First of all, I would like to express my gratitude for your work. The collaboration between Butterfly and BlueCFD has enabled numerous users to conduct CFD analysis without incurring high costs, significantly lowering the learning barrier for architects to acquire relevant knowledge.
I have been a user of the Butterfly tool for at least 4 years. During this time, Butterfly has not undergone any further maintenance, which, from the perspective of my needs, is a concern. I hope that Butterfly can be revitalized in Rhino 8, much like Dragonfly.
Additionally, I am a sharer of Ladybug Tools educational videos and knowledge, with a sizable community. Many in this community use the tool, constantly paying attention to the maintenance plan of Butterfly and often raising issues and potential needs they encounter. However, since these users are not active on Discourse, their voices are not heard on this forum. In reality, Butterfly currently has many issues. We have devised numerous workarounds for some solvable problems, but more advanced issues likely require support from professional developers. If someone is willing to restart the maintenance of Butterfly, I am prepared to organize and push these to the issue tracker.
Although I believe the majority of users do not need BlueCFD2016, as they only need to create cases in Butterfly and then handle data entirely within Grasshopper, therefore not requiring the full suite of OpenFOAM services. However, there are still some users who, after creating cases with Butterfly, would like to execute commands in the BlueCFD terminal to run other tools of their choice. These users might need updated support for BlueCFD, especially since 2017 is long past.
Lastly, if Butterfly is to be rebooted for maintenance, I think the following aspects could be considered:
- Compatibility with
.hbjson format, as all Ladybug Tools now support this format, which could reduce the burden of creating various boundaries and inputting parameters.
- Compatibility with higher versions of Python. Rhino 8 already fully supports Python 3, and Ladybug Tools currently use Python 3.10+. Butterfly, however, seems to be using Python 2.7.
- A more user-friendly Butterfly Python SDK.
- Addressing issues arising from using ‘
decompose par’, such as the inability to find
.log files, preventing the use of other small tools or drawing residuals (a common benign issue mentioned in the forums, harmless but confusing to many new users).
- Providing a more diverse range of mesh tools, or optimizing the input method for blockmesh to make it more akin to OpenFOAM, which would better define precise and case-adapted meshes.
- Adding solvers (or recipes) that can handle porous media and radiation models, as the vast majority of users on the forum study environment and human comfort, and solvers supporting these two models are in high demand.
- Customizable case storage paths, considering not all users have a large capacity C:// drive.
- Modular input for shm, an area that novice users may not fully understand, but which greatly impacts their results.
These are some views and suggestions from my years of experience as a user. I have always hoped someone could address these issues.
Thank you again for your work, and I hope you have a pleasant holiday and a successful year in 2024.