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I am wondering is there any robust, well-tested, accurate open source FEM solver package for Windows? I would like to use to power the engine of my structural engineering application.

The FEM package should come with

  1. Meshing algorithm
  2. Static solver
  3. Modal Analysis
  4. Everything that is standard for structural engineering application

I don't need it to run on clusters, because my application should be able to run on personal laptops.

I took a look at Code_Aster, but it is not supported natively on Windows.

I can find a list of such packages at wiki, but I am not sure which one is alive and under development, and which one is a dead-end project.

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  • $\begingroup$ Why does it have to be natively supported in Windows? Use cygwin $\endgroup$ – Kbzon Jul 21 '16 at 7:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Kbzon, I can't ask my client to get themselves a Cygwin-- they are not technical enough for that. $\endgroup$ – Graviton Jul 21 '16 at 7:52
  • $\begingroup$ Metafor maybe ? $\endgroup$ – Blue_Elephant Jul 21 '16 at 9:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Blue_Elephant, Metafor is a statistical software package, not FEM $\endgroup$ – Graviton Jul 22 '16 at 3:48
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    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "solver?" One reason I ask is that the traditional usage of "solver" in this context does not include meshing. What is the source of the geometry you require the mesher to mesh (e.g. CAD system)? Is a capability for geometry creation required? Do you need both 2D and 3D geometry? Beam elements? Shell elements? I have no idea what you mean by "use to power the engine...". Your item 4 is so vague it could be construed to eliminate all open source software compared with commercial packages. I suggest being much more specific or removing that item. $\endgroup$ – Bill Greene Jul 26 '16 at 16:26
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The are Windows ports of the open source FEM code Code_Aster, although these ports are not up to date with the main project, which is available on Linux or FreeBSD.

Code_Aster is part of the Salome software collection, see also Wikipedia an Salome.

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I would suggest OpenSees: http://opensees.berkeley.edu/index.php. Some colleagues in my department made fairly good use of it a couple of years ago in combination with SAP2000.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is earthquake specific, but not FEM specific $\endgroup$ – Graviton Aug 8 '16 at 0:58
  • $\begingroup$ FEM stands for Finite Element Method, which is a numerical method for solving Partial Differential Equations. $\endgroup$ – Rabindranath Andujar Aug 8 '16 at 5:59
  • $\begingroup$ Generally, they also include the solution of the Differential Algebraic Equations (constraints) and not so often in the case of Structural Engineering, the Ordinary Differential Equations (time) as buildings are considered to be fairly static in time and other workarounds can be made. $\endgroup$ – Rabindranath Andujar Aug 8 '16 at 6:07
  • $\begingroup$ OpenSees includes methods to solve all three types of differential equations above and also provides some other tools specific for helping engineers with earthquake problems. $\endgroup$ – Rabindranath Andujar Aug 8 '16 at 6:09
  • $\begingroup$ According to the points enumerated in the question, OpenSees complies with all of them and is a well tested piece of software. $\endgroup$ – Rabindranath Andujar Aug 8 '16 at 6:12
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You may do well checking out ElmerFEM (https://csc.fi/web/elmer/elmer) - it is open-source, fairly powerful and well documented. Both Windows and Linux binaries are available.

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The followings links will help you to find out more.

  1. deal II is a nice advanced open source FEM code. See their page for more information. It also has the support for windows.
  2. Also, this link provides some experience of other experts in this field.
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Maybe FreeFem would be your best choice ;) website

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    $\begingroup$ Could you expand on that a bit? (This answer is so brief, it triggered the automatic "low quality post" flag.) How does FreeFem++ address the points listed in the OP? Can you download a precompiled binary for Windows? What are the prerequisites? Is it actually open source instead of just free-as-in-beer? If so, which license? $\endgroup$ – Christian Clason Jul 24 '16 at 8:43

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