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RhinoCFD is a general purpose Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software plugin, built directly into the Rhino environment and powered by CHAM’s PHOENICS. It allows users to investigate the interaction of their model with the surrounding fluid. This allows for rapid optimization and testing all without leaving the familiarity of the Rhino environment.

What is CFD?

CFD helps predict and visualize how a fluid (gas or liquid) behaves and how it affects and interacts with objects that it encounters as it flows past. It enables users to test their models in real-world conditions without the cost of physically modelling them, saving valuable project testing time, optimizing their performance and reducing costs, leading to a more efficient project workflow.


CFD can be used in any area where fluids may have an impact on a design and therefore its applications are numerous and is already used in a wide variety of industries including:

  • Marine: design of hulls, sails, propellers
  • Architecture and building services: External/internal ventilation, HVAC, contaminant dispersion
  • Jewellery: Investment casting optimization
  • Aerospace: Aerodynamics, turbomachinery, heat management
  • Medical: Arterial flow, respiratory flow, effects of non-Newtonian fluids
  • Transportation: Drag reduction, combustion processes, emissions testing


With RhinoCFD, Computational Fluid Dynamics is now available for Rhino3d users without having to leave the Rhino environment. It also makes a complex subject matter accessible to many new users, reducing the learning curve necessary to perform the investigations.

RhinoCFD’s breadth of scope allows you to simulate complex phenomena such as multiple-phase and compressible flow, heat transfer both inside solids and between solids and fluids, radiation modelling and non-Newtonian flows.



RhinoCFD RhinoCFD


Key Features


RhinoCFD is powered by the powerful, reliable and proven CFD program PHOENICS.

Some of RhinoCFD’s key features include:

  • Serial and parallel processing options
  • Cartesian and Cylindrical Polar co-ordinate meshes
  • PARSOL cut-cell geometry detection simplifying the mesh generation process
  • PHOENICS structured sequential CFD solver
  • Numerous turbulence model options including RANS and LES
  • Radiation modelling
  • Relational Data input without re-compiling
  • Post-processing inbuilt in Rhino including iso-surfaces, surface contours and streamlines
  • In-program and online help 


RhinoCFD can include a variant called FLAIR which is aimed particularly at architects and other built-environment engineers. It includes:

  • Pollutant hazards models for both internal and external flows
  • Comfort indices, draught ratings, dry and wet bulb calculations, humidity levels
  • Fire growth curves and smoke movement, density and visibility
  • Mean-age-of-Air and Air-Changes-per-Hour calculations
  • Various diffusor models
  • Vegetation drag and humidity models

There are also multiple setups for Marine, Aerospace and Jewellery applications which can be used to readily analyse particular problems. Work-in-progress at CHAM, RhinoCFD’s developers, means new features are constantly being added to RhinoCFD’s capabilities.


Technical Details

RhinoCFD is a plug-in for Rhino3d v5 and Rhino v6 , it is recommended that users see the standard system requirements for Rhino3D for normal operating requirements.

RhinoCFD will run on any Windows 64bit Rhino v5 or v6.


  • 8 GB or more is recommended.
  • Internet connection for installation and validation.
  • Minimum of 2GB of free hard disk space recommended before installation and during use
  • OpenGL 2 capable video card recommended.
  • MSMpi installation required for parallel processing

Not supported

  • All Mac OS
  • Linux
  • Windows NT, 95, 98, ME, or 2000
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  • Last modified on Tuesday, 04 February 2020 16:55
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