Element Types

There are a lot of different elements implemented in CalculiX, therefore it is not always easy to select the right one. In general, one can say that the quadratic elements are the most stable and robust elements in CalculiX. If you are not a finite element specialist the use of quadratic elements is strongly suggested. This includes:

- hexahedral elements: C3D20R
- tetrahedral elements: C3D10
- axisymmetric elements: CAX8R
- plane stress elements: CPS8R
- plane strain elements: CPE8R
- shell elements: S8R
- beam elements: B32R

Other elements frequently exhibit unsatisfactory behavior in certain instances, e.g. the C3D8 element in bending states. Unless you are a specialist, do not use such elements. Detailed information is given underneath.

- Eight-node brick element (C3D8 and F3D8)
- C3D8R
- Incompatible mode eight-node brick element (C3D8I)
- Twenty-node brick element (C3D20)
- C3D20R
- Four-node tetrahedral element (C3D4 and F3D4)
- Ten-node tetrahedral element (C3D10)
- Modified ten-node tetrahedral element (C3D10T)
- Six-node wedge element (C3D6 and F3D6)
- Fifteen-node wedge element (C3D15)
- Three-node shell element (S3)
- Four-node shell element (S4 and S4R)
- Six-node shell element (S6)
- Eight-node shell element (S8 and S8R)
- Three-node membrane element (M3D3)
- Four-node membrane element (M3D4 and M3D4R)
- Six-node membrane element (M3D6)
- Eight-node membrane element (M3D8 and M3D8R)
- Three-node plane stress element (CPS3)
- Four-node plane stress element (CPS4 and CPS4R)
- Six-node plane stress element (CPS6)
- Eight-node plane stress element (CPS8 and CPS8R)
- Three-node plane strain element (CPE3)
- Four-node plane strain element (CPE4 and CPE4R)
- Six-node plane strain element (CPE6)
- Eight-node plane strain element (CPE8 and CPE8R)
- Three-node axisymmetric element (CAX3)
- Four-node axisymmetric element (CAX4 and CAX4R)
- Six-node axisymmetric element (CAX6)
- Eight-node axisymmetric element (CAX8 and CAX8R)
- Two-node 2D beam element (B21)
- Two-node 3D beam element (B31 and B31R)
- Three-node 3D beam element (B32 and B32R)
- Two-node 2D truss element (T2D2)
- Two-node 3D truss element (T3D2)
- Three-node 3D truss element (T3D3)
- Three-node network element (D)
- Two-node unidirectional gap element (GAPUNI)
- Two-node 3-dimensional dashpot (DASHPOTA)
- One-node 3-dimensional spring (SPRING1)
- Two-node 3-dimensional spring (SPRING2)
- Two-node 3-dimensional spring (SPRINGA)
- One-node coupling element (DCOUP3D)
- One-node mass element (MASS)
- User Element (Uxxxx)
- User Element: 3D Timoshenko beam element (U1)
- User Element: 3-node shell element (US3)