MODULEF is a general purpose finite element library developed by the MODULEF club. The MODULEF club was founded by INRIA in 1974 with the aim of bringing together universities and industry, both French and foreign, in order to design and implement an extensive library of finite element modules which cater for problems in fields such as:

  • steady state or time-dependent, linear or non-linear, two- or three-dimensional heat conduction problems,
  • static and dynamic elasticity problems, and
  • fluid mechanical problems.

The library is constituted of contributions (programs, expertise, material means, etc.) by all the members. These contributions are subsequently redistributed for the benefit of everyone.

Due to the modular nature of the software, existing subroutines can be modified and additions can be made to the library with ease. Furthermore, several solutions to a problem can readily be implemented so that the relative merits of the various approaches can be assessed easily.

An interactive data generation system offers considerable advantages for automatic generation of meshes, boundary conditions, and stresses, and has proved most valuable for teaching purposes.

The aim of Part 1 of this manual is to present the MODULEF club. As an introduction, we outline the structure, the reasons for its creation, and the objectives of the MODULEF club. We then give a summary of the MODULEF library, after which different approaches for using this library are discussed. Lastly, some aspects concerning the documentation, short- and long-term developments as well as issues raised in the communication between members are reviewed.

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