Fluent and Gambit - Introduction and General Information

Latest revision: 24 March 2008


"Fluent" is the general name for the collection of computational fluid dynamics(CFD) programs sold by Fluent, Inc. of Lebanon, NH. The Mechanical Engineering Department at Penn State has a site license for Fluent, along with its family of programs. Up to 20 users can run Fluent simultaneously in the Graduate Computing Lab.


In these learning modules, different types of formatting are used to save writing, as follows:

Selecting in Gambit:

Most commands in Gambit require the user to select an object (a vertex, en edge, etc.). To select an object, hold down the Shift key on the keyboard, and click on the object with the left mouse button. In most cases, an alternate way to select is provided by a List window, which allows the user to click on object(s) from the Available column, and transfer them to the Picked column. This is especially useful when an operation is to be done on many objects at the same time.
In cases where more than one object can be selected by the same click (for example two faces which share an edge), the first Shift click may pick the "wrong" one. In such a case, Shift click with the middle mouse button until the desired one is selected.

Graphical Manipulation:

Graphical manipulation means zooming in and out, moving objects around, rotating objects, etc. Unfortunately, the mouse commands for Gambit and Fluent are different for these manipulations. Note, a 3-button mouse is assumed. If you have a two-button mouse, the normal default is that clicking both left and right buttons simultaneously denotes a middle mouse click.

Running Fluent in Background Mode:

When many iterations are required, it is possible (and preferrable) to run fluent in background mode. This enables a user to logout of the computer while fluent churns away in the background. This is especially useful when the solution requires several hours of CPU time - in cases like that, it is best to run at night. For detailed instructions on how to run Fluent in background mode, see the learning module, fluent_background.htm .