How can I create a CalculiX mesh and configuration?

This is a common question we often face, as many of our tutorials use CalculiX as the structure solver.

I am barely familiar with CalculiX and I just wanted to collect here some resources, together with you.

Reading the CalculiX documentation (PDF on the website) and manually setting up a case is one option.

Another option that some people have had good experiences with is using the FEM Workbench of FreeCAD.

What other options do you know? What are common tips and tricks you can offer to the community?

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I was able to use Cubit (Free meshing software - Coreform Cubit Learn - Free non-commercial-use license), and export my mesh and configuration as if it were an Abaqus input file. Then, I used a text editor to manually tweak a few things to align it with what the CalculiX documentation called for.

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Thanks for the suggestion! Do you maybe remember which parameters you had to tweak or which resources you found useful for that, apart from the CalculiX documentation?

I just revisited this after a while. I’m attempting to pre-stress a geometry using a simulation. Instead of using my normal method, I took an opportunity to look for other options out there. I found this:

https://prepomax.fs.um.si/

As far as I can tell, it’s only available on Windows. It has some excellent documentation and can export Calculix *.inp files which can be directly executed using the Calculix adaptor. I only started using it today and have already produced some results.

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See also this very nice tutorial of Torsten Schenkel on YouTube: FSI for vascular flows using OpenFOAM, preCICE, and Calculix - YouTube

This community project answers many questions you may have on setting up a coupled case with OpenFOAM and CalculiX. For the CalculiX part, they use FreeCAD to create the geometry, unical3 to convert it to a CalculiX mesh, and frdToVTKConverter for post-processing.