Exchanging Data with Other Programs
The ability to exchange data with other programs is an essential feature of FEMtools. Direct interface programs are provided so that FEMtools can be integrated in a CAE workflow by exchanging data with FE preprocessors, FE analysis systems, test systems or other tools.
Interfacing with Test Data
For interfacing with test data files, several interfaces are available, including an interface with the de factor industry standard Universal Files (see hereafter). Commands are available to interface with standard general purpose program like MS Excel and Matlab. Interfaces with any text or binary file can be easily custom-developped using FEMtools Script.
The Universal File Format is an ASCII or binary formatted file used by most test
systems. The FEMtools interface program reads and writes ASCII files containing the most commonly used Universal File datasets.
The Universal File test data interface is a standard component of FEMtools Framework and does not require a dedicated license.
The ARTeMIS interface enables to import from and export to ARTeMIS
configuration files (CFG) and associated time history files. Using
FEMtools Modal Parameter Estimation add-on, it can be
used to do operational modal analysis with data stored and imported in the
natice ARTeMIS format. Using the export function, a test model and time history
data can be read by ARTeMIS for additional method to perform operational modal
The ARTeMIS test data interface is a standard component of FEMtools Framework and does not require a dedicated license.
This interface imports the test mesh and the operational shapes from a
Polytec scanning file (svd files). The script uses the Polytec File Access COM
object to extract the data from the measurement file. The File Access COM object
can be downloaded from the Polytec website and has to be installed before the
Polytec SVD interface can be used.
The Polytec SVD test data interface is a standard component of FEMtools Framework and does not require a dedicated license.
FE Data Interface and Driver Modules
FEMtools includes several direct, two-way, interfaces with several popular FE programs. These standard interfaces provide the highest level of data exchange, performance and maintenance. Drivers automate import, export and re-analysis of updated or optimized FE models. The interfaces and driver programs require a separate license that can be optionally added to any FEMtools standard configuration.
The FEMtools interface program with the ABAQUS general purpose finite element program imports and exports FEM data, and imports element matrices, mode shapes, and operational shapes. The supported file types are the ABAQUS input file, and FIL, ODB and SIM results files.
The FEMtools interface program with the ANSYS general-purpose finite element code uses the ASCII formatted CDB file to read or write the FE model definition. Element structural matrices and modal data are imported through ANSYS binary files EMAT and RST respectively.
The LS-DYNA interface program provides two-way communication between data
files generated by the LS-DYNA program and the FEMtools database.
The interface program reads LS-DYNA input data files and results files that contain element matrices and modal data (resonance frequencies, shapes).
For dynamic analysis, sensitivity analysis by re-analysis and automated model updating purposes, FEMtools uses a driver script to run LS-DYNA as an external solver.
Interfacing with the MSC.Nastran and NX Nastran general purpose finite element programs is based on the formatted Bulk
Data File for FEM geometry and element properties and binary OUTPUT2 files created with the PARAM, POST, -5 command are
used to interface element matrices and shapes (static, modal normal or complex). Punch files are used to import FRF data
but can also be used to import modes. Bulk Data can be read or written, OUTPUT2 and punch files are read-only.
The Nastran interface and driver program can also be used with NE/Nastran.
The SAP2000 interface program has 2 operating modes: (i ) reads FE model definition and mode shapes from SAP2000 s2k input files, and (ii) using the SAP2000 OAPI library to communicate with SAP2000. With the OAPI interface, bidirectional communication is supported and allows for piloting SAP2000 from FEMtools to perform FE analysis, pretest analysis, correlation analysis, sensitivity analysis and model updating.
The Universal File Format is an ASCII or binary formatted file used by the I-DEAS analysis software. The FEMtools Universal File FE interface program reads and writes ASCII files.
Interfacing with other FEA Programs
Other interfaces are available, either being also binary coded or written in FEMtools Script. They only provide limited data exchange and are included in the basic FEMtools Framework license and do not require a separate license. Script-based interfaces can easily be customized or extended to specific needs.
Users of ALGOR, COSMOS, ETABS, FEMAP, NISA, LUSAS, SAMCEF, PERMAS or any other finite element program that is not listed hereafter, contact us for availability of an interface.
Interfacing with the MSC.Marc finite element program is based on the Marc input file (.dat) and results file (.t19). The input file is an ASCII file that contains the definition of the FE model, including materials, boundary conditions, and lumped masses. The results file is also an ASCII file from which mode shapes, and element stiffness and mass matrices are read.