Z88 FEM software

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Z88 (Software)

GUI of Z88
Developer(s) Professor Frank Rieg
Stable release V 13.0 / 2009
Operating system Linux, Windows,UNIX,
OS X, 32- &64-bit
Type Finite element analysis
License GPL

Z88 is a fast, powerful and free finite element software package available for WINDOWS (95, 2k, XP, Vista, Windows 7), for Mac OS X and for UNIX/LINUX computers. Versions are available for 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems. Z88 comes with context sensitive on line-help and a user-friendly command processor. Successfully proved by countless Windows, UNIX and LINUX installations worldwide. For static calculations in mechanical engineering and building & construction industries. Absolutely transparent for the user as input and output are handled by text files.


Development and Contents

Z88 is developed and maintained by Professor Dr.-Ing. Frank Rieg holding the chair of engineering design and CAD at the University of Bayreuth in Germany. Z88 features over 20 different types of finite elements (2D: truss, beam, torus, plane stress elements; 3D: truss, beam, tetrahedron with 4 or 10 nodes, hexahedron with 8 or 20 nodes) an easy-to-use graphical interface and two separate plot-programs.

Several solvers (SIC, SOR, Sparse-solver) with multi domain feasibility are included. COSMOS and NASTRAN data files can be imported from e.g. Pro/ENGINEER (using Pro/MECHANICA). The current version V 13.0 is released under the GNU-GPL. Detailed documentation and a variety of examples are provided.

Since 2009 a new pre- and post processor called Z88 Aurora is developed by a team around Prof. Rieg. Z88 Aurora uses approved technology of Z88 V13.0 combined with an intuitive user prompting (contains boundary conditions, free FE-mesher, material database with data fitting). Additionally to linear FE serveral new methods like natural frequency, non linear FE and thermal boundary conditions are included. Z88 Aurora is freeware for more informations visit the official homepage [1] .

Use in research and development

Since 1998 the program is used for engineering design lectures at different universities like the TU Dresden, the University of Applied Sciences Ravensburg-Weingarten, the University of Ioannina, the Penn State University, the Universidad de Buenos Aires, the L´Universita Di Cagliari, the University of Maribor and the Zonguldak Karaelmas University.

Application in industry

Due to the open source approach many application use z88 solvers, the plot programs or the complete software package. Often the possibility of adaption z88 for unique FE-problems is used (calculation of glass plates for architecture, mechanical behavior of wood, computation of pressure vessels, etc.) Z88 is used by Boeing Missile and Defense/USA, Teledyne Brown Engineering/USA, Winimac Coil Spring Inc./USA, Double D Design Ltd/New Zealand, RINGSPANN GmbH/Germany, KTR Kupplungstechnik GmbH/Germany, etc.

Because of availability of program sources and transparency of used algorithms/material models Z88 is a program for comparison of commercial tools like NASTRAN and ABAQUS [1]. For this reason converts for both programs are included.


  • Frank Rieg: „Z88 – The compact Finite Element System“[2].
  • Frank Rieg, Reinhard Hackenschmidt: „Finite Elemente Analyse für Ingenieure: Eine leicht verständliche Einführung“. Hanser Fachbuchverlag, München, Wien, 2009, ISBN 978-3-446-40215-7.
  • Karl-Heinz Decker: „Maschinenelemente – Funktion, Gestaltung und Berechnung“. Hanser Fachbuchverlag, München, Wien, 2009, 17. Auflage, ISBN 978-3-446-41759-5.

External links


  1. International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED´07 Paper.(Retrieved am 24. November 2008.)
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