SimWorks FAQ

Please find below answers to some of the frequently asked questions related to licensing, technical or training. This page is the first port of call for any questions you may have and contains links to all the relevant pages in the website. If you don’t find what you are looking for do not hesitate to contact us.

SimWorks Licence FAQ

We offer a free version of SimWorks that is intended for students and testing purposes. We only ask you to register your email with us to receive information about software updates. The free version does not have any restrictions to the number of cells the user can define but it has limited features and modelling options. You can see the SimWorks versions comparison for reference.

Our vision is to bring CFD to the widest possible audience and the free version of SimWorks is a great tool to get into CFD modelling. The GUI is designed to be as user friendly as possible and there is a wide collection of tutorials to introduce the user to its functionality. 

The free license does not include parallel computing and can be used for steady-state RANS simulations. Therefore the free license of SimWorks is intended to for learning and exploring SimWorks capabilities.

To enable the full functionality of the software, a commercial licence is required. With a commercial licence, SimWorks supports multiple-simulations and can be run in parallel. It also features many more physics models and functionalities.

We offer a wide range of licensing options (see below) as well as the opportunity of a free trial. We want to encourage the users to try the advanced features and come back to us with some feedback, even if they are not going to eventually upgrade to commercial licence. 

You can see the SimWorks versions comparison for reference, you can also get an automatic quote in seconds to get the latest info about pricing

In order to get access to the free version, we simply ask for a valid email address. We will not use your details for any purpose other than getting feedback on our software. You can unsubscribe at any time and you would still be able to use the free version. Also no payment details and no commitment is required at any stage to register SimWorks or to get a free 14-day trial of the commercial version of SimWorks. You will be able to register your version of SimWorks for free during the first installation.

You can get a free 14-day trial of SimWorks that does not have any limitations, and there is no need to provide any payment details. You can select the free trial license at first installation or update afterwards by clicking on the Licence entry in the main GUI and then Upgrade… and finally follow the on screen instructions.

The activation is automatic and it does not require any interaction with us, nor any payment or card details.

Once the trial period has expired, if you do not wish to extend it, the software will automatically revert back to the free licence, unless you contact us to get a licence extension.

We have a wide offering of licensing options. Every licence can be tailored to the customer and we offer discounts for multiple licence purchases.

The cost of a single licence of SimWorks is significantly lower than most of the commercial CFD packages available on the market today. We are able to to offer SimWorks at competitive prices because our software is developed on top of open-source packages, like OpenFOAM®*. We want to engage with the widest possible audience and we thought that lowering the price barrier would have been an effective way of getting more people into using CFD. 

Also we offer substantial discounted packages for multiple licences purchases, which often include additional services. You can request a quote and you will receive it automatically within a few minutes. Alternatively, you can contact us specifying your requirements and we will come back to you with a tailored quote. This will obviously be free and with no obligations.

We are very interested in liaising with university students, researchers and academic institutions and we are happy to offer academic licences of SimWorks for free.

The only limitation is that SimWorks must be used exclusively for research activities and not for commercial purposes. The licenses will be time limited (generally for the duration of a project) but can be further extended. This is because we are very interested in maintaining an open conversation with academic users.

Please activate your 14-day free trial of SimWorks completing the relevant activation page. Just contact us at the end of the trial period and we will be happy to extend it for you.

We would then kindly ask to cite SimWorks (and the link to  the website: in any academic work carried out using it.

Absolutely! We offer bespoke packages and quotes to companies looking to purchase multiple licences. We can adapt the software from the GUI to implementing additional functionalities in order to create a truly tailored product with only the features a company really needs

Replacing an off-the-shelf software with a bespoke version of SimWorks would lead to a reduced cost and a product better tailored to the user needs. A bespoke version of SimWorks would also lead to substantial savings in training since the product would be adapted to the company’s requirements and users and  engineers would not need to retrain on a completely new software package.

You can see the SimWorks versions comparison to see the maximum number of simulations per year for every licence option, all the corporate licences benefit from an unlimited number of simulations. You can also get an automatic quote in seconds to get the latest info about pricing

The total number of simulations covers all the successful simulations carried out in 1 year, meaning that if there is a setting or meshing issue you can clean and rerun a simulation without affecting the total number of simulations used. On the other hand if you delete a simulation after it has run, the deleted one will be included in the total amount.

Every licence option has different setting, and also in the case of parallel running all the corporate licences do not have any limitations. 

The number specified in the SimWorks versions comparison is related to the number of parallel processes that will be used to decompose the physical domain and run the simulation. We would advise to match the number processes used for the simulation to the number of physical processors to optimise performance. This is the reason why we have named it as “processes”. However this is not mandatory and you can run a different number of processes on any machine.

Bug fixes and versions update is included in all the licences (including the free one) and does not have any limitation in time.

Yes, you can have a perpetual licence if required. Please contact us to let us know which version you are interested in and we can provide a tailored quote.

You can contact us to get a licence via mail. In order to activate the new license, you can click on Licence > Upgrade from the SimWorks main menu. The select “Redeem existing licence” and follow the instructions on screen.
You can also check your current version and build number by clicking on About SimWorks in the About us menu

SimWorks Technical FAQ

SimWorks is designed around the concept of CFD design process, allowing multiple simulations to be defined, managed and run at the same time in the Simulation Manager environment. It supports the quick duplication of simulations, by re-using the existing simulation parameters applied to new geometries, and also allows to quickly define portions of the geometry as independent part groups to define different boundary conditions or different mesh groups to define different mesh settings

Those features make SimWorks extremely fast for defining new CFD simulations and to carry out design iterations on an existing solution. 

Moreover SimWorks is extremely cost effective making it a viable solution also for individual professionals and consultants as well as small and medium size enterprises.

SimWorks does not cover the full spectrum of OpenFOAM models and functionalities, but we aim to bring into SimWorks as many new features as possible. The commercial users will have direct access to any new feature and model introduced in SimWorks.

If you still cannot wait for us to implement new models, you can modify the OpenFOAM dictionaries yourself after they have been generated. SimWorks maintains full compatibility with OpenFOAM without touching neither the source code nor the dictionary structure. You can find a lot of material on how to setup an OpenFOAM simulations and define the required dictionaries on the OpenFOAM website.

On the other end, if you are a commercial user and would like to a have a bespoke feature added to SimWorks, do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to discuss with you about additional features or for tuning the software for your specific needs, as an additional service.

SimWorks can certainly calculate wind load on a building and you can get a pressure plot to show the load distribution on the facade, see a good example of that below:
Also you can find below a calculation of internal flows inside a buildings (in this case checking the spreading of a pathogen), you can define such a simulation as you wish (connecting it to the outside, defining apertures…):
Just contact us if you have any further questions.

SimWorks Support FAQ

The installation procedure is completely automatic, so you simply need to follow the installation guide on our website. Please note that the installation can take some time, as the installer needs to download and install the SimWorks libraries and a full Linux distribution. Please be patient and follow the instructions during the initial setup. If you do encounter any issues, please contact us and we will be happy to assist!

Like other small software vendors, we do suffer from false positives from some antivirus software. Our code is signed by a third party body (Global Sign) and it is absolutely secure. Please visit our SimWorks security section for more info.

You can either add SimWorks as an exception to your antivirus software or you can follow the manual installation guide, which show you how to reproduce each step of the installation procedure manually, i.e., download and unzip the required files from our website and activate the Window Subsystem for Linux (WSL) on your machine.

SimWorks supports the most common CAD exchange formats like .igs and .step. There are multiple ways of importing new geometries, please find all the info you need in our CAD import guide.

Sometimes the geometrical engine behind SimWorks is not able to recognise individual faces inside an imported igs or step file. Most of the time there is nothing wrong with the geometry and we advise to separate the different parts of the geometry in CAD into independent igs files and load these up as multiple files. To do so, when clicking on the import button, select them with Ctrl + click and then splitting the parts into independent part/mesh groups. Alternatively, you can import individual files one at a time and in this case independent part groups for each file will automatically be created. More info are in our CAD import guide.

IdealSimulations only offers support for bug fixes with highest priority given to the commercial SimWorks users. If you find a bug do not hesitate to report it. You can also contact us to agree the terms of the engineering support required to help you define your own simulations.

SimWorks Learning FAQ

Whether you are a CFD professional or someone with little experience, we would encourage you to follow our tutorials. They are very practical and easy to follow, some of them are also available on our Youtube channel. This will show you progressively all the main functionalities of SimWorks. We recommend starting with the SimWorks introduction and then the tutorials are arranged into categories according their difficulty, from Base to Intermediate to Advanced. Please complete all tutorials in one category before moving to the following one.

Surely not! SimWorks offers a very user friendly way of defining a new CFD simulation. You just need a basic CFD knowledge and you don’t need to have used OpenFOAM previously.

SimWorks also keeps the OpenFOAM dictionaries open and accessible, this way users can progressively get more hands on with the code in case they want to make bespoke modifications to the simulations.

We can provide bespoke training courses for companies. Please contact us to get all the details of the different training packages available.

The postprocessor integrated in SimWorks is meant to give a quick feedback about design iterations and is able to effectively compare different iterations calculating the resulting difference in the flow field. However is you want to go much deeper in the results we advice to use the free and opensource software Paraview.

We have a guide to show how to use Paraview to analyse SimWorks results.

*None of the OpenFOAM® related products and services offered by IdealSimulations Ltd are approved or endorsed by OpenCFD Limited, producer and distributor of the OpenFOAM® software and owner of the OpenFOAM® and OpenCFD® trade marks

Try the free version of SimWorks or contact us to find out more