Onboarding FEM Devs

From FreeCAD Documentation
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This page will orient new developers on how to setup their development environments in order to hack on the FEM workbench.

Setting up a Dev Environment



  • Netgen


  • Paraview

Compiling via Source


Compiling via Docker


Source Code Management

Keeping FreeCAD up-to-date is documented in Source code management page. Along with useful git tips.

FEM Code Infrastructure

The FEM code lives in src/Mod/Fem

  • App/ console-mode application, defines basic structures and base classes for document objects, that are used by modules to build their own.
  • Gui/ GUI-mode application, defines the 3D view, tools/functions used by workbench to interact with UI and 3D view, defines base classes for view providers.
  • femcommands/
  • fem.dox
  • femexamples/
  • femguiobjects/
  • femguiutils/
  • feminout/
  • femmesh/
  • femobjects/
  • femresult/
  • femsolver/
  • femtaskpanels/
  • femtest/
  • femtools/
  • femviewprovider/
  • InitGui.py
  • Init.py
  • ObjectsFem.py
  • TestFemApp.py
  • TestFemGui.py

Coding Conventions

Please see coding_conventions.md file on the FreeCAD repository.

Adding New FEM Solvers

A new FEM solver requires the following:

  • Mesh exporter
  • Results importer
  • Solver object (needs changes in solver settings, unit tests, ObjectsFem modules as well)
  • Task and writer module (here is where the main solver input writing happens)
  • GUI tool to create a solver
  • GUI preference tab to set the solver binary path
  • A solver input writing unit test. Best to take the ccx cantilever. This is available for all mesh element types
  • Having one or two beers

See also:

Writing Unit Tests