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mem4py - A membrane finite element solver based on kinetic dynamic relaxation

This tool provides a solution method to solve the defomations of pressurized membrane structures. The steady-state is found with the method of kinetic dynamic relaxation which proved its effectivness for a variety of membrane structures.


mem4py is written in cython which is a C-compilable python script. In benefits from C like speedup and can be called using a simple python script.

  1. Get eigen3 either with
sudo apt-get install libeigen3-dev

or download under

  1. Clone mem4py to folder of choice
git clone
  1. If eigen3 is not located at /usr/include/eigen3 change path to eigen3 in under include_dirs=[].

  2. Compile in mem4py/ with



Run to test example cases.

Setting up your own problem

You can set up your own problem using gmsh and a python script. In gmsh you define the geometry and boundary conditions, and the python script is used for material and solver properties.


A surface mesh in gmsh format has to be provided in the /msh folder.

  • Membrane elements are defined by a physical surface named "membrane".

  • Boundary conditions are defined on physical lines or points using

    • "fixAll", "fixX", "fixY", "fixZ", "fixXY" and so on to constrain d.o.f. movement
    • nodal loads [N] "fX", "fY", "fZ"
    • edge loads [N/m] "edgeX", "edgeY", "edgeZ"
    • pressure acting on membrane "pMembrane"

Material and solver properties:

In a python script the properties are defined in a dict which is provided to the solver. Closely follow the example case in


mem4py extensively uses a cython version of eigen3 which is originally based on Many thanks to the developers to make eigen3 cython compatible.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 642682 (AWESCO).

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