FreeCAD is an open-source parametric 3D CAD modeler and probably the most hopeful open-source 3D modeler. It aggregates powerful open-source tools dedicated to 3D modeling like Open CASCADE (a CAD kernel), Coin3D (an incarnation of Open Inventor), the Qt GUI framework, and Python, a popular scripting language.

The module “Amelet-HDF Export” provides an easy way to export 3D models (meshes) into the Amelet-HDF mesh file format from FreeCAD. Amelet-HDF is a compact file format based on HDF5, dedicated to provide a standard for recording and recovering computer data of electromagnetic simulations.

Amelet-HDF Export” is open source and free for all and can be downloaded from this link:

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Amelet-HDF Export” is known to work with the following components:

  • FreeCAD in version 0.14 or 0.15 (windows, linux)
  • python-tables in version 2.4

Basic installation on Ubuntu 14.04

On Ubuntu OS, it is easy to install dependencies:

sudo apt-get install freecad
sudo apt-get install python-tables

Download “Amelet-HDF Export” (with the above button) with wget and run FreeCAD with the “-M” option:

freecad -M AmeletHDFExport

Quick starting with Amelet-HDF Export

The first thing to do is creating  a new project by the (File/New) menu and then

  • Select the “Part” workbench by the menu (View/Workbench/Part)
    • Draw a simple object (like a cone)
  • Select the Mesh workbench: (View/Workbench/Mesh design)
    • Select the object into tree
    • Create a mesh (Meshes/Create mesh from shape…)
    • Run meshing tool (Ok) and close tool (Cancel)
    • Select the mesh into the tree
  • Export the mesh into Amelet-HDF mesh file (File/Export (Ctrl+E)). Into ‘Files of type’ combo box choose ‘Amelet HDF5 mesh file (*.h5)’
  • Save the mesh.
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