ELLIPT2D: a general 2-D elliptic equation solver

Release: Fri Dec 20 11:43:55 MST 2013


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Ellipt2d is a general purpose, finite-element tool implemented primarily in Python for solving two-dimensional elliptic equations.

Software aims and capabilities:

  • Open source.
  • Solves equations of the form: -div(F*grad(v)) + gv = s, where F (a tensor), g and s are user-supplied functions of x and y.
  • Real and complex
  • Eigenvalue problems
  • Full user control over boundary conditions (Dirichlet, Neumann and Robin).
  • Ellipt2d supports:
    1. Structured meshes.
    2. Quality unstructured meshes with arbitrary boundaries based on TRIANGLE
  • Problems can be real or complex
  • Choice between built-in conjugate gradient solvers and SuperLU sparse matrix solver.
  • Easily extendable, object oriented design.
  • Code is quick to write and understand because it's based on the scripting language Python.
  • Online documentation.
  • Optional interaction through a graphical user interface (Tkinter).
  • Interfaces to 3rd party visualization tools: AVS/Express and VTK.
  • Tk graphics-based tools for debugging.
Ellipt2d is the ideal finite-element, rapid development tool for problems with up to 100 000's nodes.


  • A minimal installation requires Python 2.7 with Tkinter activated.
  • A source version of Python including *.h headers as well as a C compiler (e.g. gcc) are in addition necessary to build the shared libraries from source. Windows users can install without having access to a C compiler.

Useful links

Official Python web site

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Comments to authors: J. C Mollis, A. Pletzer