Heat Transfer with Autodesk CFD and Metroid

by James Herzing27 June 2016

Understanding how temperature can effect assembiles is critical to many designs, especially when parts are made of different materials. Here, wer’re going to test how a Metroid reacts after being shot by Samus’s ice beam. We’ll begin by creating a beautifully sculpted Metroid in Autodesk Fusion 360. Although thermal analysis can be done here, as we previously showed with RC Pro AM in episode 2, we’re going to export this model as a .step file and open in in Autodesk CFD. This will allow us to include air flow around the Metroid in addition to thermal loading.

After creating a new analysis in Autodesk CFD, the first thing we’ll do is create an external fluid volume around the Metoid. We can have heat disipate out through the air, as well as apply a velocity to it to represent wind. With this created, it’s time to define material properties.

The newly created volumme is of course going to be defined as air, leaving the type set to Fluid which is defined by default. Since we know the fangs of the Metroid are extremely strong, we’ll select them and define the type to be Solid and ther material to be Steel. The external body will be a Solid and made of Silicon, and the internals will be defined as Human material properties.  Now all we have left are defining boundary conditions!

We’ll begin by selecting one of the surfaces of the air and defining a velocity of 15 miles per hour. Choosing the opposite surface, a pressure of 0 can be set, letting the program know what direction the wind is blowing.


Next, let’s set up the temperature boundary conditions. Selecting all of the eternal surfaces of the Metroid body, we’ll set a temperature of 20 degrees Fahrenheit, representing the frozen body after being hit by the ice beam.


As we’ve all seen, Metroids only remain frozen for a brief period of time. That must be due to internal heat generation form those gross brain looking things inside of them! Choosing to apply boundary conditions to volumes and selecting the inernal parts we can define a Heat Generation of 0.5 W/cm3. We’re now ready to analyze!


Investigating the results, we can see that the exterior or the Metroid remains frozen solid! This will give Samus a chance to blast it with some missiles to destroy it. She better act quickly though, as you can see after adding a slice plane that the internals are heating up and will soon thaw out what will surely be an angry Metroid out for blood!


If you want to see how to set up this analysis, take a look at the short video below! Make sure to come back again next week to learn how we can take these thermal results from Autodesk CFD and apply them to an Autodesk Simulation Mechanical model to calculate thermal stress.

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