By Andy Davis
You may not be aware of this, but Autodesk currently have a pipe flow analysis technology preview application available on their Autodesk Labs site.
Project Dalton is a free technology preview of a 1D flow analysis tool that allows designers and engineers to develop and analyse complex piping systems and distribution networks.
Dalton for AutoCAD Plant 3D
The technology preview comes in a standalone version as well as in CAD-embedded versions for Autodesk Revit, and Autodesk Plant3D. Originally due to expire this month, it has been granted a reprieve and has now been extended until May 2015.
In standalone form, Dalton is a pipe network analysis solution which simulates the flow behaviour in a distribution network, accepting input from a standard PCF file.
Dalton for Autodesk Plant3D is a plug-in; you can run a flow simulation on your model without leaving the AutoCAD Plant3D environment. After opening your model in AutoCAD Plant3D, you simply click Plug-Ins > Dalton to start Project Dalton. A Project Dalton tab is then displayed in the ribbon.
You are then able to set physical and operating parameters for the system that you want to analyse and solve for a variety of results, including pressure, velocity, flow rate, mass flow rate, and Reynolds Number. Results are presented graphically and are available for export and post processing via text files.
For further information and to trial the application, sign up to Project Dalton