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Simple Open Source Solver

I found the below thread, and thought this would be a good place to ask about open source FEM.


But unlike that thread, I want something that is very simple, that can be run with just a single .exe.  I only need to solve basic structural problems and perhaps eigenvalue problems.  Orthotropic material capability is needed, but input for a composite material via lamina and stacking sequence would be better.

 My objective is to create the node locations and elements in Excel.  So the entire input deck (something like a Nastran .bdf) would be created in Excel, then passed to the solver, then read back into Excel.

 The types of problems I would like to solve would be in-plane loaded structure with a cutout or panel buckling.  Creating the nodes and elements in Excel would be easy and allow it to be fully parametric.  I just need a solver.  I also need to be able to dissiminate the program with the Excel file, so the solver should just be a simple fortran code or the like (i.e. a single file).

 Off the top of my head, SAP4 is one option, shown here:

 But perhaps there are other, better alternatives to this?  SAP4 is relatively old and may be clunky to work with. I am not too interested in elaborate FEM software though.


Joe Kelleher's picture

CalculiX sounds like it might do what you want. There's two executables, a solver and a pre/post-processor. The solver uses Abaqus' input format, which you could manually create in a text editor and copy in the values you need. Alternatively, I've had some success using a VBA script to create the script based on mesh coordinates in the spreadsheet.

Thanks, I just started looking at Calculix.  I am pretty impressed by it and love the fact that it uses a similiar/same format as ABAQUS.  Pretty clever idea.  I am thinking it will work well, but still some investigating to do.

Elmer is an open source multiphysical simulation software developed by CSC. Elmer development was started 1995 in collaboration with Finnish Universities, research institutes and industry.
Elmer includes physical models of fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, electromagnetics, heat transfer and acoustics, for example. These are described by partial differential equations which Elmer solves by the Finite Element Method (FEM).

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