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Introduction

The FEM Workbench provides a modern finite element analysis (FEA) workflow for FreeCAD. Mainly this means all tools to make an analysis are combined into one graphical user interface (GUI).

Workflow

The steps to carry out a finite element analysis are:

1. Preprocessing: setting up the analysis problem.
1. Modeling the geometry: creating the geometry with FreeCAD, or importing it from a different application.
2. Creating an analysis.
1. Creating a finite element mesh for the geometrical model, or importing it from a different application.
2. Adding simulation constraints such as loads and fixed supports to the model.
3. Adding a material to the analysis model.
2. Solving: solving a system of equations using an external solver from within FreeCAD.
3. Postprocessing: visualizing the analysis results from within FreeCAD.

As of FreeCAD 0.15 the FEM Workbench can be used on Linux, Windows, and Mac OSX. Since the workbench makes use of external solvers, the amount of manual setup will depend on the operating system that you are using. See FEM Install for instructions on setting up the external tools.

Workflow of the FEM Workbench; the workbench calls two external programs to perform meshing of a solid object, and perform the actual solution of the finite element problem

• Analysis container: Creates a new container for a mechanical analysis. If a solid is selected in the tree view before clicking on it, the meshing dialog will be opened next.

Mechanical constraints

• Constraint force: Used to define a force in [N] applied uniformly to a selectable face in a definable direction.

Thermal constraints

• Nodes set: Creates/defines a node set from FEM mesh.

• Solver Calculix CCX tools: Creates a new solver for this analysis. In most cases the solver is created together with the analysis.

• Result show: Used to display the result of an analysis.

Information

The following pages explain different topics of the FEM Workbench.

FEM Install: a detailed description on how to set up the external programs used in the workbench.

FEM Mesh: further information on obtaining a mesh for finite element analysis.

FEM Solver: further information on the different solvers available in the workbench, and those that could be used in the future.

FEM CalculiX: further information on CalculiX, the default solver used in the workbench for structural analysis.

FEM Concrete: interesting information on the topic of simulating concrete structures.

FEM Project: further information on the unit system, limitations, and the development ideas and roadmap of the workbench.

Tutorials

Tutorial 1: FEM CalculiX Cantilever 3D

Tutorial 2: FEM Tutorial

Tutorial 3: FEM Tutorial Python

Tutorial 4: FEM Shear of a Composite Block

Coupled thermal mechanical analysis tutorials by openSIM