Perform electrostatics analysis (demo_FEA_electrostatics.cpp)

Tutorial that teaches how to use the FEA module to compute the electrostatic solution for a volume (Poisson problem) given boundary conditions. The tetrahedral mesh is imported from an Abaqus file. There are two node sets (boundaries) where high voltage is applied. The rest of the volume is considered to be air.

// =============================================================================
// Copyright (c) 2014
// All rights reserved.
// Use of this source code is governed by a BSD-style license that can be found
// in the LICENSE file at the top level of the distribution and at
// =============================================================================
// Authors: Alessandro Tasora
// =============================================================================
// FEA electrostatics
// =============================================================================
#include "chrono/physics/ChSystemSMC.h"
#include "chrono/solver/ChIterativeSolverLS.h"
#include "chrono/fea/ChContinuumElectrostatics.h"
#include "chrono/fea/ChElementBar.h"
#include "chrono/fea/ChElementHexa_20.h"
#include "chrono/fea/ChElementHexa_8.h"
#include "chrono/fea/ChElementTetra_10.h"
#include "chrono/fea/ChElementTetra_4.h"
#include "chrono/fea/ChLinkPointFrame.h"
#include "chrono/fea/ChMesh.h"
#include "chrono/fea/ChMeshFileLoader.h"
#include "chrono/fea/ChNodeFEAxyzP.h"
#include "chrono/fea/ChVisualizationFEAmesh.h"
#include "chrono_irrlicht/ChIrrApp.h"
// Remember to use the namespace 'chrono' because all classes
// of Chrono::Engine belong to this namespace and its children...
using namespace chrono;
using namespace chrono::fea;
using namespace chrono::irrlicht;
using namespace irr;
int main(int argc, char* argv[]) {
GetLog() << "Copyright (c) 2017\nChrono version: " << CHRONO_VERSION << "\n\n";
// Create a Chrono::Engine physical system
ChSystemSMC my_system;
// Create the Irrlicht visualization (open the Irrlicht device,
// bind a simple user interface, etc. etc.)
ChIrrApp application(&my_system, L"FEM electrostatics", core::dimension2d<u32>(800, 600));
// Easy shortcuts to add camera, lights, logo and sky in Irrlicht scene:
application.AddTypicalLights(core::vector3df(20, 20, 20), core::vector3df(-20, 20, -20), 90, 90,
irr::video::SColorf(0.5, 0.5, 0.5));
application.AddTypicalCamera(core::vector3df(0.f, 0.2f, -0.3f), core::vector3df(0.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f));
// Create a mesh, that is a container for groups
// of elements and their referenced nodes.
auto my_mesh = chrono_types::make_shared<ChMesh>();
// Create a material, that must be assigned to each element,
// and set its parameters
auto mmaterial = chrono_types::make_shared<ChContinuumElectrostatics>();
// mmaterial->SetRelativePermettivity(1000.01);
// Add some TETAHEDRONS:
// Load an Abaqus .INP tetrahedron mesh file from disk, defining a complicate tetrahedron mesh.
// This is much easier than creating all nodes and elements via C++ programming.
// Ex. you can generate these .INP files using Abaqus or exporting from SolidWorks simulation.
std::map<std::string, std::vector<std::shared_ptr<ChNodeFEAbase> > > node_sets;
try {
ChMeshFileLoader::FromAbaqusFile(my_mesh, GetChronoDataFile("fea/electrostatics.INP").c_str(), mmaterial,
} catch (ChException myerr) {
GetLog() << myerr.what();
return 1;
// Set some BOUNDARY CONDITIONS on nodes:
// Impose potential on all nodes of 1st nodeset (see *NSET section in .imp file)
auto nboundary = "IMPV1";
for (unsigned int inode = 0; inode <; ++inode) {
if (auto mnode = std::dynamic_pointer_cast<ChNodeFEAxyzP>(node_sets[nboundary][inode])) {
mnode->SetP(0); // field: potential [V]
// Impose potential on all nodes of 2nd nodeset (see *NSET section in .imp file)
nboundary = "IMPV2";
for (unsigned int inode = 0; inode <; ++inode) {
if (auto mnode = std::dynamic_pointer_cast<ChNodeFEAxyzP>(node_sets[nboundary][inode])) {
mnode->SetP(21); // field: potential [V]
// Remember to add the mesh to the system!
// ==Asset== attach a visualization of the FEM mesh.
// This will automatically update a triangle mesh (a ChTriangleMeshShape
// asset that is internally managed) by setting proper
// coordinates and vertex colors as in the FEM elements.
// Such triangle mesh can be rendered by Irrlicht or POVray or whatever
// postprocessor that can handle a colored ChTriangleMeshShape).
// Do not forget AddAsset() at the end!
// This will paint the colored mesh with temperature scale (E_PLOT_NODE_P is the scalar field of the Poisson
// problem)
auto mvisualizemesh = chrono_types::make_shared<ChVisualizationFEAmesh>(*(my_mesh.get()));
mvisualizemesh->SetFEMdataType(ChVisualizationFEAmesh::E_PLOT_NODE_P); // plot V, potential field
mvisualizemesh->SetColorscaleMinMax(-0.1, 24);
// This will paint the wireframe
auto mvisualizemeshB = chrono_types::make_shared<ChVisualizationFEAmesh>(*(my_mesh.get()));
mvisualizemeshB->SetColorscaleMinMax(-0.1, 24);
// This will paint the E vector field as line vectors
auto mvisualizemeshC = chrono_types::make_shared<ChVisualizationFEAmesh>(*(my_mesh.get()));
mvisualizemeshC->SetDefaultSymbolsColor(ChColor(1.0f, 1.0f, 0.4f));
// ==IMPORTANT!== Use this function for adding a ChIrrNodeAsset to all items
// in the system. These ChIrrNodeAsset assets are 'proxies' to the Irrlicht meshes.
// If you need a finer control on which item really needs a visualization proxy in
// Irrlicht, just use application.AssetBind(myitem); on a per-item basis.
// ==IMPORTANT!== Use this function for 'converting' into Irrlicht meshes the assets
// that you added to the bodies into 3D shapes, they can be visualized by Irrlicht!
auto solver = chrono_types::make_shared<ChSolverMINRES>();
// Note: in electrostatics, here you can have only a single linear (non transient) solution
// so at this point you must do:
// Also, in the following while() loop, remove application.DoStep();
// so the loop is used just to keep the 3D view alive, to spin & look at the solution.
while (application.GetDevice()->run()) {
// Print some node potentials V..
for (unsigned int inode = 0; inode < my_mesh->GetNnodes(); ++inode) {
if (auto mnode = std::dynamic_pointer_cast<ChNodeFEAxyzP>(my_mesh->GetNode(inode))) {
if (mnode->GetP() < 6.2) {
// GetLog() << "Node at y=" << mnode->GetPos().y << " has V=" << mnode->GetP() << "\n";
return 0;
std::string GetChronoDataFile(const std::string &filename)
Obtain the complete path to the specified filename, given relative to the Chrono data directory (thre...
Definition: ChGlobal.cpp:95
void Add(std::shared_ptr< ChPhysicsItem > item)
Attach an arbitrary ChPhysicsItem (e.g.
Definition: ChSystem.cpp:146
void SetSolverForceTolerance(double tolerance)
Set a solver tolerance threshold at force level (default: not specified).
Definition: ChSystem.h:211
Class for exceptions for throw() catch() mechanism.
Definition: ChException.h:25
void AssetUpdateAll()
For all items in a ChSystem, this function sets up the Irrlicht nodes corresponding to the geometric ...
Definition: ChIrrApp.cpp:50
ChLog & GetLog()
Global function to get the current ChLog object.
Definition: ChLog.cpp:39
bool DoStaticLinear()
Solve the position of static equilibrium (and the reactions).
Definition: ChSystem.cpp:1435
void SetTimestep(double val)
Set/Get the time step for time integration.
Definition: ChIrrAppInterface.cpp:552
Class to add some GUI to Irrlicht+ChronoEngine applications.
Definition: ChIrrApp.h:29
virtual void EndScene()
Call this to end the scene draw at the end of each animation frame.
Definition: ChIrrAppInterface.cpp:627
Class for setting a color (used by ChVisualization)
Definition: ChColor.h:25
Class for a physical system in which contact is modeled using a smooth (penalty-based) method.
Definition: ChSystemSMC.h:31
static void FromAbaqusFile(std::shared_ptr< ChMesh > mesh, const char *filename, std::shared_ptr< ChContinuumMaterial > my_material, std::map< std::string, std::vector< std::shared_ptr< ChNodeFEAbase > > > &node_sets, ChVector<> pos_transform=VNULL, ChMatrix33<> rot_transform=ChMatrix33<>(1), bool discard_unused_nodes=true)
Load tetrahedrons, if any, saved in a .inp file for Abaqus.
Definition: ChMeshFileLoader.cpp:196
virtual void SetSolver(std::shared_ptr< ChSolver > newsolver)
Attach a solver (derived from ChSolver) for use by this system.
Definition: ChSystem.cpp:270
void AssetBindAll()
Shortcut to add and bind a ChIrrNodeAsset to all items in a ChSystem.
Definition: ChIrrApp.cpp:42
virtual void BeginScene(bool backBuffer=true, bool zBuffer=true, irr::video::SColor color=irr::video::SColor(255, 0, 0, 0))
Call this to clean the canvas at the beginning of each animation frame.
Definition: ChIrrAppInterface.cpp:610
Main namespace for the Chrono package.
Definition: ChAsset.cpp:18
virtual void DrawAll()
Call this function inside a loop such as.
Definition: ChIrrAppInterface.cpp:750
Namespace for FEA classes.
Definition: ChChrono.h:52