Thermal analysis & Structural analysis


I’ve been looking for thermal analysis & structural analysis plugins, but I can’t find what I’m looking for.

I’m looking for an extension that can do something like this…

and this…

These functions could be really useful for analyzing architectural insulation and building stability.


They sure could but you would need some very fancy algorithms for such complex analysis. And there are so many variables you would have to feed in. To take only one example, heat loss is dependent on the delta figure, ie. the difference in temperature on each side of the element. That clearly cannot be modelled and has to be input. But that’s just one thing out of many.

Good luck!


my android phone can do CFD … have a look at WindTunnel on google play store :slight_smile:

actually I run it on my Galaxy Note 12.2 [4 years old] and I use the PRO [not free] version cost me $4


As they say, IANAE! That looks to me like a fairly simple thing if the wing section is constant and you’re only dealing with constant wind (not turbulent wind). I don’t have an Android phone so cannot play with it but is it one of those phone apps that look fun but have no real practical application in the real (and much more complex) world?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to err, micturate on your parade, because something along the lines you suggest would be very handy, at least for early planning stages. Just not sure how anyone would go about creating the extension.


no - it is surprisingly capable - I have been testing it for wind studies and tidal flows in canal systems…

let me find some screen shots

not being a fluid dynamics expert I can’t validate it but is is enough to at least demonstrate issues

and I would call in a professional if designs progressed further


OK, so I guess you need to find another mobile app that deals with thermal or structural analysis. Then you’d know that the code can be written at least. It’s not a huge tep from there t suppose you might be able to incorporate it into SU.

Taking structural analysis, even for quite a simple structure, you have to start with loads. For that, you have to know the weight of everything being carried. That means SU would have to “understand” the material of something you have drawn and know the correct mass for the designed volume. After that, SU would have to understand load paths, ie. how the load gets from one part of the structure to another. Then you have to know the structural properties of any element, such as the bending capabilities of a steel beam of given size and shape, or the crushing strength of concrete (say). It does get fiendishly complicated!


Not raining on my parade Simon,

I am only flagging that there is some pretty amazing software running on what is fairly low powered devices,

I remember buying the Alias UPFONT 3D modelling software back in 1990’s, came on 1 3/5" floppy disk and we did all the massing and shadow studies for the Sydney Olympic Stadium using it.

I would suspect that “ALIAS UPFRONT” was a influence in the subsequent development of SKETCHUP a few years later…

PS. I would love to see SU with a basic structural analysis capability - Enough to determine basic loads and structural sizing at concept design …of course an engineer would prepare any built constructs… there are so many talented developers out there…


It’d be cool if an extension let us assign preset materials (with preset properties) to solid groups, then it could do thermal and structural analysis with a play button.


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