I am new user of OpenFOAM, I have to generate a grid of a human body to calculate the convective heat transfer between the body and the environment. Can someone guide me please?

Thanks in advance Moorz

More information: My work is to apply CFD tools for the calculation of the heat transfer between the human body and the environment. The convection and the heat transfer from the body are calculated directly without any empiric information. These are the Questions that need to be answered:

  • Is the slender body model sufficient for calculation of the heat exchange on the human body surface?
  • What is the sensibility of calculations to the grid used?
  • What is the sensibility of calculations to the turbulence model used?
  • What is the difference between RANS and URANS computations?

And i need to find the solution of the Reynolds (or LES) equations, while the temperature transport equation is to be found using the OpenFoam CFD code under the following boundary conditions:

  • Inlet of the computational domain: The velocity profile is fixed. The pressure is fixed at patm value. The temperature is fixed at the value Tatm.
  • Outlet of the computational domain: The velocity, temperature and the pressure satisfy the zero gradient condition.
  • Sides of the computational domain: The velocity, temperature and the pressure satisfy the zero gradient condition.
  • No slip condition on the human body. The temperature fulls the condition T = Tb on the human body. The temperature distribution Tb is given.

As of now i just need to finish the task of generating a grid for human body and use RANS for calculations. If i do that, i will be given more time to finish other tasks.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Please add more information. Some aspects that need coverage: kind of flow (natural or forced convection, turbulence), boundary conditions, expected output of the calculation. How much computational power is available? $\endgroup$
    – Christoph
    Feb 7, 2013 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ Then try to generate a simple mesh, create suitable boundary conditions and use e.g. buoyantSimpleFoam to solve the equations. When you have that up and running, care about things like mesh independency. All further OF-specific questions should better be asked at cfd-online.com where you will find an OF forum. $\endgroup$
    – Christoph
    Feb 8, 2013 at 14:07

1 Answer 1


You can try snappyHexMesh, which comes with OpenFOAM. It can generate a hex/split-hex mesh from STL surfaces. Your next problem then is to get a suitable STL surface for the human body. You can probably simplify it a lot, depending on your needs.

Another option is to get a human body mesh for a different toolset and covert it to OpenFOAM. OF has a number of mesh converters listed here.

  • $\begingroup$ thank you for the answer, and yes am supposed to work on snappyhexmesh as told by my professor. is it possible in 20 days, given that am a new user? $\endgroup$
    – moorz
    Feb 7, 2013 at 11:53
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I can absolutely not tell if it's possible in 20 days. Start now, don't sleep and in 20 days see if you made it. There are just too many unknowns. Add as much information about your problem as possible to your question. $\endgroup$
    – Christoph
    Feb 7, 2013 at 12:43
  • $\begingroup$ hi, i just added more information...moorz $\endgroup$
    – moorz
    Feb 8, 2013 at 6:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @moorz So, where the 20 days sufficient? $\endgroup$ Mar 11, 2013 at 14:25

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