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Meshalyzer is a graphical program for display time dependent data on 3D finite elment meshes. Of course, it can show static data on fewer dimensions as well. It is developed to be compatible with the cardiac simulation environment carpEntry.

It uses its own file formats which are simple and easily converted to/from more popiular formats like VTK.


  • can work with very large data files (TB)
  • offscreen rendering
  • isosurfaces/lines
  • cutting planes
  • output images (with metadata) or sequences of images to make movies
  • can save state
  • link multiple instances to maintain view, colour scale, etc. across them
  • can display time-dependent scalar and vector data
  • display auxiliary grids
  • fly through model views

VTU format

Preliminary support for reading the VTK format for unstructured grids, VTU, has been included. You need to edit the Makefile manually to specify the directory containing the dynamically linked libraries (VTK_LIBDIR) and the directory with the VTK header files (VTK_INCDIR). They are commented out by default.

For Mac users, the easiest is to install vtk via homebrew: brew install vtk

and then

VTK_LIBDIR = /usr/local/lib
VTK_INCDIR = /usr/local/include/vtk-<version>

Run-time issues

  • Most of the time, a bad mesh or bad data file is responsible for crashes. Ensure that

    1. node indexing start at 0 and the number of nodes is correct
    2. there are no gaps in numbering
    3. the data file did not get truncated. Use
      igbhead --jive
      to correct if necessary.
    4. file formats are respected.
  • It is possible that internally, a bad memory operation is performed. Try setting
    export MALLOC_CHECK_=1
    and see if it disappears.

  • Make sure the proper dynamic libraries are getting linked. There can be conflicts with fltk or vtk if multiple versions are installed. In these cases a simple solution is to write a wrapper script which properly sets the environment variables like below:

    export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/path_to_dylib1_dir:/path_to_dylib2_dir
    /path_to_meshalyzer/meshalyzer $*


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