The FOAM software, formerly a commercially licensed product, became open source software on 10th December 2004, licensed exclusively under the GNU General Public Licence. The software was renamed “OpenFOAM” to reflect the its new identity and FOAM ceased to be licensed with immediate effect.
The decision to make the software fully open source was taken to service the needs of CFD users in research, development and consultancy who can benefit greatly from perpetual free access to what is essentially a programming toolbox for CFD. The ‘old’ product was always released with approximately 70% source code and found use at a number of large commercial engineering companies, consultancies and approximately 90 academic institutions in over 30 countries. As a fully open source product, the user base of OpenFOAM has grown enormously.