Supported File Formats

The COMSOL Model filetype, with the extension .mph, is the default file type containing the entire Model Tree. The file contains both binary and text data.The mesh and solution data are stored as binary data while all other information is stored as plain text.

The COMSOL binary and text file types, with the extension .mphbin and .mphtxt respectively, contain either geometry objects or mesh objects which can be imported directly to the Geometry or Mesh branches in the Model Tree.

The Physics Builder file type with the extension .mphphb, contains one or more physics user interfaces that you can access from the Model Wizard.

COMSOL File Formats

File Format Extension Read Write
COMSOL Model .mph Yes Yes
Binary Data .mphbin Yes Yes
Text Data .mphtxt Yes Yes
Physics Builder .mphphb Yes Yes

Support External File Formats

CAD

The CAD Import Module allows for import of a range of industry-standard CAD file types. Additional file types are available through the bidirectional functionality of the LiveLink products for CAD as well as with the File Import for CATIA V5 add-on.

The DXF (2D), VRML (3D), and STL (3D) file types are available for import with COMSOL Multiphysics and don’t require any add-on products.

File Format Extension Read Write
AutoCAD® (3D only)1 .dwg Yes6 Yes6
Autodesk Inventor®2 .ipt, .iam Yes Yes6
Creo™ Parametric2 .prt, .asm Yes Yes6
Pro/ENGINEER® .prt, .asm Yes Yes6
Solid Edge® ()3 .par, .asm Yes6 Yes6
SolidWorks®2 .sldprt, .sldasm Yes Yes6
SpaceClaim®4 .scdoc Yes6 Yes6
DXF (2D only) .dxf Yes Yes
Parasolid®2 .x_t, xmt_txt, .x_b, .xmt_bin Yes Yes
ACIS®2 .sat, .sab, .asat, .asab Yes No
STEP2 .step, .stp Yes No
IGES2 .iges, .igs Yes No
CATIA® V55 .CATPart, .CATProduct Yes No
VRML, v17 .vrml, .vrl Yes No
STL7 .stl Yes Yes
1 Requires LiveLink™ for AutoCAD®
2 Requires one of the LiveLink™ products for AutoCAD®, Creo™ Parametric, Inventor®, Pro/ENGINEER®,
SolidWorks®, or SpaceClaim®; or the CAD Import Module
3 Requires LiveLink™ for Solid Edge®
4 Requires LiveLink™ for SpaceClaim®
5 Requires the CAD Import Module (or one of the LiveLink™ products for AutoCAD®, Creo™ Parametric, Inventor®, Pro/ENGINEER®, SolidWorks®, or SpaceClaim®) and the File Import for CATIA® V5
6 From/To file via linked CAD package
7 Limited functionality for a single geometric domain only

ECAD

The ECAD Import Module allows for import of 2D layout files with automatic conversion to 3D CAD models.The Touchstone file type is used for exporting S-parameters, impedance, and admittance values from simultaneous port and frequency sweeps. The SPICE Circuit Netlist file type is converted at import to a series of lumped circuit element nodes under an Electrical Circuit node.

File Format Extension Read Write
NETEX-G1 .asc Yes No
ODB++(X)1 .xml Yes No
GDS II1 .gds Yes No
Touchstone .s2p, .s3p, .s4p, ... No Yes
SPICE Circuit Netlist2 .cir Yes No
1 Requires the ECAD Import Module
2 Requires one of the AC/DC, RF, MEMS, or Plasma Modules

Material Databases

The Chemical Reaction Engineering Module can read CHEMKIN files to simulate complex chemical reactions in the gas phase. The Plasma Module can read LXCAT files for sets of electron impact collision cross-sections.

File Format Extension Read Write
CHEMKIN .dat, .txt, .inp3 Yes No
CAPE-OPEN1 (direct connection) n/a n/a n/a
LXCAT file2 .lxcat, .txt Yes No
1 Requires Chemical Reaction Engineering Module
2 Requires Plasma Module
3 Any extension is allowed, these are the most common extensions

Mesh

The NASTRAN Bulk Data file types are used to import a volumetric mesh. The VRML and STL file types are used to import a triangular surface mesh, and cannot be used for creating a volumetric mesh. If imported as a Geometry, then VRML and STL files can be used as a basis for creating a volumetric mesh for a single geometric domain.

File Format Extension Read Write
NASTRAN Bulk Data .nas, .bdf, .nastran, .dat Yes No
VRML, v1 .vrml, .wrl Yes No
STL .stl Yes Yes

Images and Movies

Results visualization can be exported to a number of common image file types, see the table below. Images can also be read and used as interpolation functions for physics modeling. Animations can be exported to one of the Animated GIF, Adobe Flash, and AVI file types.

File Format Extension Read Write
JPEG .jpg, .jpeg Yes Yes
PNG .png Yes Yes
BMP .bmp Yes Yes
.tif, .tiff .bmp No Yes
GIF .gif Yes Yes
EPS (1D graphs) .eps No Yes
Animated GIF .gif No Yes
Adobe® Flash .swf No Yes
AVI1 .avi No Yes
1 Available for Windows only

Programming Languages and Spreadsheet

Model Java-Files are editable script files, with the extension .java, that contain sequences of COMSOL Multiphysics commands as Java code. Edit the files in a text editor to add additional commands. You can compile these Java files into Java Class files, with the extension .class, and run them as separate applications.

Model M-files are editable script files, similar to the Model Java-files, for use with MATLAB. Model M-files, which have the extension .m, contain a sequence of COMSOL Multiphysics commands as a MATLAB M-file. Run the Model M-files in MATLAB like any other M-file scripts. Also edit the files in a text editor to include additional COMSOL Multiphysics commands or general MATLAB commands. Running files in the Model M-file format requires the COMSOL LiveLink for MATLAB.

File Format Extension Read Write
MATLAB®: Model M-File .m No Yes
MATLAB®: Function1 .m Yes No
Java: Model Java File .java No Yes
Java: Model Class File .class Yes No
C: Function .dll3, .so4, .dylib5 Yes No
Excel®2 .xlsx Yes Yes
1 Requires LiveLink™ for MATLAB®
2 Requires LiveLink™ for Excel®, available for Windows only
3 Available for Windows only
4 Available for Linux only
5 Available for Mac OS X only

Numerical and Interpolation Data Formats

The Grid, Sectionwise, and Spreadsheet file types can be read for defining Interpolation functions. The Sectionwise and Spreadsheet file types can furthermore be read and used for defining Interpolation curves and written for exporting Results. In addition, Tables can be copy-pasted on spreadsheet format.

Parameters and Variables can be imported and exported to the Plain text, Comma-separated values, or Data file types.

The Continuous and Discrete color table text file types are used for user-defined color tables for Results visualization.

Digital Elevation Model (DEM) files can be read and used as a Parametric Surface for defining a Geometry.

File Format Extension Read Write
Copy and paste spreadsheet format n/a Yes Yes
Excel® spreadsheet1 .xlsx Yes Yes
Table .txt, .csv, .dat Yes Yes
Grid .txt Yes Yes
Sectionwise .txt, .csv, .dat Yes Yes
Spreadsheet .txt, .csv, .dat Yes Yes
Parameters .txt, .csv, .dat Yes Yes
Variables .txt, .csv, .dat Yes Yes
Continuous and Discrete color table .txt Yes No
DEM .dem Yes No
1 Requires LiveLink™ for Excel®, available for Windows only