FEM Installation des composants requis

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To be able to do a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) using the FEM Worbench FreeCAD makes use of two external programms. One is used for generating the FEM-Mesh and the other for solving the system of equations. If your FreeCAD is set up to do mechanical Finite Element Analysis’s could be checked easily by loading and analyzing an example file. See FEM_CalculiX_Cantilever_3D

FEM Solver

For solving the system of equations CalculiX is used. See http://www.calculix.de/ FreeCAD writes an CalculiX input file starts CalculiX and reads the output of CalculiX. It means CalculiX binary is standalone and independent from FreeCAD. Because of this and since there are more possibilities to get a valid FEM-Mesh it is recommended to install the Solver first. Up To date (mid 2015) CalculiX is the only supported Solver of the FEM module.

FEM Mesh Generator

As meshing tool to create a FEM-Mesh netgen is used. See https://sourceforge.net/projects/netgen-mesher/ To use Netgen in FEM module FreeCAD needs to be compiled against netgen libraries. Apart from Netgen a common way to create a FEM Mesh is the use off GMSHMacro. Check out FEM_Mesh#Create_a_FEM_Mesh for the various possibilities to create an FEM Mesh in FreeCAD.

Installation of external FEM Module Software


If either a stable or development version from Download is used no further software needs to be installed. Netgen and CalculiX are included in the FreeCAD download package.


Ubuntu PPA

The easiest possibility to get an working FEM Workbench on Linux is the use of the Ubuntu PPA Version. Check out Download#Ubuntu_PPA_packages. The netgen FEM Mesh Generator is allready included in the ppa version. CalculiX is an extra package provided by the Ubuntu PPA Version as well. If the Ubuntu PPA repository is allready added to your package manager install CalculiX by

apt-get install ccx

The following FreeCAD Ubuntu PPA packages have Netgen and CalculiX:

  • Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr)
  • Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn)
  • Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet)

For Developers: There is a huge forum thread in which the creation of the Ubuntu PPA packages was disscussed. It may be usefull if the Ubuntu PPA packages needs to be updated. On Launchpad there are more than one CalculiX packages. Only one CalculiX package should be installed and any of them should work. There is a simple reason for not taking the one which was allready on Launchpad. We did not know about it (see http://forum.freecadweb.org/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=10393&start=90#p85498)


On other Linux distributions you need to make sure to get the appropriate software and libraries installed yourself before using FEM workbench.


Since CalculiX is a standalone software you either can install a CalculiX binary or compile CalculiX yourself. Any CalculiX version from 2.7.X works with FreeCAD. Since there hasn't been much changes in CalculiX resently lower versions than 2.7.X might work as well.

Install CalculiX Binary

There are only a few Linux Distributions which are known to have CalculiX Packages in their Repositories. Following a list:

On the CalculiX Website it is possible to download a generic Linux binary of CalculiX. Check out http://www.dhondt.de/ Since any Linux Distribution could have different library paths it is likely possible this binary will not work out of the box at your linux distribution. Check out the following FreeCAD forum threads for more infomation:

Compile CalculiX

Compiling CalculiX is not as easy as it is with many OpenSource software. There are many different resources at FreeCAD forum and the internet. Check out the following:


There have been mixed results with the Netgen mesher and the compilation of FreeCAD with Netgen support.

  • ToDo
Further Informations

The FreeCAD forum is a very good resource for informations in this regard. Check out google search on FreeCAD forum page by :


Neither Netgen nor CalculiX are included in FreeCAD download packages which can be downloaded from Download


Check out the following forum thread.


There is no known documantion source for FreeCAD and netgen on OSX. As stated before use GMSHMacro and check FEM_Mesh#Create_a_FEM_Mesh for the various possibilities to create an FEM Mesh in FreeCAD.

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