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Structural Dynamics Toolbox

Previous releases

Version 6.8
Version 6.7
Version 6.6
Version 6.5
Version 6.4
Version 6.3
Version 6.2
Version 6.1
Version 6.0
Version 5.3
Version 5.2
Version 5.1
Version 5.0

SDT 6.8

March 2016

SDT 6.8 is the only version compatible with MATLAB 8.6 (2015b) and 9.0 (2016a) mostly due to ongoing improvements of MATLAB graphics. Key changes of this release are

  • A continued upgrade for SDT GUI with additional interactive java tabs. Image generation, described in section 8.1, illustrates definition of projects Project for output file generation and handling of style sheets in OsDic. The java library cinguj.jar must be on the static path (check with sdtcheck('PatchJavapath')). Developer level documentation of GUI functions is now included in section 8.
  • A major rewrite of numerical experiment handling capabilities in fe_range. In particular uses as scheduler of hierarchical parametric computations and post-processor for parametric results are documented.
  • Continued extension of file generation with capabilities to generate multiple movies fecom AnimMovie, save the figure in multiple formats (.fig,.png, see comgui ImWrite), ...
  • extensions Java based result tables with introduction of export capabilities, see comstr -17.
  • continued development of the piezo manual. In particular extension of patch meshing in sdtweb('d_piezo#MeshPlate') and introduction of a shunt damping example (sdtweb('shunt'))

Key changes for FEMLink are

  • ans2sdt significant enhancements to CDB reading and writing with extended element and material/section property support. Performance fixes for emat reading.
  • nasread fixed problems with multiple case importing, implementation of gravity translation. Automated writing of superelements as DMIG.
  • abaqus significant robustness enhancements of .INP reading. Robustness of the BuildUp command.
  • GUI in femlink

For MATLAB compatibility see here.

Outside documentation and demos in sdtdemos, the following functions have been modified:

beam1supports the Beam1In flag to avoid use of inertia correction.
cbushfixed problems with use of node in element for local orientation definition and hysteretic damping computations.
comguimajor extensions of the image writing capabilities. Export to Word and PowerPoint is now included with the project definition. Movie generation with the .gif extension and multi-extension (for example .png and .fig) are now included. Improved cropping options. Improved file name generation and interaction with projects, see comgui PlotWd. Introduction of style sheets, see OsDic.
fe_coorrobustness enhancements for enforced motion problems opt(1)=4.
fe_cyclicenhanced support of long and double formats used to store solutions of cyclic and periodic systems. See also the unsupported fe_homo function.
fe_defSubDef enhanced to support HDF formats and exports from fe_time results. SubCh and SubDOF extensions. CurveJoin supports definition of interpolation functions.
fe_expMajor rewrite to support all expansion methods based on a reduced superelement.
fe_gmshNotable extension of job writing call to GMSH capabilities.
fe_mknlRobustness of map merging.
fe_rangeMajor extension of GUI for visualization of experiments and the command loop for manipulating hierarchical computations.
fe_reducMinor robustness enhancements and introduction of a Free float=2 option where loads are orthogonalized with respect to known modes which improves conditioning.
fe_sensSignificant robustness and interactivity enhancements of GUI. Extension of fe_sens tdofTable.
fe_simulGUI for mode computations.
fe_timeRewrite of follow timers to allow checks during time integration.
feutilsetMat "Steel" Rho=1e-9 is how accepted. Significant extensions of set manipulation capabilities. Extended support of silent operation when using commands ending with an ;. Major rewrite of Refine operations for improved performance. Fixes to FixMpcMaster. GeomSmoothEdge places edge mid-node based on normals. Robust operation of GetDD to recover constitutive properties. Node manipulation operators (symmetry, shift, ...).
 performance and robustness enhancements for matching and connectivity based algorithms.
fecomfecom AnimMovie supports generation of a directory of animated shapes. ColorMatId is documented. Synchronized figures are used in ii_mac. TextMatId places a label in the middle of each material area.
feguiCritFcn provides a first documentation of criterion functions used to formalize objective functions with coloring and threshold strategies.
fesuperRobustness enhancements in SE generation, stack splitting, and handling of v_handle.
id_rcQualTable sensor sets by mode and I/O pair.
id_rmAdded new commands: PermuteIO to ease handling of hammer tests, FlipdataSign to handle sensors with flipped sign, Mass for low level implementation of modal mass estimation.
idcomRewrite of generalized mass estimation. Rewrite of menu structure.
ii_macMacCo was extended with a ByMode option. Options .MinMAC, .Df documented for pairing. Continued efforts in output formatting and export to Word/Excel/TeX. ShowDock documented to obtain MAC and two deformations, _PlotMacTick accessible from main menu Edit view, MacText accessible from context menu display text values. MacError table supports navigation in modes.
ii_mmifrobustness enhancements vel,acc, FFT properly detects spatial and time transforms. Stats introduced to handle typical feature extraction, MMIF ByIn/Out.
ii_plpplp supports significant extensions of line markers.
iicomExtended export to word. Notable robustness and documentation enhancements to all comgui objSet commands.
iimousecompatibility with recent evolutions of MATLAB. Improved datatip handling. Rewrite of context menus. Support of ViewClone for multiple feplot figures. Subfunction LinkedCh was extended to enhance table interactivity with more table types (Java tables in particular). Docking commands how support topology definition.
of_mkimproved parallel operations and compatibility with MATLAB 2016a (affects multiple OpenFEM functions).
p_beamimproved support of stress computations.
p_piezoRobustness enhancements in the support of multiple consitutive law formats.
p_shellformulations 5x support rotation inertia for explicit time integration. SetThick can be used to introduced variable thickness areas.
p_ztimplementation of a zero thickness element family used to constrain normal and tangential displacement on possibly curved interfaces.
sdtcheckrobustness enhancements in particular for PatchJavapath which is necessary for new GUI operations.
sdtroothas been notably extended with many new tabs, support floating tabs in GUI development, ... Related changes affect sdt_locale, sdcedit, sdt_dialogs, ....
sdtwebnotable extensions of support commands _wd, _find, ...

SDT 6.7

January 2015

SDT 6.7 is the only version compatible with MATLAB 8.4 (2014b) and later. Key changes of this release are

  • A major revision of all the SDT interfaces for compatibility with the new graphical system of MATLAB 8.4 (2014b).
  • Major extensions legend/filename generation capabilities, see comgui.
  • Significant enhancement of documentation with more readable links to be reused in sdtweb calls.
  • introduction of more readable Java based results tables in many functions.

Key changes for FEMLink are

  • ans2sdt major extension of CDB reading capabilities and bug fixes associated to changes in MATLAB R2013a behavior and 64 bit pointers in newer ANSYS versions. Reading of mapping is now supported. Reading of stresses and other ESL output in .rst files.
  • nasread better handling of CROD cases that correspond to bar1. Support of rectangular DMIG writing. Enhanced PBEAM,PROD translation.
  • abaqus more consistent reading of steps the BuildCase command allows setting-up the case relative to a desired step. Revision of the resolve command to enhance handling of node and element sets in general cases (compatibility with assembly of part instances). Translation of contact (for the *CONTACT PAIR command) to the contact module or SDT/NL, see section 1.5, is now supported for most classical rules. *Orientation properly translated into pro.MAP.
  • samcef improved multiple files with INPUT cards. Detailed improvement of .AEL, .FRA, .MCT, .STI, ...

For MATLAB compatibility see here.

Outside documentation and demos in sdtdemos, the following functions have been modified:

comguimajor revision of image (ImWrite), filename (ImFtitle) and legend (def.Legend) generation utilities.
 Major extensions of the grouped object setting objSet commands used by SDT for figure and object formatting. Name generation extended and properly documented in objString
 Export of java tables to LaTeX/csv/text formats.
cingujmajor rewrite of the JAVA based GUI part of the toolbox with many bug fixes. A static javapath is now desired and fixed with sdtcheck('PatchJavaPath').
fe2ssintroduced -cpx command option for complex mode state-space support where hysteretic damping models can be used. This complements the alternative -loss2C. fe2ss SysDef now support restitution of enforced displacement.
feplotsignificant extensions of colormaps. Full rewrite of fecom AnimMovie.
feutilextended support for non OpenFEM face numbering schemes. OptimDegen transforms degenerate elements to their lower node number counterpart. Extended support of silent mode with ; at end of command.
feutilbprovides commands CombineModel and SubModel to support combination of models or extraction of submodels with clean handling of Stack, Mat/Pro, Case entries.
fe_casemore robust handling of hysteretic damping assembly for interpolated materials. Introduced fe_case SetCurve commands to easier handling of time/frequency varying loads.
fe_ceigfirst order correction is now supported with CeigMethod=2.
fe_cyclicsupport of inertial loading on partial model.
fe_eigGenMass command generates table of generalized masses.
fe_expmajor rewrite of function and documentation to support newer data structures and optimize performance.
fe_loadimproved support of DofLoad.
fe_matrobustness of unit handling, extensions of material law interpolation.
fe_mpcFixDofBas2mpc supports transform of local basis FixDof to MPC entries. DofSetMerge combines multiple DOFSet into one, which is the only case supported by most solvers.
fe_senstdofTable handling of sensor definitions as tables has been further documented and robustified.
fe_rangesignificantly extend commands previously in fe_def('range') for DOE handling.
fe_simulextended support of damping and enforced input (DofSet) entries in direct frequency response.
fe_timesupport for enforced displacement with DOFSet entries has been introduced.
fe_timesignificant extensions and performance enhancements for explicit solvers.
fe_mknloptimized support for node numbers above 2e9. Robustness and documentation extensions for pro.MAP.
fe_stresscomputation of Von Mises stress is now compiled.
iicomsignificant extension of support for 2D plots (contour, image, ...). Robustness and documentation improvements of multiple image generation ImWrite.
iimousemajor rewrite for R2014b compatibility, interactivity with java tables (comstr -17). Support of docking and datatip interactivity. Additional keyboard callbacks (press ? in iiplot or feplot).
id_rcenhanced support of error and quality indicators of identification quality.
id_rmrobustness and GUI enhancements.
ii_macsignificant GUI rewrite in particular for table generation.
ii_mmifrobustness enhancements for signal processing capabilities.
ii_plpmajor extensions of Legend, TickFcn, introduction of new ColorMap
m_piezosupport for a database of commercial piezo patches has been introduced. Materials have been added and properties corrected.
nor2ssfixed compatibility issues with the Control Toolbox and Simulink. Improved warnings.
p_piezointroduced new Tab commands to display model and material properties in a easily readable forms.
p_solidimproved support of anisotropic materials and composite shell.
res2ssnotable rewrite and fixed compatibility issues with the Control Toolbox and Simulink.
sdtroothas been notably extended to support floating tabs in GUI development. Related changes affect sdt_locale, sdcedit, sdt_dialogs.
sdtwebsignificant robustness enhancements. Improved _TagList. Introduction of _find command for file search.
setlinesimproved compatibility with comgui objSet.
ufread,ufwriteimproved compatibility LMS-Testlab and performance enhancements.
cbush,celasimproved support for gyroscopic matrices and loss factor.

SDT 6.6

March 2014

SDT 6.6 is the first version compatible with MATLAB 8.2 (2013b). Key changes of this release are

  • piezo modeling utilities have undergone major revision and are now documented in specific manuel, see sdtweb('piezo').
  • support for composite materials in shells has been significantly enhanced.
  • a major effort on parallel FEM assembly in leads to significantly improved performance for all compiled elements.
  • handling of stress sensors section 4.7 has been significantly extended and now supports more multi-physics cases.
  • automated figure and report generation has been significantly extended, see comgui.

Key changes for FEMLink are

  • ans2sdt significant extension of CDB reading capabilities and bug fixes associated to changes in MATLAB R2013a behavior.
  • nasread performance of op2 reading was enhanced. Matrix reading in op2 form was introduced.

For MATLAB compatibility see here

Outside documentation and demos in sdtdemos, the following functions have been modified.

comguienhancement of automated image generation with ImWrite.
fe2sssystematic treatment of fe_load DofSet was introduced and tested for piezo application. In compatibilities with control toolbox were corrected.
cingujTODO documentation
fecomimproved generality and documentation of color scaling options. Energy sums by group in InfoMass are more general.
fe_caseSensDof sensor and stress-cut handling was robustified and further documented. Labels for unique DOFs are more consistently filled.
 ConnectionSurface supports a new MatchS option that can be very much faster.
fe_curveenhancements and revision of documentation of test curves and commands for fe_load. TODO doc
fe_cyclicnow supports periodicity condition building based in DOF rather than nodes. This is important for multi-physic applications.
fe_defrobustness of AppendDef and SubRef was enhanced. Range commands for the representation of experiments (parameters of a design space) were extended.
fe_gmshinterface and documentation enhancement. Partial read of geometry files.
fe_matunit conversion was enhanced with new call formats and now support piezo-electric properties.
fe_mknlintroduced an optimized strategy for matrix preallocation.
fe_normmemory footprint was improved for intensive operations.
fe_qualityinteraction with feplot for viewing mesh quality was improved.
fe_reduca new Call command now supports user defined methods, while keeping the standard model initialization. Free-bset is a new option for enforced motion.
fe_sensTODO document GUI changes
fe_simulimproved handling hysteretic damping and enforced motion for full order frequency computations DRFR.
fe_stressGetTop supports handling of stress topologies comming from external FEM codes.
fe_time.Follow handling and theta method implementation were revised.
fesuperthe new command DefCh supports expansion for specific DOF. This is used for on the fly display of responses in superelements. SeInfoNode recurses in components for information about elements connected to a node.
feutilsupport with silent operation using the ; command option was extended.
idcomimplemented silent versions of most commands (ending by ;). The error indicator now also provides a contribution indication that quantifies the modal contribution with respect to overal transfer level.
 a contribution indicator was added to the error plot TODO
ii_macdefault table output is now in java, TODO CursorClick
matguimatgui('jpl',model) supports java rendering of properties.
nor2ssLabOut and LabIn commands are used for robust interaction with toolboxes from the MathWorks.
p_beamclarified documentation and robustness of subtype 3 (standard sections)
q4csnow supports piezoelectric shell formulations for topologies other than the quadrangle.
sdt_localenew function supporting handling of button definitions in CSV files. Supports the generation of extensible GUI.
mklserv_utilsan external ofact solver based on MKL Pardiso. This solver is much faster at factorization than the base spfmex. This patch to SDT can be downloaded with sdtcheck('patchMkl').
mkl_utilssupports optimized residual computations in fe_time. This patch to SDT can be downloaded with sdtcheck('patchMkl').
m_elastic-therm used to include thermal constants in database material properties. Improved support for composite materials.
p_beamimproved documentation of predefined sections.
p_shellimproved support for composites. New merge command to combine multiple laminates. TODO check doc.
sdtwebdevelopment of navigation with _tagList was continued, documentation was improved.

SDT 6.5

December 2012

SDT 6.5 is the first version compatible with MATLAB 8.0 (2012b). Key features of this release are

  • Major update of iiplot,iicom to support more general plots (contour, surface, ...) and documented control procedures for automated inits, legend, marker lines, text based tick, ...
  • Major revision of feplot. Rewrite of the color field handling : support for colored vector field display, reuse of pre-computed energy at elements data structures, ... Introduction of a complete iicom ImWrite command for generation of image sequences to be included in automated reports.
  • Significant improvement of utilities for piezo modeling : visualization of charges and electrical fields, ...
  • Improved compatibility with MATLAB figure toolbar callbacks and japanese version of MATLAB.

Key features of FEMLink 3.8 are

  • abaqus improved reading of .fil (velocity, acceleration and resultant fields), read/write .inp (*nset, *spring, *orientation, composite and orthotropic materials, element conversion table, contact)
  • ans2sdt improved reading of beam sections, velocity and resultant fields in .rst files.
  • nasread corrected support of MAT9 and MATT entries to reflect improved implementation in SDT. Bugs were corrected with writting of rigid case entries.
  • samcef improved u18 reading speed and support for 64 bit format files.

For MATLAB compatibility see here

The following functions have been modified

beam1robustness enhancements for compability with fe_caseg StressCut.
elem0enhanced VectFromDir (see section 7.13)
comguiMajor rewrite of comgui ImWrite and iicom ImWrite for automated figure generation.
fe_cyclicBuild-ByMat allows interfaces with coincident nodes.
fe_caseimproved handling of parameters, see upcom Par and fe_def Range
fe_casegRobustness enhancements in Assemble (see section 4.5.8), major extension of StressCut, ZoomClip.
fe_curvecorrected errors on noise generation for odd numbers of samples.
fe_gmshsignificant extension of CAD definition commands.
fe_defRange commands for the description of design maps are now documented. Many detail robustness enhancements.
fe_matrobustness enhancements for unit conversion (convert command) and for support of interpolated properties, see section 7.3.
fe_mpcmodel=fe_mpc('Rbe3Id',model) generated unique identifiers for RBE3 contraints.
fe_qualityimproved integration in feplot and robustness.
fe_reducFree (reduction on free modes) now supports DofSet (enforced displacement) commands. A .UseLoad option has been added to CraigBampton to allow computation of load residuals for a Craig Bampton reduction.
fe_sensrewritting of the gartte and gartsens demos associated with robustness enhancements.
fe_stressoutput of the Enerprovides newer options and output in the newer curve format. feplot now allows dynamic switching between energy value, density or group value.
fe_timeimproved implementation of Theta method integration.
feplotcomplete rewrite of ColorData for energy computations, ColorScale for more accurate display, field display for StressCut.
 improved support of HDF file delayed reading.
feutilMajor extension of the feutil SetPro command. Improved handling of surface sets. GetDof corrections for master DOFs in rigid elements.
feutilbMatch implements a new node matching strategy as MatchSurf and has undergone significant speed enhancements. CombineModel supports extended renumbering.
idcomimproved integration of Error computations. GUI robustness improvements.
ii_plpsignificant rewrite and documentation of iiplot PlotInfo utilities. Significant extensions of the Legend command. Documentation of the TickFcn capabilities.
iiplotdocumentation was revised to include PlotInfo in particular.
 compatibility with MATLAB figure toolbar callbacks (including datatip) was improved
 Mouse editing of xlabel, ... is made persistent when scanning through channels by modification of the comgui objSet commands applied to ua.axProp.
iicomrewritting of the SubSave command to allowing easier switch between multiple views.
 Show now supports 3D (f(x,y)) plots more consistently : inits, cursor, surface, contour, ...
 CurveInit clarifies the init and display. PoleLine, ImWrite are revised and better documented.
q4csimproved integration of stress computations.
p_piezocharge and electrical field viewing are available.
p_solidmaterial coordinate systems are now supported for anisotropic elasticity. Improved Default command and support of constitutive law output.
sdtwebmajor rewrite for links at support of _tagList command that opens the MATLAB editor at proper lines.
setlinesobjSet has been documented.

SDT 6.4

November 2011

SDT 6.4 is a relatively minor release due to significant architectural work on GUI and implicit curve models that is not yet mature enough for general release. Key features are

  • significant enhancement of sensor support in terms of speed and functionality with the new stress cut (see section 4.4). The objective is to allow detailed stress analysis on arbitrary viewing meshes. This strategy is particularly interesting for the analysis of stress responses in long transients where the volume of data can become very large. Detail extensions of stress processing were also introduced with this functionality.
  • proper documentation and introduction of an Euler solver was made for the study of transient heat equation problems, see section 6.1.12 and p_heat.
  • feplot handling of field colors has undergone a major revision for more consistent handling and improved on the fly generation of color maps for the animation of long transients.
  • partial MAC

Key features of FEMLink 3.7 are

  • abaqus significant robustness enhancements, in particular for parts and motion commands.
  • ans2sdt improved CP reading in multi-physics configurations. Added some elements missing from the supported list. Fixed compatibility issues with newer ANSYS binaries.
  • nasread introduced partial support for OUTPUT4 in text format. Detail corrections and performance enhancements.
  • samcef now supports an imp2 command to build explicit second order models from implicit ones. A number of detail enhancements are also introduced.

MATLAB compatibility

  • MATLAB 7.6 to 7.13 (2011b). SDT 6.4 and FEMLink 3.7 are developed for these versions of MATLAB and are fully compatible with them.
  • MATLAB 7.5 is fully compatible with the exception of the new curvemodel object which requires the newer MATLAB object.
  • MATLAB7.1 to 7.4 compatibility is no longer tested. But there are only minor limitations in HDF support (only affects users interested in large FEM computations).
  • Earlier MATLAB releases are no longer supported.

In more detail the following functions have been significantly modified:

feplotfecom ColorScale commands were fully revised for improved stability and performance. ColorDataEner was fully revised to allow reuse of existing energy computations. A new InfoMass command is available to summarize component masses. ColorDataEval was significantly extended in particular for the support of StressCut selections. A new -ColorBarTitle option was added. Minor corrections to the AnimAvi command were introduced.
feutilMajor extension of the feutil SetPro command. Improved handling of surface sets.
feutilbmajor improvement in matching speed (used for ConnectionSurface or StressCut). Robustness enhancement for out-of-core operations.
fe2ssMinor bug corrections on damping handling.
fe_caseSensDof entry has been extended for better rotation sensor support. Incompatible matching speed has been greatly enhanced. The new StressCut command (see section 4.4) was introduced to allow stress processing of long transient simulations.
 ConnectionSurface now support multi-physics FEM problems.
 stack_get and set commands are now supported.
fe_defEnhanced documentation, label generation, curve joining, ...
fe_fmeshnow packages calls to MATLAB 3D delaunay capabilities.
fe_mknl, basisFixed minor bugs with the generation of dependent coordinate systems and improved handling of round-off errors. Port of right hand side computations to of_mk has been extended.
fe_mpca new FixRbe3Alt was introduced to ease reformating of RBE3 entries.
fe_reducthe documentation was rewritten. The Craig-Bampton command was revised to support out-of-core operations with .mat files in the HDF format.
fe_timesupport for θ-method and Euler solvers has been added. Improvements of on the fly processing with have been made in of_time. Major improvements for for non-linear time simulation are being developed and will be offered as a SDT extension.
sdtwebm-file opening with tag searches has been enhanced.
curvemodelThis new object (requires MATLAB >=7.6) is used for implicit curve models. This object is the basis for future extensions of signal processing and FEM restitution capabilities in SDT.
fe_sensToFEM option was added to the basis command to improve test mesh orientation procedures.
fe_simulStatic now supports mixed DofSet and DofLoad entries.
idcomRobustness enhancements and improved support of quality indicator.
id_rmMinor revisions for data structure support.
ii_macnow supports a SubDof option for MAC computation on partial DOF sets. Documentation was rewritten. Minor bug corrections on COMAC and MACCO labels.
ii_plpExtended vertical line generation capabilities.
iicom,iiplotExtended support of HDF file reading. Significant extensions of polar and 2D plots. Many minor bug corrections.
p_piezoEnhanced compatibility with fe_simul and minor bug fixes.
p_beamIntroduced NSM support for subtype 3 and revised section display capabilities.
p_heatSupport and documentation of solvers for transient heat equation has been extended.
ufreadImproved robustness reading headers.
upcomMajor documentation rewritting and better integration with fe_case.
cinguiMajor revision in preparation for SDT/Java integration and improved command option handling.
sdthdfimproved robustness and performance.
line2was introduced as topology holder for multi-physics 3D line elements.
tria3now properly supports local fiber orientation.

SDT 6.3

November 2010

Key features of the SDT 6.3 release are

  • iiplot was significantly enhanced (multi-dimensional scanning, channel lbel generation, channel selection, ...). The SubToFig command was introduced to ease the automated report generation process.
  • fe_curve signal processing and curve generation were extended and integrated into iiplot.
  • sensor documentation and robustness was significantly revised to improve ease of use and access for new users (see section 4.3 and fe_sens commands Basis, Laser and WireExp).
  • Tutorials on wire frame definition (section 3.1) and basic interpolation (section 3.3.2 and fe_sens('WireExp') were revised).

Key features of FEMLink 3.6 are

  • ans2sdt was significantly enhanced in its ability to read CDB files (and some forms of input files). Local coordinates are now supported. Material properties are read more consistently. Partial support of .sub and .cms files was introduced.
  • nasread was revised for enhanced PBEAML, PBARL read/write, ASET, GENEL and OEF support, OQG read performance, ...
  • ufread has new or improved support of files 776, 791, 1710, 2435, 2467, 2477


  • Significant extensions of the ability to specify fields at nodes, DOFs and integration points were introduced. See section 7.13 (sdtweb('VectFromDir')). Associated fe_mknl commands OrientMap and MapMerge were fully revised.
  • elem0 command GaussObserve that supports generation of observation information at Gauss points was extended.
  • fe_time underwent many detail improvements. An implementation of the Theta method was added.
  • p_beam underwent a major revision to support a wider range of pre-defined sections.

MATLAB compatibility

  • MATLAB 7.4 to 7.11 (2010b). SDT 6.3 and FEMLink 3.6 are developed for these versions of MATLAB and are fully compatible with them.
  • MATLAB7.1 to 7.3 compatibility is tested and there a minor limitations in HDF support. This limitation really only affects users interested in large FEM computations.
  • MATLAB 6.5 and 7.0 are not compatible with this release of SDT.

The following functions have been modified.

feplotColorBar was fully revised to allow consistent property editing.
 Inits for cf.def.LabFcn are more consistent.
 ColorData has been extended. Eval options now support radial or tangential motion colors. -EdgeAlpha can now be specified directly to obtain transparent edges.
 ScaleMatch now works more consistently in mixed FEM/test displays.
 the material and property tabs now generate view of all elements with the associated material (earlier faces internal to the body were not shown)
 AnimAvi for AVI generation was rewritten for more robustness.
fesuperimproved restitution and minor robustness enhancements
feutilperformance and robustness was enhanced for AddNode. ShellMap now supports material orientation maps. AddTest (model merging) now supports material and property renumbering. Orientation problems in the divide command were fixed for surfaces.
 MatId, ProId now support easier property renumbering.
 AddElt is a new command easing addition of element groups.
 FindNode now supports a selection within a cylinder with cyl
 SetPro was introduced to associated fields with element properties stack entries (for example orientation maps)
 RotateNode was introduced to allow rotations without node duplication.
fe_casethe ConnectionScrew command was significantly extended.
 Assemble now supports a -reset option to force reassembly (see sdtweb('simul#feass') ). A number of minor problems were also fixed.
fe_cyclicSolve-FixTan is now supported to fix the global rotation mode in 0 diameter computations. An error was corrected for periodic static and mode solutions.
fe_curveTest and window commands for signal generation and windowing were fully revised.
fe_defwas significantly extended for GUI handling, deformation structure manipulation (see section 7.8 for SubDef, SubDof, Exp), Curve[Join,Cat] were extended, ...
fe_eigmethod 5 was rewritten to optimize accuracy and memory handling
fe_gmshthe OpenFEM driver for GMSH was revised
fe_mpca rbe32c command for RBE3 to MPC transformation was added.
fe_reducnow consistently supports the -matdes option.
fe_qualityfor mesh quality evaluation was improved for robustness
iicom,iiplothave undergone major revisions for label generation, multi-dimensional array viewing, scanning of 2D views (spectrogram, ...), integration with signal processing in ii_mmif.
 The MATLAB waitforbuttonpress bug is bypassed. The SubToFig command eases manual editing of iiplot figures. The polar command extends support of polar plots.
idcomnow support cursor interaction in the identification error plot. EstLocal the narrow frequency band estimator was rewritten to improve results in cases with closely spaced modes.
ii_macwas revised and now supports interactivity with feplot (see feplot('Show2def-mac'))
ii_mmifrobustness and signal processing capabilities were significantly enhanced
iimousesignificant architecture changes and rewrite of view and current view (cv) commands.
nor2ssnow support -foh and -zoh options for discrete time state space model generation.
p_solidsupports better defaults.
p_beamwas significantly rewritten.
sdthdfdue to MATLAB bug corrections, support of HDF 5 is now stable for MATLAB >= 7.10
sdtwebnow allows m-file opening with tag searches. This is used to ease documentation of internal commands.
comguiimwrite used to generate captures was significantly revised and supports -clipboard and -ftitle options.

SDT 6.2

November 2009

Key features of the SDT 6.2 release are

  • a major revision of the iiplot interface was introduced to improve label handling, support the direct display of time simulation results, integration of signal processing capabilities of ii_mmif, 2D displays associated with time/frequency plots, ...
  • fecom, and iicom usability is improved with new icons, revised menus, iiplot/ feplot interaction, interactive mesh editing, default model properties, ...
  • improved the readability of the documentation through keyword highlighting in both the HTML and PDF, see section 1.4.
  • introduction of a generic file for test setup definitions typically filled with Excel. This significantly simplified the definition of sensors and triaxes normal to the supporting surface as well as laser vibrometer measurement specification.
  • full rewrite of node matching algorithms which enhances speed for mesh generation, sensor matching, incompatible mesh handling, ...

Key features of FEMLink 3.5 are

  • ufread has been modified to improve robustness to fields containing blanks, enhance reading speed and correct problems with local coordinate systems.
  • abaqus has been extended and optimized.
  • samcef import/export capabilities have been extended.
  • ans2sdt was revised for a better support of degenerate elements.
  • nasread was extended to support variations introduced in NASTRAN 2007. Stress reading from op2 files was improved.

OpenFEM has undergone many detail improvements and the following revisions

  • The support of general fields at nodes has been significantly generalized with labels identifying the fields for easier generation of families of elements with implementations depending on fields actually present (typical fields are constitutive properties, material orientations, thickness, temperature, pressure, ...). The first version of a property interpolation mechanism based on tables is introduced.
  • a better mechanism to return to MATLAB after the field extraction and Jacobian computations of each element is introduced.
  • composite shell support has been extended.


  • SDT 6.2 is compatible with MATLAB 7.1 to 2009b (7.9). Currently compiled platforms are Windows (32 & 64), Linux (32 & 64) and MacOS. For earlier releases, see details
  • SDT 6.2 is the ONLY version compatible with MATLAB > 7.8 (R2009a) on 64 bit platforms.
  • Release notes can be found in the documentation http://www.sdtools.com/help/rel62.htm.
  • For download/installation procedures see www.sdtools.com/faq/Release.html.

The following functions have significant modifications


has undergone significant extensions for improved dataset support (direct display of FEM responses, selection in multi-dimension datasets, ...), mouse interactivity, improved menus and icons. Many detailed robustness enhancements.
idcom now support cursor interaction in the identification error plot.
fe_sens introduced cell array description of complex test setups (see section 4.3.2), improved sensor matching robustness
ii_mmif signal processing capabilities have been significantly extented. Processing of FEM time deformations can now be done directly.
fe2ss now supports parametric models
fesuper many detail improvements in superlement building and restitution

feplot, fecom

improved support for the display of stack entries.
  Display of sensor entries has been improved through bug corrections on the cursor, compatibility with TextDof command.
fe_case improved of RBE3 support.
fe_cyclic support of periodic rather than cyclic solutions. Major extensions of the cyclic symmetry capabilities are under way be will be distributed as a SDT-Rotor module.
fe_mknl, fe_case Significant efforts where done to clarify debugging information when improper models are used.
fe_quality This new function supports many estimates of finite element mesh quality.
feutil improved face support. Corrected bugs in r based node selection. All mesh building commands have been ported so that femesh can be bypassed alltogether. This seems easier to learn for new users.
fe_stres the function has been renamed fe_stress (the limitation on 8 characters being very obsolete). Bugs in shell stress processing have been corrected.
q4cs the SDT composite/piezo element has undergone a major revision for improved orientation handling and stress computations.

SDT 6.1

August 2008

Key features of the SDT 6.1 release are

  • Significant extensions, optimization and robustness enhancements for iiplot and feplot property editors.
  • Major extensions of the superelement capabilities with optimized full and partial restitution for models with millions of nodes.
  • Significant refinement and robustness enhancement for sensors: improved matching, detailed visualization, ...
  • Extensions of the support tools state-space model building for active structures, see section 6.6.
  • Performance enhancement on the handling of large models.

Key features of FEMLink 3.4 are

  • nasread, naswrite have undergone further speed optimization, support for property conversion has been extended.
  • abaqus has been extended and optimized. This release is the first to introduce a mechanism for ODB export to an SDT readable format.
  • ans2sdt .cdb support has been extended. Robustness modifications were performed for ANSYS 11 compatibility.
  • samcef import/export capabilities have been optimized.

OpenFEM has undergone many detail improvements and the following revisions

  • model manipulations in feutil and fe_mknl have been optimized for very large models.
  • field at node definitions are now much more consistenly implemented and sforwarded to element level computations. This capability is used for general shell, thermoelasticity or to support fully anistropic properties defined by fields.
  • element functions have been been extended for a better automated support of user defined problem formulations. 2D volumes and boundaries now work consistently and were applied to 2D heat diffusion problems (see ofdemos AnnularHeat).


Function with significant extensions


support for Rayleigh damping specification. Support state display in feplot.
feplot, fecomOptimized loading and colordata operations. Improved robustness of the property figure (multiple sensor, boundary condition selection, rapid selection of groups, materials and properties shown, simple delete of stack entries, ...). Improved the robustness of selection cursors (use context menu Cursor:Stack.
 Support of partial restitution of superelements. Selections now support a -linface to allow animations without use of the mid-side nodes of quadratic elements.
 Improved Stack and CStack operations with multi-level name based indexing and regular expressions.
fe_coormajor optimization for the handling of models in the 1e6 DOF range.
fe_cyclicsupport of periodic rather than cyclic solutions. Major extensions of the cyclic symmetry capabilities are under way be will be distributed as a SDT-Rotor module.
fe_mknl,fe_caseassembly operations have been optimized for large models in both memory use and speed. The definition of a model.Dbfile can be used to allow off-load to a database.
fesupermajor optimization of superelement assembly and introduction of partial restitution mechanisms. Extension of feplot to support on the fly partial restitution.
feutilmajor performance enhancements for large model handling. These apply to selection mechanisms, lin2quad transformation.
q4csspeed optimization.
fe_senssignificant robustness enhancements in SensMatch and all sensor related commands. See section 4.3.
fe_simulintroduces optimized assembly, more consistent consideration of damping, ...
iiplot, idcomsignificant robustness and performance optimization. Cursor linking abscissa and deformation shown in feplot.
ii_mmifmajor extensions of signal processing capabilities integrated in the iicom GUI, see section 2.1.6.
v_handlesupport for variable handles stored in HDF5 .mat files has been introduced. This is the basis for fecom load-hdf, which loads minimal information into feplot, and model.Dbfile support.

SDT 6.0

June 2007

SDT 6.0 is marks a major revision of SDT. Key features of the release are

  • A complete revision of the GUI functions feplot and iiplot, with great extensions of the property viewing capabilities as well as easier command line access to data in the figure. See section 5.1 and section 3.1.
  • A complete rewriting of the superelement modeling features, with transformations of parts into models, optimized restitution, ... See section 6.2.
  • A major generalization of the notion of sensors for both analysis and test/analysis correlation, see section 5.4.
  • Major optimization, for large models, of the fe_case connections commands.
  • The introduction of support tools for structures with piezoelectric materials, modeled using volume or shell elements, see section 6.5. The q4cs shell now fully supports classical lamination theory and piezoelectric actuation/sensing.

Key features of FEMLink 3.3 are

  • nasread, naswrite have been the object of many detail improvements in particular for large model read/write.
  • abaqus is the new interface to read and write ABAQUS models.
  • ans2sdt ANSYS 9-11 support and large file handling was refined. Reading of ASCII format full matrix, reading and writing of .cdb model files were introduced.
  • samcef import/export capabilities to SAMCEF have been greatly enhanced.

OpenFEM has undergone many detail improvements and the following revisions

  • Support for material orientation maps for surfaces and volumes that are useful in composite and biomechanics applications.
  • An OpenMP parallel version of matrix assembly, that can be used for non-linear solutions is available trough separate downloads (with minor interactions with a MATLAB bug at exit).
  • support for definition of selections through sets, which is compatible with most CAE environments, has been fundamentally revised.
  • Time integration capabilities have undergone significant optimization (fe_time) .
  • the GMSH has undergone significant extension.

Version 5.3

April 2006

Key features of the SDT 5.3 release are

  • MATLAB 7 integration, this release takes real advantage of new Matlab 7 features. New support for the MATLAB 7.0 64 bit versions on Linux. This becomes the best platform to run large FEM models. The previous software limitation to 1.5 GB address space (4 GB on MACs) is no longer a difficulty.

  • Optimization efforts have been made on the feplot and iiplot which result in significant stability and speed gains when dealing with large data sets or models.

  • the new q4cs shell element based on an MITC4 formulation fixes limitations that existed in earlier shell elements. Classical lamination theory is fully supported and support of piezoelectric shells is under experimentation. Piezoelectric volume formulations are now supported.

  • The v_handle object now implement a number of out-of-core operations that can be used when dealing with large FEM models. This is used by feplot which can now dynamically read shapes from a file, fe_reduc which can use out of core operations and functions that use shapes read from a binary FEM file.

  • The incompatible mesh matching features feutilb Match (given a position find intrinsic coordinates within the matching volume of surface element) and MpcFromMatch build linear constraints giving displacement and possibly rotation at the matched node) have been significantly enhanced. This is currently used for advanced connection models accessible through fe_case Connection commands. Possible uses of the base capability are enhanced test/analysis correlation capabilities, support for strain sensors, general non-conform mesh handling, contact problems, ...

OpenFEM (the FEM engine included in SDT) has undergone major revisions to get it ready for fully non linear applications. Although no working application is distributed, a number of key capabilities are included in this distribution.

  • To ease the use for multi-physics problems, DOFs used by an element are now normally dependent on the declared element properties. Standard shapes (hexa8, ...) are thus topology holders (8 node volumes) rather than associated with a particular physics formulation. The implementation of a particular set of physics is now entirely defined in the associated property function p_solid for 2D and 3D mechanics, linear acoustics and fluid structure coupling, p_heat for the heat equation, p_piezo for piezoelectrive volumes and shells. Other applications not included in the distribution are the generation of layered shell models with variable numbers of layers or the development of poroelastic formulations based in Biot's model. This major change can affect the result of GetDof commands when the properties are not defined.

  • Compilation for generic elements has progressed so that you can now define new formulations that include right hand side and stress computations with to need to enter of_mk or fe_mknl. These developments are associated with some performance enhancements and a more consistent set of error reports. sdtdef('diag',12) can now be used in a debugging mode for many assembly related problems. Non linear follower pressure forces are now supported.

  • The selection of integrations rules in the element properties is now consistently implemented. This is particularly important for non-linear problems but is also used in post-processing applications since it allows stress evaluations at other points than model assembly.

  • Time integration capabilities (fe_time) have been significantly enhanced with optimization for explicit integration and implementation of output sub-sampling techniques that allow for different steps for integration and output. Definitions of time variations of loads is now consistently made using curves (see fe_curve).

  • an interface to GMSH has been introduced to give an access to its interesting unstructured meshing capabilities.

Key features of FEMLink 3.2 are

  • nasread has been significantly optimized in particular for very large file support in relation with the v_handle object which allows random access to large data sets (deformations stored in .op2 and .op4 formats).
  • naswrite has been significantly extended for bulk generation and editing, OUTPUT4 matrix writing, remote job handling.
  • ans2sdt now supports ANSYS 9 and 10 version.
  • perm2sdt the PERMAS reading interface has been fully rewritten allowing for much faster and consistent reading. Subcomponents are now supported.
  • samcef import/export capabilities to SAMCEF have been introduced.

This version is compatible with MATLAB 6.5 to 7.2 (2006a).

Version 5.2

May 2005

Key features of the SDT 5.2 release are

  • OpenFEM development has progressed with much improved handling of cases, a major revision of element functions to optimize model assembly and non-linear reassembly, bug fixes for load and stress computations. Handling of large models has improved significantly.
  • MATLAB 7 compatibility. Fixes concern the disappearance of the isglobal function, the changes in the object inheritance properties, help integration.
  • New support for the MATLAB 7.0 64 bit versions on Linux. This becomes the best platform to run large FEM models. The previous software limitation to 1.5 GB address space (4 GB on MACs) is no longer a difficulty.
  • The new sdthdf functions implement a number of out-of-core operations that can be used when dealing with large FEM models.

Key features of FEMLink 3.1 are

  • nasread optimization has continued resulting in major speed improvements for large FEM models and further robustness. Large op2 file support has improved. OUTPUT4 matrix reading has been compiled to allow for large matrix handling.
  • naswrite has been rewritten in great part resulting in vastly improved speeds and major extensions in supported cards. The new job commands let the user drive NASTRAN from MATLAB. The new EditBulk commands can be used to generate multiple jobs. The new wop4 command can be used to write matrices to Output4 format.
  • ans2sdt a number of bugs linked to the use of models combining symmetric and non symmetric element matrices have been fixed.
  • perm2sdt the PERMAS reading interface has been fully rewritten allowing for much faster and consistent reading. Subcomponents are now supported.

This version is compatible with MATLAB > 6.1. It is the only version compatible with MATLAB 7 (R14, R14.1 R14.2).

Version 5.1

October 2003

The SDT 5.1 and FEMLink 3.0 release introduces

SDT 5.1 is developed for MATLAB R12 and R13. It is compatible with MATLAB R11 (6.0) with minor restrictions on graphics linked to MATLAB bugs. SDT 5.1 is not compatible versions of MATLAB older than 6.0.
SDT 5.1 is currently available on Windows, Linux, SGI, HP-UX

For download/demo procedures see

Version 5.0

September 2002 The SDT 5.0 release introduces
  A major rework of Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) allow graphical editing of many properties of feplot and iiplot figure properties, FEM model properties, idcom options, ...
  A major upgrade of the finite element tools as a result of the OpenFEM project. This release introduces compiled versions of volume elements, new volume and 2-D elements, proper support of volume and surface loads, generalized material support, ...
  A major revision of the manual, to introduce many short examples for easier learning.
  Finite element models are now stored in a data structure that allows more structured access to materials, element properties. The new case data structure declares boundary conditions, loads and varying physical parameters which are seamlessly used by standard solvers.
  The spfmex sparse matrix library (introduced in SDT 4.1p1) provides a fast and memory efficient alternative to standard matlab solvers. This library is now the default static solver for the skyline object.

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