I want to do thermal and mechanical analysis of various parts which may have complicated geometries.
I am contemplating buying SolidWorks because it does this: you model the part and then use their various add-in packages to do the FEM and thermal etc.
However, I already have Mathematica, so if I could do it with Mathematica that would be my preference. However, the piece that seems to be missing is the modeling aspect. It seems that unless my part is very simple, I can't do FE analysis because I can't create the model of the part in Mathematica.
As a hybrid approach, can I model the part in SolidWorks and then import that model into Mathematica and do the FEM in Mathematica? If so, this would save a lot of money because the flow and simulation packages in SolidWorks are much more expensive than the base modeling package.
Finally, does Mathematica support flow modeling of gases? In other words, in SolidWorks, when one creates a thermal model the software will compute all three types of heat transfer: convection, conduction and radiation, and will specifically model the flow of gases, where the air flows through the system. Can Mathematica do this relatively automatically, or is it pretty much a non-starter?
(Note that I do have SystemModeler, but it requires the user to create equations that relate the different components of the system together and does not have any integration into an FEM capability, so, for example, it could not be used to model detailed flows of hot gases.)
To sum up: my impression is that I could do limited thermal analysis by possibly importing a part modeled in SolidWorks into Mathematica as a mesh, then running thermal on that mesh, but I could only do conductive thermal on isolated parts. Once I get into complex systems of parts with airflows and radiation, then it would start to go beyond Mathematica's capabilities. Is that a correct assessment?