A general continuum mechanics approach is the basis for models of a vast variety of nonlinear physical phenomena such as non-Newtonian fluids and other complex materials. Hence, MESHFREE simulations can cover a wide range of applications such as water management, avalanches, foam formation, metal cutting, sophisticated fluid-structure interactions and many more.

In contrast to classical mesh-based approaches, MESHFREE uses an automatically managed point cloud that adapts itself efficiently to the simulation domain – even if the simulation domain changes rapidly due to moving geometries or large deformations.

The unique features of MESHFREE enable numerical simulation of scenarios that are currently completely out of reach of other simulation tools: simulating a water-crossing car or turbine abrasion. Additionally, the computation can be faster in scenarios that are difficult for mesh-based methods such as free surface flows.

Advantages of MESHFREE:

  • MESHFREE is fully MPI parallelized and scales well on clusters (shared and distributed).
  • MESHFREE internally uses SAMG – a powerful library for solving the linear systems of equations based on algebraic multigrid technology.
  • MESHFREE is already in productive operation for a wide range of applications. A comprehensive scripting language allows for full flexibility in building new applications and fully automated workflows.
MESHFREE is not a static software. It is under continuous development by Fraunhofer’s experts to ensure its status as cutting edge software. The team adds new features and keeps the numerical methods up to date with the latest research results.


To ensure the best possible cooperation, Fraunhofer offers accompanying services along the entire product and process development cycle.

  • Licensing – our partners can license MESHFREE to simulate any application on their own hardware
  • Contract simulations – our partners order MESHFREE simulations for specific applications on Fraunhofer’s hardware
  • Feasibility studies – novel applications of partners are investigated at Fraunhofer
  • Research projects – new features and models are developed within the framework of industrial and publicly funded projects in cooperation with our partners from industry, research institutes, and academia
  • Support of young academics – students are assisted in their use of MESHFREE for their thesis

Video: MESHFREE »Getting to the Points«

Steffen Hagmann from Porsche, one of the project partners, explains how they use the software in vehicle development. Our expert Isabel Michel and expert Jörg Kuhnert explain in which other areas MESHFREE is used.

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In practice: An overview of the whole range of applications in our MESHFREE video.

Comparison of MESHFREE to Mesh-Based

Aspect Mesh-based Method MESHFREE
Preparing a 3D Simulation 3D meshing. High quality mesh software needed Requires 2D surface mesh only. MESHFREE automatically fills the computation domain with the point cloud.
Free Surface Flows e.g. Volume-of-fluid, computation of full domain In MESHFREE, only the part of the simulation domain that is filled with the fluid needs to be computed yielding a computational advantage.
Rapidly Moving Geometries Remeshing (potentially computational expensive)

The point cloud automatically adapts to the changing fluid domain. Full flexibility regarding changing topologies.

Local Refinement Remeshing (potentially computational expensive)

Also full flexibility for local refinement – even while you are computing the simulation with our computational steering feature!

Interpretation of Results


The points of the point cloud move with the velocity of the fluid. This yields a very intuitive way to visualize and interpret the computational results.


MESHFREE offers a suite of well-established numerical solvers. In multiphase scenarios, these solvers can be combined as required. Further options for coupling of several phases are available.


Incompressible/Weakly Compressible Flows and Continuum Mechanics

Implicit solver for the conservation equations of incompressible and weakly compressible flows with applications in fluid dynamics or complex material modeling


Compressible Flows

Explicit solver for the conservation equations of gasdynamics


Discrete Elements

Explicit solver for the movement of solid particles or fluid droplets, e.g. in interaction with an incompressible fluid flow


Rigid Bodies

Rigid body movement (translation and rotation) of geometries due to acting forces of the flow


External Flow Data

Data source for one-way coupling or comparison in convergence studies