COMSOL Multiphysics is a platform for analyzing elements and simulating multiphysics. It is general-purpose software with an integrated development environment used across the world for a variety of computer simulations and research and development. Engineers, manufacturers, and scientific researchers use it to create models of devices, processes, and designs. The main purpose of these types of software is to solve multiphysics phenomena, in other words, to understand how elements behave in different conditions in the real world.
This article will cover the latest pricing and licensing options for students looking to access the software at a discount. Also, in the end, we will share a couple of free alternatives with similar features.
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The development started in 1986 in Sweden by COMSOL Inc., written in Java programming language. Compared to other finite element method (FEM) software, COMSOL has a steep learning curve since it takes about two years to become an expert and skilled enough to get hired.
COMSOL student version download
COMSOL is not free, nor does it have a trial period option unless it’s for a specific person or a company negotiated directly with the sales team or a vendor. Also, there is no free student version.
To download the software, you must create an access account here. If you already have one, log in to the dashboard from which you will be able to download the software if you have a license or a trial version attached to it.
The basic license costs $4000 with a 20% annual maintenance fee. Additional modules range from $600 to $4000. All licenses are perpetual and must be renewed to get the latest version download.
Students can learn how to use COMSOL on Udemy with several low-cost yet very detailed courses.
How can students access COMSOL for free?
As of right now, students have to pay a regular license to access the software. The only option is to contact your teacher or faculty members to see if your school provides the software on one of their computers or if they have a special arrangement for a discounted license price. Some engineering universities have negotiated a special class and education deals prices for their students.
Here is the recommended device configuration for optimal performance:
Operating system – Windows 7, 8.1, 10, 11 or Mac 10.14, 10.15, 11.0, and 12 for Intel processors and macOS 11 and 12 for M1 processors or Linux Debian® 9, 10, and 11
Processor – 64-bit Intel® or AMD® with SSE4 instruction set. For Mac devices M1 or later.
RAM – 4 GB
Disk space – 2-13 GB depending on product version
To print PDF documentation, Adobe Acrobat Reader is required. For installation, the device needs to be connected to the internet.
For detailed requirements for specific cases, check the full list here.
- Model Builder allows you to test geometry objects easily with real-life simulations and get actionable results instantly
- Modeling tools for creating precise parts using solid objects, surfaces, curves, and Boolean operations
- Import CAD and ECAD files
- Predefined interfaces and features with specific settings for every scientific or engineering field
- Preloaded set of physics interfaces such as fluid flow, acoustics, electromagnetics, heat transfer, solid mechanics, and chemical species transport
- Equation-based modeling that provides mathematical equations in the user interface
- Manual and automated meshing for any type of physics you are studying
- Visualization and postprocessing tools for presenting your simulations in a polished manner along with mathematical expressions
- Export projects to .txt, .dat, and .csv as well as VTK formats. Export animations to GIF, AVI of Adobe Flash. Reports can be exported to Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or HTML files.
Which one is better ANSYS or COMSOL?
COMSOL is a more intuitive and user-friendly software. Both solutions are good for solving multiphysics phenomena accurately however, to answer this question, it depends on the goal that you want to achieve with the program. For generic physics models and faster work, we recommend ANSYS, while if your goal is to get your hand on the best equations and physics, then definitely go with COMSOL. Scientists that use Matlab should consider COMSOL, and
COMSOL Free Alternatives
Ansys – Although it’s not free software, it does have a student version that gives access to the Workbench-based bundle.
Elmer – Open source finite element software for solving multiphysics problems. Some of the physical models that it includes are structural mechanics, electromagnetics, fluid dynamics, acoustics and heat transfer.
FEATool Multiphysics – Simulation toolbox for Matlab for modeling and simulating fluid flow CFD, structural mechanics, general PDEs, heat transfer, chemical reactions, and much more.
FreeCAD – Open source software for drawing and modeling objects that can be imported to any simulation software such as COMSOL or ANSYS. The software is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.