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I have an imported FBX model made in Fusion360, I want to simulate air flowing through openings at the front of the model and being expelled from at the back. how can I do that with particle system?

Regards,

HY

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You could use Keyed particles - see https://www.blender.org/manual/physics/particles/properties/physics/keyed.html

Keyed particles effectively let you link multiple particle systems together with the particles travelling between each in turn as if each emitter mesh were a keyframe. You could use this to start the particles spread out throughout a large mesh, narrow them down to come through your model (narrow mesh at the entry, another at the exit) and then expand back out on the other side. Using this method you lose the ability to use physics - so no turbulance, brownian motion, etc. - but this may be sufficent if you're only aiming to give a rough approximation rather than a physically accurate simulation.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi Rich, Your suggested Keyed Particles approach is very valid but, as you mentioned I'll be losing the Physics, something I try to avoid. $\endgroup$ – Hani Yousef Dec 29 '16 at 17:11
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I tried this with my work.

Blender is not good for many types of CFD, especially particle flow traces through volumes. (Blender's particles don't have vector/pressure fields to behave correctly, but can sort of, see bottom.)

If you need something engineering-level realistic and want a challenge, look into OpenFoam. You can import the path traces back into blender: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-GtdRLfeFI Not animated though. There's opportunities for better imports though, perhaps there's something better, or someone can script it for you... or perhaps just other tools like Paraview will do what you want.

Blender particles don't flow with air flow pressure, with each other smoothly around objects, etc, they're more like pellets out of a shotgun and like to bounce off/ stop suddenly on surfaces if you turn collisions on. Not how light particles in air would behave.

There's the "fluid" type... that will get them to go with each other, but still don't slow/speed up/swirl realistically around meshes like air would.

You can make clever use of force fields and try to emulate how the particles will flow, limit the ranges and tweak a ton, add a bit of turbulence etc... Play with simple flows first. For what you're describing without seeing your mesh, that's what I would try.

A harder Blender option: I've got fairly close to a real looking simulation using a smoke sim, smoke flow force field driven by that smoke sim, and a particle system (volume emitter inside the smoke sim) with low mass particles, and the gravity field weight set to 0. It works ok for very simple shapes and needs a ton of tweaking though. It works for wide open spaces, but not when the flow opening is constricted, it slows down instead of speeding up... (see Bernoulli's principle.) but that can be faked somewhat with more forcefields... but then you're guessing/emulating again, not simulating.

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  • $\begingroup$ James, Many thanks for the extensive reply, I might try the Fluid approach and see where I can reach with it. $\endgroup$ – Hani Yousef Dec 29 '16 at 17:08

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