Elmer is an open source (GPL) suite for performing engineering simulations using the finite element method (FEM, or finite element analysis, FEA). Its authors and primary contributors are at CSC Scientific Computing Ltd. in Finland.

Elmer's 33 "Models", or equations, can solve a wide variety of problems,
from heat conduction (temperature distribution in a solid) to turbulent
fluid-structure interactions (*e.g.*
carotid
artery deformation due to pressure surge during a heartbeat, right;
click for
animation)
to electromagnetics. Its 2-D Level Set solver can solve multi-phase
flow problems such as bubble deformation. It can even use the finite
element method for Density Functional Theory quantum mechanics
calculations, in order to calculate molecule shapes or crystal structures
and energies. And beyond finite elements, it can do boundary element
calculations, and has code for calculating heat transfer by thermal
radiation between surfaces, and for simulating low-pressure gas flow using
the
Direct
Simulation Monte Carlo method, and connect these models to finite
element simulations.

Elmer does not have its own geometry definition or meshing program.
Instead, its `ElmerGrid` program can import meshes in fifteen
different formats, such as those of Gmsh,
Salomé, ANSYS, ABAQUS, FIDAP and
COMSOL.

Perhaps most importantly, all of this capability comes with very extensive
and easy-to-read
documentation,
including several
tutorials
with input files which describe how to use its extensive graphical user
interface (GUI) called `ElmerFront` to solve simple and complex
problems.

A new GUI called `ElmerGUI` currently under development will make
all of this even easier. This GUI can directly import meshes in the
fifteen formats of ElmerGrid, and links with
OpenCASCADE and
NETGEN to directly import and
mesh CAD files in IGES, STEP, BREP and STL formats. One can
point-and-click to set boundary conditions and equations. And it has
a new module for visualizing the resulting temperatures, flow velocities,
etc. based on VTK.

Elmer also runs in parallel, using either the (P)ARPACK solver or the UMFPACK direct solver which is more robust but slower.

For those who prefer writing their own finite element program, Elmer has
its own library called `libelmersolver`, which is similar to
`libMesh` and
`deal.II`.

Elmer is in the Opennovation Debian (Lenny) and
Ubuntu (Hardy) repositories, so you can
automatically download and install it along with all of its dependencies
using Synaptic, Aptitude, or simply "`apt-get install elmer`".

All of the content and formatting on this page is Copyright 2008 Opennovation; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.