of user need. The ANSYS product family also includes several top quality solvers such as ANSYS, Fluent, CFX and AUTODYN, however, the ANSYS ICEM CFD meshing tool maintains its solver neutral product vision.

There are also input interfaces for a number of these formats which allows ANSYS ICEM CFD to be used as a converter.

For the FEA version of ICEM CFD, known as AI*Environment, this capability has been expanded for the Main FEA solvers. For these solvers, we have developed a General setup template (A load is a load and a rigid beam is a rigid beam). This means we can import with full boundary conditions and properties such as contact, material properties, loads, constraints, etc. and then write out with all the appropriate boundary conditions to another solver. The translation of how a load or property is setup within each solver his handled behind the scenes. There are advanced options to control defaults.

While the mesh, properties and boundary conditions are loaded, you can use AI*Environment to edit them freely, setup sub cases, etc.

The rest of this page will focus on the regular output interfaces available with ANSYS ICEM CFD.

1. General Remarks on the Output Interfaces

The output interfaces described here convert the output from the different mesh generators into the various file formats listed in the table below.  The input to the translator generally include the following files:

  • Domain file(s):
    • for a structured mesh, these can be multiple. They are named domain.x or project.domain.x by convention, where x is the domain or block number.
    • for an unstructured mesh, there is typically only one mesh file.   The name is either set by the mesh generator, or user defined.
  • boundary condition file:  family_boco.fbc or project.fbc or any user defined name
  • topology files:  These are only required for structured mesh.  The file topo_mulcad_out.top or project.top contains all the topological information such as block dimensions, surface and edge definitions, block to block connectivity, etc.  The file family_topo.fto or project.fto is required when boundary conditions are defined, to provide the association between the families and the topological entities.

Boundary conditions can be defined in  the mesh editor (MED) or in the AI*Environment using the graphical user interface for the selected file format. 

The user needs to select "output" from the main menu, then select a solver/format for the translation.  Once the solver is selected, boundary conditions can be defined by selecting "Boundary conds".  Note that boundary conditions are not supported for all the file formats.

Once the mesh is ready to translate, simply select the option "Write input". Then, a window will open to allow the specification of the input to the translator, i.e. the mesh, boundary condition and topology files. Other settings can also be defined prior to running the translator, such as the name of the solver input file, the scaling of the mesh, etc. These options vary from translator to translator.

The supported file formats are listed in the table below. To obtain more information about a specific interface, simply click on its name and a webpage will open up with for the selected format.

2. Table of Supported Solvers (Output Interfaces)