FreeCAD tutorial

12 weeks ago by
Can someone create a tutorial on how to create a mesh properly using FreeCADs FEM tool bench. The example that I was looking at is from "Numerical Python" by Johansson,  example: section: Circular geometry.  This would greatly help FEniCS by a larger group.
Community: FEniCS Project

1 Answer

12 weeks ago by
Hi Steven,

if you search for a CAD program and ability to mark faces, mesh, import to FEniCS, I would suggest you to use Salome. Of course you can construct the geometry in FreeCAD and import into Salome for meshing and marking faces as well. You can find a short tutorial how to obtain the mesh (with marked faces for applying the boundary conditions) in the Back Matter, pdf-page 5, of this book:

Best, Emek

Salome looks like a good program but! 1. it's only a FEM mesh software whereas FreeCAD is the only all platform free CAD program with meshing. And for an engineering where I have to take the feedback from the FEM  to make changes to the model that is incredibly important. 2. two much software, I am all for diversification and its healthy role for developers; but for users, its a nightmare of jumping between software let alone the IT aspects of installing all that software. 3. I don't know if Salome has a python API but Freecad most certainly does wich when you combine that with the modeling and mesh generation, then load on fenics means; it opens up a lot of possibilities that would not be there when having to bounce between software that don't all support python.

So I have said my peace about this, and I will check out  Salome, but for the sake of users and the opensource moment we need more consolidation then when we need diversification at the moment

written 12 weeks ago by Steven Armour  
You have a good point. Please keep me updated, if you find a nice and easy way of interaction. But honestly, I don't think that anyone feels themself responsible for building this kind of a program.

By the way Salome is a very good CAD program as well, we use parametric modeling for some complicated geometries. Also in Salome you can write in Python and load it to generate the geometry and the mesh. Its meshing capabilities are very good (I use mostly the NetGen algorithm). I know that Salome works on Linux and Windows.
written 12 weeks ago by Emek  
I will check it out, but what is with the 2.4Gb install; Solidworks was not even close to that big last time I installed it.  The only software I know that is that big to install is Xilinx's Vivado FPGA software that is just a mass of lookup tables.

Also, all that I am asking for in freecad is how to run the FEM bench's gmsh toolbar, and Freecad already supports Fenics mesh output
written 12 weeks ago by Steven Armour  
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