99 Powerful Open-Source Engineering Software to Try in 2020
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99 Powerful Open-Source Engineering Software to Try in 2020

Preface

Starting an engineering business in the Digital Engineering area might be a quite and expensive topic. Especially at the beginning, your budget will be quite limited and you might be looking for some free available software alternatives. 

Based on our experience and in no particular order, we have created a shortlist for you with some alternatives to commercial software packages. Best of all, most of the engineering tools are available for the common operating systems Linux, Windows, and MacOS.

We are still working on the list and updating it every spare day to reach the 99 tools!

In case you are missing some tools in my overview or simply would like to add some more info, feel free to contact us via the contact form or email us. Most of the programs on this list are free to download and use. Once you have started to use them, it would be great to see you give something back to the communities.

And if you would like to streamline your Computer-Aided-Engineering work-flows, let us know. We would be happy to help and offer our special service to you.

3D CAD

FreeCAD

Download: https://www.freecadweb.org/

FreeCAD is an open-source parametric 3D modeler made primarily to design real-life objects on any size. Parametric modeling allows you to easily modify your design by going back into your model history and changing its parameters.

Check also our internal 3D Library and our 3D model repository on GrabCAD
Available for: Linux, Windows, MacOs
Latest Version: 0.18.4

LibreCAD

Download: https://librecad.org/

LibreCAD is a free Open Source CAD application for Windows, Apple and Linux. Support and documentation are free from our large, dedicated community of users, contributors and developers.

Available for: Linux, Windows, MacOs
Latest Version: 2.1.3

Salome | With Integrated CAD Shaper Module

Download: https://www.salome-platform.org/

SALOME is an open-source software that provides a generic pre- and post-processing platform for numerical simulation. It is based on an open and flexible architecture made of reusable components.

Available for: Linux, Windows
Latest Version: 9.4

MeshLab

Download: http://www.meshlab.net/

The open source system for processing and editing 3D triangular meshes. It provides a set of tools for editing, cleaning, healing, inspecting, rendering, texturing and converting meshes.

Available for: Linux, Windows, MacOs
Latest Version: 2020.06

CFD - Computational Fluid Dynamics

OpenFOAM

Download: https://openfoam.org/

OpenFOAM is free, open source software for CFD from the OpenFOAM foundation

Available for: Linux, Windows, MacOs
Latest Version: v7

SU2

Download: https://su2code.github.io/

SU2 is a suite of open-source software tools written in C++ for the numerical solution of partial differential equation and performing PDE-constrained optimization.

Available for: Linux, Windows, MacOs
Latest Version: 7.0.5 “Blackbird”

Code Saturne

Download: https://www.code-saturne.org/cms/

Code_Saturne is the free, open-source software developed and released by EDF to solve computational fluid dynamics (CFD) applications.

Available for: Linux, Windows, MacOs
Latest Version: 6.1

FEA - Finite Element Modeling

CalculiX

Download: http://www.calculix.de/

CalculiX is a package designed to solve field problems. The method used is the finite element method.

Available for: Linux, Windows
Latest Version: 2.16

Code Aster

Download: https://www.code-aster.org/

Analysis of Structures and Thermomechanics for Studies & Research

Available for: Linux, Windows
Latest Version: 14.4

Salome Meca | With Integrated code_aster

Download: https://www.code-aster.org/spip.php?article303

SALOME is an open-source software that provides a generic pre- and post-processing platform for numerical simulation. It is based on an open and flexible architecture made of reusable components.

Available for: Linux, Windows
Latest Version: 2019.03

Elmer

Download: http://www.elmerfem.org/blog/

Elmer is a finite element software for multiphysics problems published under open source. Elmer is mainly but not exclusively developed by CSC – IT Center for Science. The purpose of this site is to host services for the benefit of the user community.

Available for: Linux, Windows
Latest Version: 8.4

CAEplex

Download: https://www.caeplex.com/

CAEplex is a web platform that can be used to run mechanical analysis computations in the cloud without needing to actually install any kind on software in the user’s computer. The main objective is to be able to solve

  1. Heat conduction with temperature, heat flux and/or convective boundary conditions,
  2. Modal analysis to compute natural frequencies and modes of oscillation, and/or
  3. Mechanical elasticity optionally taking into consideration temperature distribution from
    1. a heat conduction problem (i),
    2. an algebraic expression of x, y and z, or
    3. interpolated point-wise scattered data.

easily and quickly directly from a web browser.

Available for: SaaS, cloud

PrePoMax

Download: prepomax-download-link
Homepage: http://lace.fs.uni-mb.si/wordpress/borovinsek/?page_id=41

PrePoMax is a graphical pre and post-processor for the free CalculiX FEM solver on Windows platform.

Available for: Windows

Meshing Tools

Gmsh

Download: https://gmsh.info/

A three-dimensional finite elements mesh generator with built-in pre- and post-processing facilities

Available for: Linux, Windows, MacOs
Latest Version: 4.5.6

Tetgen

Download: http://wias-berlin.de/software/tetgen/1.5/index.html#Download

TetGen is a program to generate tetrahedral meshes of any 3D polyhedral domains. TetGen generates exact constrained Delaunay tetrahedralizations, boundary conforming Delaunay meshes, and Voronoi partitions.

Available for: Linux, Windows, MacOs
Latest Version: 1.5.1

1D Simulation

OpenModelica

Download: https://www.openmodelica.org/

OPENMODELICA is an open-source Modelica-based modeling and simulation environment intended for industrial and academic usage.

Available for: Linux, Windows, MacOs
Latest Version: 1.14.2

Visualization

ParaView

Download: https://www.paraview.org/

ParaView is an open-source, multi-platform data analysis and visualization application. ParaView users can quickly build visualizations to analyze their data using qualitative and quantitative techniques. The data exploration can be done interactively in 3D or programmatically using ParaView’s batch processing capabilities.

Available for: Linux, Windows, MacOs
Latest Version: 5.8.0

Blender

Download: https://www.blender.org/

Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, video editing and 2D animation pipeline.

Available for: Linux, Windows, MacOs
Latest Version: 2.83

Mathematics & Physics

Scilab

Download: https://www.scilab.org/

Scilab is a programming language associated with a rich collection of numerical algorithms covering many aspects of scientific computing problems.

Available for: Linux, Windows, MacOs
Latest Version: 6.1.0

GNU Octave

Download: https://www.gnu.org/software/octave/

GNU Octave is an open sourced numerical computing software package for solving and developing solutions for linear and nonlinear problems trough numerical/matrix/array mathematics.

Available for: Linux, Windows, MacOs
Latest Version: 5.2.0

Others

KiCAD

Download: https://kicad-pcb.org/

A Cross Platform and Open Source Electronics Design Automation Suite

Available for: Linux, Windows, MacOs
Latest Version: 5.1.6

Audacity

Download: https://www.audacityteam.org/

Audacity is an easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems.
Developed by a group of volunteers as open-source

Available for: Linux, Windows, MacOs
Latest Version: 2.4.1

MBDyn - Multibody Dynamics

Download: https://www.mbdyn.org/?Software_Download

MBDyn is the first and possibly the only free* general purpose Multibody Dynamics analysis software, released under GNU’s GPL 2.1.

It has been developed at the Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Aerospaziali (formerly Dipartimento di Ingegneria Aerospaziale) of the University “Politecnico di Milano”, Italy.

Available for: Linux, Windows, (MacOs)
Latest Version: 1.7.3

open TELEMAC-MASCARET

Download: http://www.opentelemac.org/

TELEMAC-MASCARET is an integrated suite of solvers for use in the field of free-surface flow. Having been used in the context of many studies throughout the world, it has become one of the major standards in its field.

Available for: Linux, Windows

DAVE

Download: https://github.com/RubendeBruin/DAVE

DAVE is a python package for bookkeeping and visualization of floating, suspended and/or mechanical systems. It provides a general coordinates based geometry module and a graphical user interface.

Available for: Linux, Windows