Free CAE software


Website dedicated to the Computer Aided Engineering Linux distribution CAElinux.

Just insert the CAELinux LiveDVD in your computer to turn it into a professionnal CAE workstation: no installation is required!

Then you can simulate incredibly complex physics with the open-source FE & CFD solvers Code_Aster, Code-Saturne, OpenFOAM & Elmer: non-linear thermo-mechanics, coupled fluid-structure dynamics, sismic / non-linear explicit dynamics, contacts, visco-plasticity, fluid dynamics, heat exchange, convection heat transfer and radiation, electro-magnetcis in other words nearly all physics problem can be addressed with the integrated solvers!! Then reload your results files in post-processing applications like Salomé, GMSH, Visit, or Paraview to visualize your data in 3D... And don't forget all these features are based on open-source / free softwares, so now you don't have to pay for any expensive licenses.


  Open Source Finite Element Software for Multiphysical Problems

Elmer is an open source multiphysical simulation software developed by CSC. Elmer development was started 1995 in collaboration with Finnish Universities, research institutes and industry.

Elmer includes physical models of fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, electromagnetics, heat transfer and acoustics, for example. These are described by partial differential equations which Elmer solves by the Finite Element Method (FEM).

These pages are intended to give information on the Elmer software and to improve the information transfer in the Elmer community.


Code_Aster provides, well beyond the standard function of any other thermo-mechanic calculation code, a whole array of analysis methods and multi-physic models. Its application domain extends from seismic analysis, to porous medium, without forgetting acoustics, fatigue, stochastic dynamics… Its models, its algorithms and its solvers have improved in robustness and thoroughness (1000000 lines of code, 200 operators). Completely open, it is chained, coupled and encapsulated in thousands of ways. All in all, the user has complete freedom of choice.



    Static, quasi static linear or not
    Dynamic, linear or not, on a physical or modal base
    Failure, damage and fatigue
    Ground-Structure, fluid-structure and ground-fluid-structure interaction


    Stationary, transitory, linear or not
    Fixe or mobile coordinate system

Associated phenomena

    Hydration and drying

Analysis types
Fourier mode decomposition
Model superposition
Adaptive meshing
Sensitivity calculation
Resetting and optimization


The OpenFOAM®  (Open Field Operation and Manipulation) CFD Toolbox is a free, open source CFD software package produced by a commercial company, OpenCFD Ltd. It has a large user base across most areas of engineering and science, from both commercial and academic organisations. OpenFOAM has an extensive range of features to solve anything from complex fluid flows involving chemical reactions, turbulence and heat transfer, to solid dynamics and electromagnetics.

The core technology of OpenFOAM is a flexible set of efficient C++ modules. These are used to build a wealth of: solvers, to simulate specific problems in engineering mechanics; utilities, to perform pre- and post-processing tasks ranging from simple data manipulations to visualisation and mesh processing; libraries, to create toolboxes that are accessible to the solvers/utilities, such as libraries of physical models.

OpenFOAM is supplied with numerous pre-configured solvers, utilities and libraries and so can be used like any typical simulation package. However, it is open, not only in terms of source code, but also in its structure and hierarchical design, so that its solvers, utilities and libraries are fully extensible.

OpenFOAM uses finite volume numerics to solve systems of partial differential equations ascribed on any 3D unstructured mesh of polyhedral cells. The fluid flow solvers are developed within a robust, implicit, pressure-velocity, iterative solution framework, although alternative techniques are applied to other continuum mechanics solvers. Domain decomposition parallelism is fundamental to the design of OpenFOAM and integrated at a low level so that solvers can generally be developed without the need for any ’parallel-specific’ coding.


SALOME is a free CAE/FEA software that provides a generic platform for Pre and Post-Processing for numerical simulation. It is based on an open and flexible architecture made of reusable components available as free software. It is open-source (LGPL), and you can download both the sourcecode and the executables from this site.

Main Functions
* Create/modify, import/export (IGES, STEP), repair/clean CAD models
* Mesh CAD elements, check mesh quality, import/export mesh (MED, UNV, ASCII)
* Handle physical properties and quantities attached to geometrical items
* Perform computation using one or more external solvers (coupling)
* Display computation results (scalar, vectorial)
* Manage studies (creation, save, reload)

    Operating System (Linux)
    Software Architecture (CORBA)
    Format to exchange CAD models (STEP, IGES)
    High graphical performance (OpenGL)


A Free Software Three-Dimensional Structural Finite Element Program

    Supported solvers
    Creating and deleting geometrical entities
    Manipulating the model
    Manipulation of sets
    Viewing the model
    Viewing the results
    Output graphical formats
    Types of analysis
    Boundary conditions
    Kinematic behavior
    Coordinate systems
    Linear equation solvers
    Output options


Free 1300 node limit license
The free 1300 node licenses are automatically registered with the program installation. For existing customers, upgrading to the latest version of LISA, their current LISA licenses will not be over-written by the new install.

Types of Analysis

    Static Analysis
    Thermal Analysis
    Dynamic Analysis (Eigenvalue)
    Dynamic Response Analysis
    Fluid Analysis (& Seepage)
    Electromagnetic & Electric Analysis
    Acoustic Analysis

Pre-processor Description

    Import AutoCAD, COSMOS files
    Classic FE modeling
    Pressure vessel component templates
    Hydrodynamic bearing modeler
    Polyline sketch tool
    Mesh generators
    Mesh refinement tools
    Component groups / Explorer side-bar
    Extruded & revolved solids


Impact is an open source finite element program suite which can be used to predict most dynamic events such as car crashes or metal sheet punch operations. They usually involve large deformations and high velocities. Simulations are made on a virtual three dimensional model which can be created with a pre-processor or with the built-in Fembic language. Results are viewed in a post-processor.

Impact is designed to interface with the included pre- and postprocessor by default, but there are also interfaces available for more advanced pre-and postprocessors such as GiD or Gmsh. Impact also has rudamentary support for Nastran file format.

Development is made by a team of volunteers from all over the world with the aim of creating a clean and compact program which is simple to understand and use.

Impact is licensed under the Gnu Public License which makes it free to use and modify as long as you release and publish your improvements under the same license.

Impact is written in Java which means it can be run on most hardware and operating systems.


Gmsh is an automatic 3D finite element grid generator with a built-in CAD engine and post-processor. Its design goal is to provide a simple meshing tool for academic problems with parametric input and advanced visualization capabilities.

Gmsh is built around four modules: geometry, mesh, solver and post-processing. The specification of any input to these modules is done either interactively using the graphical user interface or in ASCII text files using Gmsh's own scripting language.

Gmsh is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). Pre-compiled binaries are available for Windows (XP & Vista), Linux (Intel, glibc 2.3) and Mac OS X (10.5, Universal binary). Tutorial and demos files are included in all the archives.