SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation Database Files

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This blog is not the most glorious topic, but an important one nonetheless. Anyone who has ever run a Flow Simulation has probably seen the slew of files that the simulation creates. Myself, I always wondered about these files and which ones are actually necessary. These files can be quite large and take a large amount of storage on your local machine or server. In this blog, I will lay out the different types of SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation database file types and their function so that you can make storage decisions with confidence.

  • .FLD file – This file contains the calculation results and is the primary file necessary for saving and loading results. It also contains the computational mesh (except for version 2016 and 2017).
  • .CFLD – This file is only present in Flow versions 2016 and 2017. For these versions, this file contains the computational mesh that corresponds to the results.
  • .GEOM – This file is a generic file-type used in CFD codes that contains solver ready geometry data.
  • .FBD – This file contains geometric data needed to complete meshing and information for the solver. This file must be present for the solver to run.
  • .CPT – This file contains the initial computational mesh only.
  • R_000000.FLD – This file contains the results for the “zero” iteration. In other words, the initial computational mesh and initial conditional parameters are stored in this file.
  • .STDOUT – This file contains a summary of the analysis and the solver operations.
  • .FWP – This file is only present in version 2008 and earlier. It contains the project wizard setup information, boundary conditions, goals, and most of the other Flow study setup information. After 2008 all of this data is stored in the SOLIDWORKS assembly file.

There are more files that are created as well. You will see various .XML files, log files, and other text files in the project directory. They are simply logs and other extra data. They can be deleted. Also, below is a nice table that shows which files are required for results processing or calculation continuation.

File Type Needed to View Results Needed to continue calculation without re-meshing
.FLD
.CFLD (2016 & 2017 only)
.GEOM
.FBD
.CPT
R_000000.FLD
.CPT.STDOUT
.STDOUT
.FWP

All this info and more was obtained through the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge base. The Solution ID is S-019532. The knowledge base can be accessed by logging into your customer portal at https://login.solidworks.com

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. Although database files are not the most interesting topic, those who run a lot of Flow Simulation studies will have a lot of extra files in their project directories that can probably be deleted to conserve space.

Matt Sherak
Applications Engineer, Simulation
Computer Aided Technology, LLC