PROP_DESIGN Beta Download:

PROP_DESIGN Beta utilizes a new type of propeller theory, that I created in January of 2020. Wake visualization has been added to ANALYSIS. This includes wake contraction/expansion.

 

I would love to get feedback on how it's working for you. If you think you have found a bug, let me know that too. Use the contact form on the 'Support' page, to get a hold of me.

 

Unless someone reports a bug, I don't have any plans of working on this project anymore. I started it in 2008 and it took way more time and work than I ever could have imagined. The code seems very good now, as far as I can tell. Likewise, if I get feedback from users saying the code matched test data, I will move the code out of beta status and delete the contact form.

 

The following download is hosted on my Dropbox account.

 

Last updated on September 27, 2020:

Screencasts:

The following downloads are hosted on my Microsoft OneDrive account, since it has more free space.

 

Last updated on September 03, 2020:

  1. How to import aerodynamic loads into Mecway using the *.inp files
  2. How to import aerodynamic loads into Mecway using the *.liml files

Recent Changes:

There is no changelog. I started developing PROP_DESIGN in 2008. I tried making a changelog several different times. However, it quickly became so long that there didn't seem to be value in it. Who is going to read through pages and pages of cryptic change notes? The important thing is to use the current version of PROP_DESIGN. In any event, some of the most recent changes are listed below:

September 27, 2020:

  • Small changes to the website and user manual. Some changes, that occured over the last several months, were not accounted for until today

September 24, 2020:

 

Update 2:

  • Added ROCR to the output files of OPT and STATORS

Update 1:

  • Updated the user manual, to make several topics more clear
  • Added advance ratio to the output files of OPT and STATORS
  • Made one small change to yesterday's STATORS update

September 23, 2020:

 

Update 3:

  • I posted the updates mentioned below
  • Updated the user manual to account for the changes
  • I cleaned up the STATORS source code and added in plenty of notes regarding today's changes
  • The STATORS input files, that OPT creates, have been updated for compatibility with the new version of STATORS. Moreover, there is no longer an input for radius-over-chord ratio. This is now automatically found

Update 2:

  • Good news, I have a full proof method implemented. I have to run all ROCR values to find the best performing value for a given design. Then re-run one more time using that value. So it's a fair amount of runs, but it works for all cases I have tested. Values of ROCR used are .01 - 1 in .05 increments and 1 - 11 in .5 increments. This totals 40 runs, including the final pass. So for any given design, it will always run 40 times over. It's actually much less runs doing it manually. However, the additional optimization makes the code run more like OPT, in that it's fully automated
  • I had been hesitant to make the change, because I had a user say that the source code was too hard to understand. Adding more optimization, makes it even harder to understand. However, I felt like it was more important to have a consistent user experience than to worry about reading the source code. Reading Fortran 77 is never easy anyways
  • I have to clean up the code and make a change to the automatically created STATOR input files. However, that stuff is easy. So I'm expecting to publish the update tomorrow

Update 1:

  • PANDEMIC BONUS. Due to boredom, from being cooped up for months, yesterday I started looking into fully automating STATORS. I made some progress, however, the behavior wrt ROCR can be erratic. I'm going to have to try something a little different, to ensure the code always finds the optimum design. If things go well, there should be an update in a couple of days

September 22, 2020:

  • Fixed a typo in the user manual
  • Fixed a misspelling in the user manual

September 21, 2020:

  • Clarified the sweep start point example in the user manual

September 07, 2020:

 

Update 2:

  • Added components of temperature drop to the 'PRES_NOISE_AND_TEMP_INFO.DAT' file

Update 1:

  • The old tdm-gcc project is alive again. This allowed me to compile static builds of the code updates from yesterday. They are now available for download

September 06, 2020:

  • I updated the input file text for the propeller rotation direction input, to make it more clear. I changed all the built in examples propeller rotation direction, so that the geometry output is the same as before the recent update
  • I can't publish the update right now, because the latest version of gfortran via MSYS2 will not compile a static build. This makes the executable files useless, for people who don't have gfortran installed. Once they get the compiler fixed, I'll post the update

September 05, 2020:

  • Updated the user manual wrt the propeller rotation direction change made recently

September 03, 2020:

 

Update 2:

  • I was able to add the native *.liml file format to the aerodynamic loads output. This format supports vector components, thus making the graphical display of the forces and moments much more useful. I would recommend using this format to transfer the loads into Mecway. I left the *.inp files in there, just in case they would be needed in the future
  • I created a short screencast showing how to import the aero loads into Mecway using the *.liml files
  • Thanks to the developer of Mecway for providing the information and support needed to create files that can be used to import the aerodynamic loads predicted by PROP_DESIGN

Update 1:

  • Changed the direction of propeller rotation. The convention now follows the CAD model global coordinates. Moreover, clockwise rotation is now about +Z and counter-clockwise about -Z. This allows the pitching moment direction in FEA to be correct. This change will make existing designs spin in the opposite direction. Moreover, all of the built in examples now run in the opposite direction. You can change your custom input files to get the rotation direction you had previously. I may update the input variable for propeller rotation to be more clear. Clockwise and counter-clockwise are not very significant, as they vary based on how you look at the propeller
  • Added *.inp files to the ANALYSIS folder. These can be used to import the aerodynamic loads into the Mecway FEA program. This saves a lot of time when setting up FEA models. To use the feature, the CAD models must be midplane surfaces that have been split and joined to create meshes with nodes at the load locations
  • When importing the loads into Mecway, choose units of meters. I did this to make less mouse clicks on import. Normally, the units are millimeters, due to CAD program issues. Moreover, the CAD programs I have tested worked a lot better if you modeled everything in millimeters (rather than meters)
  • I created a short screencast showing how to import the aero loads into Mecway using the *.inp files
  • Thanks to the developer of Mecway for providing the information and support needed to create files that can be used to import the aerodynamic loads predicted by PROP_DESIGN

August 30, 2020:

  • Fixed the titles on two of the plots provided in the ANALYSIS folder
  • Made sure all settings files select the user input files

August 29, 2020:

  • Fixed the comments in the aero load files. It looks like when I switched back to gfortran, the comments in the aero load files got messed up. gfortran must handle formatting differently than the compiler I was using previously
  • Added a sketch of the aero load directions. The new document is located in the 'Notes' folder

August 23, 2020:

  • Updated the website

August 20, 2020:

  • Very minor changes to the download and website

August 08, 2020:

  • Minor updates to the website. I noticed Google was mixing up the numerical dates on my website. So I switched all the dates listed to a different format

August 07, 2020:

 

Update 2:

  • Minor changes to the user manual and website, for the purpose of syncing them up a little bit more

Update 1:

  • Moved the 'Documentation' download into the 'PROP_DESIGN Beta' download, so you only have to download one file

August 06, 2020:

  • Deleted the YouTube channel and screencasts today. The content utilization didn't justify the time it takes to create it. Also, the screencasts become obsolete with time and require re-creating every so often. So basically, a huge amount of time involved with very little utilization
  • Deleted all nonessential downloads
  • Updated the user manual and website, to reflect the aforementioned changes

Supporting Software:

PROP_DESIGN is used in combination with several other software programs:

  • *.bat, *.DAT, *.plt, *.txt, *.TXT, and *.XYZ files can be viewed and edited with Microsoft Notepad or other text editors
  • *.f files where created using Force and can be viewed and edited with Force or other source code editors that understand Fortran 77 syntax. You can even view the source code files with Microsoft Notepad, although they become much harder to read. Unfortunately, Force hasn't been updated in a long time. Newer versions of Windows have broken the ability to open more than one file at a time, from the Windows File Explorer
  • *.ods and .odt files were created with LibreOffice and can be viewed and edited with LibreOffice or other programs that support these file types
  • *.pdf files can be viewed with Firefox or other programs that support this file type
  •  *.plt files are for use with gnuplot. When opened in gnuplot, plots are automatically created
  • *.XYZ files can be imported into many CAD programs. They are in units of millimeters and designed to start the geometry creation process. User knowledge and work is needed to generate the blade geometry. The *.XYZ files simply provide a starting point

Compilation Notes:

All source codes were compiled with gfortran via tdm-gcc. The compilation options I used are in the 'c.bat' files. You can tune these for your specific processor and possibly gain a little more speed. This shouldn't be necessary, however, as the codes should run very fast as is (using the default settings).

Compatibility Notes:

CPUs:

 

All versions of PROP_DESIGN are designed to run on AMD and Intel x86-64 processors. For other processor types, you will have to re-compile the Fortran 77 source code files.

 

Operating Systems:

 

If you want to run PROP_DESIGN on an operating system other than 64-bit Windows, you will have to re-compile the Fortran 77 source code files.

 

Mobile Computing:

 

The best option is to use a small product that utilizes 64-bit Windows. There are many such devices available. This approach would not require any changes to PROP_DESIGN. This would allow you to design a propeller, for a prospective customer, without having to return to your office. So if you were in a meeting or at a trade show, with a few inputs from the prospective customer, you could generate a design right there.

 

Apple Products:

 

I have never used Apple products, due to their business practices. If you want to run PROP_DESIGN on an Apple product, you will have to figure that out on your own.