How to make wind flow / aerodynamic diagrams?


I need some help on how to create good looking vectorized images of these kinds of themes:

wind flow example 1

wind flow example 2

I work a lot with LaTeX when it comes to typesetting so I have some basic experience with Tikz. However I feel that if I need to make complicated images like the ones above I find myself a bit lost.

I would very much appreciate if someone could point me in the right direction as to how I could go about making these kinds of images, preferably using free software.

1/29/2019 6:20:00 PM

Accepted Answer

Graphing applications that do vector output are available. Ive used following applications quite successfully:

  • Mathematica <- my preference it can do images like above
  • Matlab (remember to export eps)
  • Python using matplotlib
  • Maple
  • PSTricks
  • Illustrator
  • Xara
  • Inkscape
  • Autocad

Tough you may need to use 3d apps or graph apps as well I suggest:

  • yEd, various graph layouts and can be run off the internet with no instal needed.
  • Gephi, force directed graphs
  • Maya, 3DsMax with vector render
  • Creo, NX, Catia, Solidworks...

Usually its more productive to use some tool that can actually graph things as a basis and then import the EPS file into a graphics artists tool like illustrator for later finalization. The real benefit is that you can play with the graphs before you get involved so changing is easy.

Its also possible to graph stuff on your own in Illustrator if you wish, some code to help you on your way.


Heres some quick list of stuff till I have time to find some suitable examples (laminar flow right).

Some examples with similar components (you may need to add more stuff but here's some parts of the puzzle):

4/13/2017 12:55:00 PM

Your best bet is to pick up a vector editor and learn how to use it. The examples above do not seem complicated, and a basic understanding of drawing vectors would do the job just fine.

If you will be trying one out, I would advise against Illustrator or Corel Draw. While both are powerful and popular tools of choice, they will seem daunting for a beginner. Inkscape is a good choice. It is free and learning it should not be a problem.