1. Getting the software

Download FEBio, PreView and PostView from the FEBio site. You will need to register and to agree to the terms of an almost free-and-open-source licence. Install the software. For example, under Windows 7, open the .zip file for each package, extract and save the executable file, and run it to do the installation.

The downloads include good manuals in the doc directory, and there are some tutorials that serve as useful introductions to the programme. The support forums are quite responsive.

If your computer has multiple processors (cores), an environment variable can be set to specify how many to use. For example, using the bash shell under Linux, do export OMP_NUM_THREADS=n. See the manual for details.

1.1 Problems

There are some issues with PreView 2.1. One student experienced bizarre behaviour under Windows 10: the PreView window was completely white but dropdown menus would appear when he hovered in the right place. Separately, I found that (1) Preview installed itself as PreView2.exe but in the Start Menu it pointed to PreView.exe; and (2) when I run it on a 1366×768 screen, the window is too tall to fit on the screen and the height can't be adjusted.

FEBio 2.7 implements some new features in the plot file that are only supported since PostView 2.2’ (ref) but as of 2018 Sep 10 there is no PostView 2.2 for Linux. A workaround is to use FEBio 2.5.

2. Creating and running a simple model

2.1 PreView

  1. Run PreView. For example, in MS Windows do something like Start ► All Programs ► PreView ► PreView.
    (It may be worth adding the version number to the entry in the Start Menu, to avoid confusion if and when you update.)
  2. Follow Tutorial 1 from the PreView User’s Manual to familiarize yourself with the interface.
  3. Follow Tutorial 2 from the PreView User’s Manual to create a simple model.
  4. After finishing Tutorial 2, you can

2.2 FEBio

  1. Follow the instructions in Chapter 2 of the FEBio User’s Manual for setting up FEBio.
  2. Get access to a command line. For example, in MS Windows do Start ► All Programs ► Accessories ► Command Prompt.
  3. At the command line, use the cd command to get into the directory where your model file is.
  4. Give the command febio2 -i filename.feb
  5. Watch the output go by and wait for FEBio to finish. Hopefully at the end there will be a message saying N O R M A L   T E R M I N A T I O N. A file called filename.xplt should have been created. Run PostView to see what's in it.
  6. Here are some of the error messages you might get. They're stored in a .log file with the same name as your .feb file.

2.3 PostView

  1. Run PostView.
  2. Open the file filename.xplt.
  3. At the bottom of the window, click on the Play button FEBio Play button.
  4. PostView scale factor If you don’t see any displacements, you can try increasing the Scale factor for the Displacement Map, or, if appropriate, adjust the material properties and loads in your model.

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R. Funnell
Last modified: 2018-09-10 12:01:15