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ADA - Assembly for Design & Analysis

A python library for structural analysis and design that focus on interoperability between IFC and various Finite Element formats.

This library is still undergoing significant development so expect there to be occasional bugs and breaking changes.

Try the latest build online here


(clicking the link above will open a jupyter notebook client in the cloud using the latest version of adapy)

Quick Links

  • Feel free to start/join any informal topic related to adapy here.
  • Issues related to adapy can be raised here


Here are the steps necessary to install the ada package

Note that it is recommended to create an isolated environment for the installation. You can create a new environment like so:

conda create -n adaenv 
activate adaenv

Using Pypi

To install ada using pip

First you need to have installed ifcopenshell and pythonocc-core from conda-forge.

conda -c conda-forge ifcopenshell pythonocc-core

After the conda-forge dependencies are installed you can install ada using

pip install ada-py

(which will automatically include all dependencies from PyPi)

Using Conda (Note! Work in progress)

Note! Conda installation is not yet set up.


Some example of using the ada package

Create an IFC file

The following code

from ada import Assembly, Part, Beam

a = Assembly("MyAssembly") / (Part("MyPart") / Beam("MyBeam", (0,0,0), (1,0,0), "IPE300"))

creates an IFC with the following hierarchy (as shown in the figure below taken from the awesome blender plugin blenderbim)

MyAssembly (IfSite)
    MyPart (IfcBuildingStorey)
        MyBeam (IfcBeam)

Beam Visualized in BlenderBIM

Create and execute a FEM analysis in Calculix, Code Aster and Abaqus

This example uses a function beam_ex1 from here that returns an Assembly object ready to be written to FEM.

from ada.param_models.fem_models import beam_ex1

a = beam_ex1()

a.to_fem("MyCantilever_abaqus", "abaqus", overwrite=True, execute=True, run_ext=True)
a.to_fem("MyCantilever_calculix", "calculix", overwrite=True, execute=True)
a.to_fem("MyCantilever_code_aster", "code_aster", overwrite=True, execute=True)

after the execution is finished you can look at the results (in Paraview or Abaqus CAE for the results from calculix and/or abaqus respectively)

Paraview Results Abaqus Results

or if your prefer to keep it in python here is a way you can use meshio to read the results from calculix and do your postprocessing using python only.

from ada.config import Settings
import meshio

vtu = Settings.scratch_dir / "MyCantilever_calculix" / "MyCantilever_calculix.vtu"
mesh =

# Displacements in [X, Y, Z] at point @ index=-1

rmed = Settings.scratch_dir / "MyCantilever_code_aster" / "MyCantilever_code_aster.rmed"
ca_mesh =, 'med')

# Displacements in [X, Y, Z] at point @ index=-1
print('Code Aster:',ca_mesh.point_data['DISP[10] - 1'][-1][:3])

In short beam_ex1 creates a Beam object which it uses to create a shell element FEM mesh using a mesh recipe create_beam_mesh. The recipe uses GMSH to construct elements on nodes.

The current reasoning is to work with a base representation of beam/plates and have the ability to easily create a FEM representation of any of the base objects in 1D (beam elements), 2D (shell elements) or 3D (elements) using your own meshing recipes (i.e. not just build a mesh, but a recipe for building meshes).


The above example assumes you have installed Abaqus and Calculix locally on your computer.

To set correct paths to your installations of Abaqus or Calculix you wish to use there are a few ways of doing so.

  1. Add directory path of abaqus.bat or ccx.exe to your system path.
  2. Add directory paths to system environment variables. This can be done by using the control panel or running the following from a cmd prompt with administrator rights:
setx ADA_abaqus_exe <path to your abaqus.bat>
setx ADA_ccx_exe <path to your ccx.exe>
  1. Set parameters in python by using environment variables or the ada.config.Settings class, like so:
import os
os.environ["ADA_ccx_exe"] = "<path to your ccx.exe>"
os.environ["ADA_abaqus_exe"] = "<path to your abaqus.bat>"


from ada.config import Settings
Settings.fem_exe_paths["ccx"] = "<path to your ccx.exe>"
Settings.fem_exe_paths["abaqus"] = "<path to your abaqus.bat>"

For installation files of open source FEM software such as Calculix and Code Aster, here are some links:

For developers

For developers interested in contributing to this project feel free to make a fork, experiment and create a pull request when you have something you would like to add/change/remove.

Before making a pull request you need to lint with, isort, flake8 and black.

pip install black isort flake8
isort .
flake8 .
black .

Project Responsible

Kristoffer H. Andersen


A python library for structural analysis and design