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ICEM CFD was a stand alone mesh generation tool developed by ICEM CFD Engineering in Berkeley, California. It started as a plug-in to the ICEM DDN package from Control Data Corporation. The first versions of ICEM CFD were released around 1992. It incorporated the PADAMM grid generation software developed by Robert Rainsberger at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a user interface MULCAD written by Jerome Lordon from Airbus. MULCAD was written in GPL (ICEM DDN's scripting language). ICEM CFD is widely regarded as the first CAD based grid generation system. With the demise of Control Data and the end of life of DDN, ICEM CFD was re-written in C++ and tcl/tk. The new products that comprised ICEM CFD were ICEM HEXA, ICEM TETRA, ICEM PRISM, and ICEM VIsual3. ICEM CFD Engineering was acquired by Ansys in 2000, and many of its tools have been incorporated into the Ansys Workbench framework.

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