Friday, December 13, 2013

Finite Element Analysis (FEA): CalculiX

Good morning,

I wanted to share a great piece of software for Finite Element Analysis, which usually refers to structural solvers. I am using it to verify whether certain structures subjected to certain loads safely operate within displacement and yield stress criterion. I am using it for a prototype of an invention of mine, which I am excited to finally be close to building. This prototype is a result of CFD and FEA analysis. Anyway, the website for CalculiX provides all of the software and helpful installation guides and tutorials.

I also wanted to share a troubleshooting tip for the CalculiX CrunchiX (CCX). Calculix has two components: the GUI and the solver. These are named CalculiX GraphiX (CGX) and CalculiX CrunchiX (CCX). I was getting the following error when trying to use the already-compiled provided CCX executable on the CalculiX website:

ccx: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

I did not have, but I did have I verified this by:


Using the directory location output from the above command, I linked the .so.3 to .so.2 by:

sudo   ln   -s   /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/   /usr/lib/

And then my executable no longer had the aforementioned error...

HOWEVER, I kept getting other errors. I could do one of two things... Try to install the package that had, or compile CalculiX from source. Since the package containing is deemed obsolete by the Ubuntu developers, I could not find and install it easily. So, I decided to compile CalculiX from source, and I successfully did so. I will create another post for details.


  1. say, do you happen to know if it is possible to perform 2D thermal analysis with calculix?

    1. I was not aware of that, but after a quick Google search it appears it is. You can find information on the Calculix website.

  2. Thank you very much for a quick reply.

    I was hoping for a more specific answer :-(

    I have done some Google searches and read the User's manual and, no, I myself have not been able to find a way to do 2d thermal analysis...for example...what precisely would be the element type for such an analysis? If I only knew that, I might be able to go from there.

    thanks again



    1. Here is a helpful tutorial: At 3 minutes in, he specifies the heat transfer parameters. Good luck!

    2. looks like I finally found elements S3, S4, S6, S8 can be used (with minimal thickness) to achieve a 2D thermal analysis.