Run CFD with Butterfly in 2024

Hi LBT fellows,

I’m facing issues using Butterfly with blueCFD for an outdoor wind CFD simulation in Rhino 8, Windows 11. Although the installation process for Butterfly and blueCFD followed the guidelines provided on Ladybug Tools’ Butterfly Wiki, I experienced some errors (screenshot below). Despite these errors, both blueCFD and Butterfly indicated successful setup completion with messages “Environment is ready” and “Installation is finished successfully!” respectively.

Unfortunately, when attempting to run the outdoor_airflow example file, I encountered an error, preventing the simulation from running:

Given these challenges, I have two key questions:

  1. Troubleshooting the Installation Error:
    Has anyone experienced similar issues or can offer guidance on resolving the error to successfully run the simulation? I am operating on Rhino 8 and Windows 11. Could the version compatibility be the root of the problem?

  2. Alternatives to Butterfly:
    Given the apparent discontinuation of Butterfly and blueCFD’s maintenance, I am re-evaluating their suitability for CFD simulation works within the Rhino+Grasshopper environment at this time. Also, not many people are discussing this tool in the forum.
    My experience with Butterfly from 2019-2021 was positive, but I am open to exploring other software (I used Eddy3d and RhinoCFD as well). Are there currently preferred alternatives for conducting CFD simulations? Any recommendations or insights into your preferred tools and workflows would be greatly appreciated.



Quick answer regarding the blueCFD-Core installation:

  1. The error message seems to suggest that blueCFD-Core was installed as a normal user and without administrative permissions. But I’m not 100% certain if that will be a problem.

  2. That error message is referring to installing the MS-MPI 7.1, which is not strictly necessary to be installed in the computer. Furthermore, a more recent version might be already installed.

  3. Therefore, you can ignore that error message and instead follow the instructions given here: 'mpirun' no longer works in blueCFD-Core 2.3-1, after installing blueCFD-Core 2016-1 · blueCFD/Core · Discussion #204 · GitHub

As for Butterfly:

  1. I don’t have experience with it myself. It seems strange that the output you first show, gives paths to both your user account and to the administrator’s account.

  2. The second error message seems to indicate that it did not find the blueCFD-Core 2017 installation folder. I have a vague idea of finding a post here on the forum on how to modify that.

By the way, I don’t know if you’re able to correct the title of this thread, it should be CFD and not CDF :wink:

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@ljwssdsw, could you tell me how you solved this problem?