VGeST - Virtual Geoscience Simulation Tools

Download instructions

The Virtual Geoscience Simulation Tools (previously known as Virtual Geoscience Workbench, VGW) is a suite of Open Source Tools for modelling discontinuous, particulate, granular, blocky, fracturing and fragmenting systems most of which are based on FEMDEM (the combined Finite–Discrete element method).

The VGW home page for downloading can be found here:

This figure shows a snapshot of the VGeST (VGW) page on

Installation as  binary files

Downloads are available after clicking on the ‘files’ tab.  Most users can get started in the Windows environment by downloading VGW v1.0 and Shape Library v1.0 as shown below. In the near future it will also be possible to use the Linux operating system.

Snapshot of VGW download page on after clicking ‘files’

Installation is of a binary file. Currently there is one binary file for Win32 required to install VGeST solvers( This file is the Windows installer for VGW and most of the components were made using Visual Studio. The download is quite small. It currently includes the solvers for 2D and 3D and the converters for VTU format output. Installing the binary is straight forward. Please note, when installing VGW, use the VGW default folder

(C:Program FilesIC-QMULVGW) as your installation folder. Using this as the default folder can help guide your input files to find the solvers.

For particle shape library component (P3D), users need to download another binary file (VGWShapeLib.msi) and install following the given instructions.


To start with, users are recommended to take advantage of GiD as a mesher and for its boundary conditions setup tools.

Please therefore install GiD on your machine. The GiD website is

Please copy the ‘FEMDEM’ folder which includes GiD templates (B2D.gid and B3D.gid) to the GiD ‘problem types’ location, e.g. C:Program FilesGiDGiD 9.0.2problemtypes. The FEMDEM folder should be under C:Program FilesIC-QMULVGW if you installed VGW v1.0 win32 properly.

To visualise your results we recommend you start with an easy to use OpenSource visualiser, Mayavi. VGW uses Mayavi as a default Visualizer.

Please therefore install Mayavi onyour machine. The website of Mayavi can be found here, Please install Mayavi in a specific folder: C:Program FilesMayavi.

Getting Started

Some familiarisation with the preprocessing environment is necessary and GiD provide excellent tutorials. It is suggested that you study the movie in your Tutorials folder in the download package available here.

There are many examples with tutorials and three animations for setting up tests using GiD in our package. The links are as follows:

For setting up tests:

‘GiD_Assign_condition_and_runing_job’ is a movie showing a computer terminal session of building a model of two impacting particles in GiD through running the job and to observing simulation results of the collision in the visualiser, where the key strokes and mouse clicks of the session are shown.

For one example tutorial: