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CFDTool - MATLAB CFD Simulation GUI Toolbox

version 1.5.0 (115 MB) by Precise Simulation
CFDTool - Easy to Use Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) MATLAB Toolbox


Updated 17 Feb 2021

From GitHub

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CFDTool - An Easy to Use CFD Toolbox for MATLAB

CFDTool is a MATLAB® Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Toolbox for modeling and simulation of fluid flows with coupled heat transfer.

Based on FEATool Multiphysics ( ), CFDTool is specifically designed to make fluid dynamics and heat transfer simulations both easy and enjoyable.

The CFDTool MATLAB Toolbox includes the following features:

- completely stand-alone and self-contained toolbox
- fully integrated and easy to use Graphical User Interface (GUI)
- modeling and simulation in 1D, 2D, 3D, and axisymmetric/cylindrical coordinate systems
- seamless OpenFOAM® and SU2 CFD solver integrations
- built-in geometry and CAD tools
- automatic mesh and grid generation
- pre-defined equations and boundary conditions:
+ incompressible viscous fluid flows (Navier-Stokes equations)
+ compressible inviscid flows (Euler equations)
+ heat transfer (Convection and Conduction)
- multiphysics support for fluid flow and thermal analysis
- simulation of laminar and turbulent flows (k-epsilon and k-omega turbulence models available together with OpenFOAM)
- stationary and time-dependent analysis types
- postprocessing and visualization

*) System Requirements

Verified to work with Windows, Mac, and Linux systems running MATLAB R2009b and later.

*) Installation

Download and extract the CFDTool archive.

- For MATLAB 2012b and later double click on the *CFDTool.mlappinstall* file, or use the "Get More Apps" button in the MATLAB "APPS" toolbar. Once the app has been installed, a corresponding icon will be available in the toolbar to start CFDTool. (Note that MATLAB may not give any indication of the app installation progress or completion.)

- For MATLAB 2009b-2012a, copy the *cfdtool.p* file to a directory accessible to MATLAB, and then enter 'cfdtool' on the MATLAB command line to start the application.

*) OpenFOAM® CFD Solver

The optional OpenFOAM CFD solver integration makes it easy to perform both laminar and turbulent high performance CFD simulations directly in MATLAB. OpenFOAM CFD simulations often results in a magnitude or more speedup for instationary simulations compared to the built-in flow solvers. Additionally, with the multi-simulation solver integration in CFDTool it is possible to compare and better validate simulation results obtained using both the built-in and OpenFOAM CFD solvers.

The OpenFOAM solver binaries are currently not included with CFDTool and must be installed separately. The OpenFOAM MATLAB solver integration has been verified with OpenFOAM version 5. For Windows systems it is recommended to install and use the pre-compiled blueCFD-core (2017) binaries from blueCAPE ( For Linux and MacOS systems the distribution from the OpenFOAM Foundation ( is recommended. It is necessary that the simpleFoam, pimpleFoam, rhoCentralFoam, potentialFoam, and collapseEdges binaries are installed and properly set up so they can be called from system script files (bash scripts on Linux and MacOS and bat/vbs on Windows).

*) Basic Use

CFDTool and its GUI has been specifically designed to be as easy to use as possible, and making learning CFD by experimentation possible.

The modeling process is divided into six different steps or modes

- *Geometry* - Definition of the geometry to be modeled
- *Grid* - Subdivision of the geometry into smaller cells suitable
for computation
- *Equation* - Specification of material parameters and coefficients
- *Boundary* - Boundary conditions specify how the model interacts
with the surrounding environment (outside the geometry)
- *Solve* - Solution and simulation of the defined model problem
- **Post** - Visualization and postprocessing

These modes can be accessed by clicking on the corresponding buttons in left hand side "Mode" toolbar. The different modes may have specialized and different "Tools" available in the corresponding toolbar. Advanced mode options may also be available in the corresponding menus.

A number of pre-defined fluid flow and heat transfer tutorial examples are available under the *File* > *Model Examples and Tutorials...* menu option.

Basic use and how to set up and model laminar flow past a cylinder is explained in the video tutorial linked below

CFDTool Video Tutorial:

Cite As

Precise Simulation (2021). CFDTool - MATLAB CFD Simulation GUI Toolbox (, GitHub. Retrieved .

Comments and Ratings (5)

Is this toolbox free for academic use?

Precise Simulation

@Aditya Misra: Try the "FEATool Multiphysics" toolbox ( ) which allows for editing and custom equations while "CFDTool" is limited to pre-defined equations for CFD to make things easier.

Aditya Misra

I downloaded and installed it, but I don't have access to any of the equations when I click on "new model". Please help?

Rhushikesh Yewale

Lateef Kareem

MATLAB Release Compatibility
Created with R2019a
Compatible with R2009b to R2019a
Platform Compatibility
Windows macOS Linux

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