PyMAPDL Documentation

Introduction and Purpose

PyMAPDL is part of the larger PyAnsys effort to facilitate the use of Ansys technologies directly from Python. Its primary package, ansys-mapdl-core, provides:

  • scripting of MAPDL through both Python and Ansys Parametric Design Language (APDL) syntax

  • plotting of MAPDL geometry and meshes using VTK from within a Python script or an interactive Jupyter notebook

  • access to MAPDL arrays as Python objects (e.g. nodes, elements, solution matrices, and results)

With PyMAPDL it is easier than ever to integrate the simulation capabilities of the Ansys MAPDL multi-physics solver directly into novel applications thanks to an API that will look familiar to APDL and Python users alike. The package presents a Python-friendly interface to drive the software that manages the submission of low-level APDL commands, while exchanging data through high-performance gRPC interfaces.

Accelerate the preparation of your simulations using PyMAPDL. Combine the expressiveness of general-purpose Python code to control the flow in your input decks with methods that drive the solver. Explore proof of concept studies or capture knowledge using interactive Jupyter notebooks. Tap the solver as the physics engine in your next Artificial Intelligence application. It is now open source: Enjoy it! Contributions are welcome.


PyMAPDL, based on gRPC, represents an improvement over its predecessor based on CORBA. These technologies allow the MAPDL solver to function as a server, ready to respond to connecting clients.

Google remote procedure calls, or gRPC, are used to establish secure connections so that a client application can directly call methods on a potentially remote MAPDL instance as if it were a local object. The use of HTTP/2 makes it friendly to modern internet infrastructures. This, along with the use of binary transmission formats, favors higher performance. Using gRPC, PyMAPDL can convert Python statements into APDL commands that can then be transmitted to an MAPDL instance running anywhere, while producing network footprints that are compact and efficient.

Quick Code

Here’s a brief example of how PyMAPDL works:

>>> from ansys.mapdl.core import launch_mapdl
>>> mapdl = launch_mapdl()
>>> print(mapdl)

Product:             ANSYS Mechanical Enterprise
MAPDL Version:       RELEASE  2021 R1           BUILD 21.0
PyMAPDL Version:     Version: 0.57.0

MAPDL is now active and you can send commands to it as a genuine a Python class. For example, if we wanted to create a surface using keypoints we could run:'/PREP7')'K, 1, 0, 0, 0')'K, 2, 1, 0, 0')'K, 3, 1, 1, 0')'K, 4, 0, 1, 0')'L, 1, 2')'L, 2, 3')'L, 3, 4')'L, 4, 1')'AL, 1, 2, 3, 4')

MAPDL interactively returns the result of each command and it is stored to the logging module or can be immediately printed out with print( Errors are caught immediately and pythonically.

Calling MAPDL Pythonically

MAPDL functions can be called directly from an Mapdl instance in a pythonic manner. This is to simplify calling MAPDL, especially when inputs are variables within Python. For example, the following two commands are equivalent:

mapdl.k(1, 0, 0, 0)'K, 1, 0, 0, 0')

This approach takes care of the string formatting for you. For example, inputting points from a numpy array:

# make 10 random keypoints in ANSYS
points = np.random.random((10, 3))
for i, (x, y, z) in enumerate(points):
    mapdl.k(i + 1, x, y, z)

Advanced Features

All features available to command line MAPDL can be used within PyMAPDL, and there are a variety of new features available through gRPC.

For example view the current mesh status with:

>>> mapdl.mesh
   Number of Nodes:              7217
   Number of Elements:           2080
   Number of Element Types:      2
   Number of Node Components:    0
   Number of Element Components: 0

Or save it as vtk with:


You can even plot directly from the Python environment with:

>>>, 'SOLID186')
>>> mapdl.vsweep('ALL')
>>> mapdl.esize(0.1)
>>> mapdl.eplot()

Element Plot from MAPDL using PyMAPDL and vtk

For a full listing of the additional PyMAPDL features, please see the User Guide.

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