Pre/Post Processing Open Software


Any suggestions on which software to choose for pre/post-processing among the following:

  1. Paraview
  2. PreProMax
  3. Salome
  4. Any other s/w

I want to be able to do the following:
Priority 1: Open CalculiX output files (*.frd) (Assuming ABAQUS odb’s can’t be opened by any of these, correct me if I am wrong)
Priority 2: Open/Edit ABAQUS and CalculiX input files (

PS: I know that I’ve had some suggestions indirectly in my previous posts, nonetheless I wanted it to be a separate thread.


Postprocesing (open .frd result files)

  1. CGX => Native, complex to start with it
  2. Prepomax => Simple, shine and fancy. Be aware of units, maybe some fields could not load if they are not implemented
  3. Mecway => Idem, not so fancy :slight_smile:
  4. CalMED conversor + Paraview for MED => Idem, some fields or variables are not translated

Preprocessing (open .inp files)

  1. Scite text editor that came with bConverged CCX distribution, will open all cards, sentence higlighting, and will be able to even launch the solver or postprocess from within
  2. Prepomax => Some cards will not load, so maybe you will miss something important
  3. Mecway => Idem

You can open Abaqus .odb files with Paraview, installing some plugins, but I was not able to make it run.


Thanks @SergioP for your suggestions.

I’m not familiar with ABAQUS, so I will write only about CalculiX.
I use PrePoMax.
PrePoMax can edit “.inp” files and view “.frd” files of CalculiX.
However, declarations such as * DYNAMIC are not included in PerPoMax, so you need to edit “.inp” files yourself with Model> Edit CalculiX keywords on PrePoMax or with other text editors. (I use the latter method.)

In addition, there is an Advisor in Help, and if we proceed with them in order, even beginners can proceed with analysis to some extent.


Thanks @suzuki_h


I just tried Propromax Its a breath of fresh air! I don’t know who makes it, but its free open source and it seems to be good. Good for us beginners/medium. requires no installation and it just runs so that was a big plus.


That PrePoMax looks quite interesting! Shame I cant run it in Linux.

For editing the input files, I use VS Code with the abaqus plugin. It has much more features than SciTex. Open Source, quite recommended.

If you want to open really BIG input decks, use Gvim, it has already integrated abaqus syntax, including card folding, which is super handy to overview an input deck.

Another very nice options is Sublime Text, my favorite text editor, but it is not free. Nonetheless its blazing fast and has also Abaqus syntax support.


CGX has a steep curve, but its incredible lightweight, which is important for very big models or when computer resources are limited.
My other option is to transform the FRD to Paraview with GitHub - calculix/ccx2paraview: CalculiX to Paraview converter (frd to vtk/vtu). Converts CalculiX FRD file to view and postprocess analysis results in Paraview. Generates Mises and Principal components for stress and strain tensors.
I do this when I need more detailed postprocessing images.


Thanks for this.
I didn’t know VS Code has a plugin for ABAQUS also. I’ve been using Notepad++ for quite some time.

And yes, I was already thinking of getting this converter (frd to vtk/vtu). Let me get back here if I face any issues in setting up this converter.

Anyway, thanks for your suggestions.


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There is another option to convert the output file:

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here is the code I use to basically “bank” PrePoMax results to vtu files:

-- coding: utf-8 --

#imports for running CCX and output file conversion
import os
import ccx2paraview
import logging

#imports for file modification:
from tempfile import mkstemp
from shutil import move, copymode
from os import fdopen, remove

########### set the processor number to 8 … ignore this part, its for CCX
os.environ[‘CCX_NPROC_STIFFNESS’] = “8”
os.environ[‘NUMBER_OF_PROCESSORS’] = “8”
os.environ[‘OMP_NUM_THREADS’] = “8”
os.environ[‘NUMBERS_OF_PROCESSORS’] = “8”

cwd = os.getcwd()


#convert output to VTK (vtu) format so paraview can use it
frd_file_name= Setupname+’.frd’
logging.basicConfig(level=logging.INFO, format=’%(levelname)s: %(message)s’)
c = ccx2paraview.Converter(frd_file_name, [‘vtu’])
input(“Press enter to exit ;”)