Next-generation engineering design software

Thermal management

Today’s high-powered, electrified, and digitally controlled products place higher demands on thermal management systems.


thermal management software on laptop

What is thermal management?

Thermal management is the engineering discipline that focuses on the transfer of heat. Thermal engineers develop products that recuperate and transform thermal energy into more useful forms or remove excess heat from critical components.

Benefits of high-performance heat exchangers

  • Increase performance

Computational design and additive manufacturing technologies enable you to design heat exchangers that maximize heat transfer and minimize pressure drop.

  • Reduce size and weight

New heat exchangers provide higher heat transfer performance at the same or reduced overall size and weight to fit existing systems.

  • Extend operational life

Aircraft fleets, industrial machinery, and other high-value assets can be retrofitted with modern thermal management systems to keep them in the field longer.

  • Improve system reliability

Consolidating an assembly into a single additively manufactured component with no welding, brazing, or joining minimizes the potential points of failure.

Thermal Management Guide

Download the guide to learn how you can combine additive manufacturing with advanced engineering design software to develop more efficient and compact heat exchangers.

Thermal Management – NEW TEMPLATE

Industry applications of thermal management

High-performance heat exchangers find applications in aircraft and road vehicles, industrial facilities and energy production, electronics cooling, and precision manufacturing.

Automotive industry

close up of batteries charging in electric vehicle

From battery cooling sleeves to cold plates for power electronics, electric vehicles create new thermal management challenges for automotive engineers.

Aerospace industry

jet engine close up

Aerospace engineers need to balance heat transfer performance with weight and size requirements to tackle the increased energy efficiency and computational power demands.

Industrial heat exchangers

aerial view of industrial power plant energy at night

The energy production, precision manufacturing, and semiconductor industries are sectors that can benefit significantly from the increased efficiency of advanced heat transfer systems.

nTop has critical tools for thermal design

High-performance heat exchangers find applications in aircraft and road vehicles, industrial facilities and energy production, electronics cooling, and precision manufacturing.

TPMS and lattice structures

screenshot of additive manufactured heat exchanger in nTopology

Lattice generation is scalable to billions of elements. Create lattices with variable thickness and smooth transitions. Add surface patterns to induce turbulence and increase heat transfer.

Simulation-driven design

screenshot of GPU heat sink in nTopology

Control the location, density, and orientation of flow and thermal guides using thermal maps or flow fields. Generate virtual baffles to control the flow without overly restricting it.

Integrated thermal FEA

screenshot of engine cylinder heat sink in nTopology

Quickly gauge the thermal performance of heat exchangers and surrounding components with built-in linear, non-linear, steady-state, and transient thermal and thermal-stress simulation tools.

CFD and MDO interoperability

screenshot of industrial liquid mixer in nTopology

Generate new designs and connect them to CFD tools for rapid iteration or validation. Run computational Design of Experiments using your Multidisciplinary Design Optimization tool of choice.

Thermal management case studies

The benefits of advanced heat exchangers go beyond technical specifications. Here is how companies are applying advanced thermal management techniques to create business value.


cold plate with gyroid flow guides

Puntozero designed a cold plate for automotive power electronics that was 25% lighter. The bioinspired flow guides increase the heat transfer area by 300%.

Cobra Aero

air-cooled cylinder for their UAV drone by cobra aero

Cobra Aero brought to production an air-cooled cylinder for their UAV drone that weighs only a fraction of the weight of their lightest competitors.

KW Micro Power

housing of their aircraft APU turbine by kw micro power

KW Micro Power redesigned the housing of their aircraft APU turbine. The embedded cooling channels reduced the maximum temperature by 33%.

The anatomy of a 3D-printed heat exchanger

Heat exchangers may vary in type, shape, and size, but their basic layout is the same. Here are the essential elements of an additive manufactured heat exchanger.

figure of the anatomy of an additively manufactured heat exchanger

The body

The shape of a heat exchanger depends on the available design space. The traditional forms still provide high performance, but there is more freedom in their external dimensions.

The core

The core of the heat exchanger is typically filled with a lattice. TPMS structures, like the gyroid, yield the best results for liquid-to-liquid heat exchangers.

Piping and plenums

Inlet and outlet piping and plenums gradually introduce the flow into the heat exchanger and act as a pressurized buffer zone. Their geometry can be optimized using CFD data.


Baffles are used to prevent the cold and hot flows from mixing. They are typically introduced at the entrance and exit of the core.

Turn nTopology’s core tech into your competitive advantage


Implicit Modeling

Design technology that will not break.

Remove design limitations and overcome fundamental challenges with nTopology’s unique modeling engine.

Refine and Optimize

Field-Driven Design

Your data goes in; optimized designs come out.

Feed your design workflows with real-world data, physics, and logic to harness the power of implicit modeling.


Design Process Automation

Build processes, not just parts.

Create reusable workflows and algorithmic processes that save you time and empower your team to scale.

Manufacturing has advanced.
What about your software?

Get started with nTopology today. Experience the power of the world’s most innovative engineering design software for advanced manufacturing.

Thermal management resources for engineers and designers

Screenshot of generative design workflows from CFD fields
in nTopology

nTop Live: Generative design workflows from CFD fields

Screenshot of CFD Driven Heat Exchanger Fin Orientation
in nTopology

nTop Live: CFD driven heat exchanger fin orientation

Screenshot of Plate Heat Exchanger designed with Additive Manufacturing in nTopology

Plate heat exchanger: made better with additive manufacturing