Electrostatic Field Simulation

THIEF (THree dImensional Electrostatic Fields) is an interdisciplinary cooperation project between Information Engineering at TUM Campus Heilbronn, TUM Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Elliptic Fields, Zurich, Switzerland. The goal is to provide a comprehensive  free and fully open source based 3D simulation environment for high voltage components. This environment will serve as a valuable tool for academia as well as for the industrial world.

Such a simulation environment typically consists of the following conponents:

  • A modeller, i.e. CAD program which is used to construct and assemble the parts forming the device under simulation.
    Besides several commercial CAD packages, the freely available open source tool FreeCAD, which is available under Linux, Windows, and MacOS alike, is an open-source parametric 3D modeller that will be used as the modelling tool.
  • A discretiser which discretises the CAD model by generating a surface mesh. Within our research project, we will investigate two freely available mesh generators, gmsh and netgen.
  • A field simulation program consisting of the following phases:
    • Generate the coefficient matrix.
    • Solve the equation system.
    • Calculate field and potential for all discrete points of in space.
  • A visualisation program which shows the resulting field or potential distribution. Within our project, we use the open source multi-platform tool Paraview.

For calculating the field, several methods can be applied, depending on the geometry and the tools available. Again, several commercial packages are available. However, as part of the research project, we will provide a freely available three dimensional boundary element based simulation tool called ELFI3D.

Project Partners

Elliptic Fields


Foto von Andreas Blaszczyk

Andreas Blaszczyk

Student Assistants

Amir Bouslama (from May 15, 2022)

Amir.Bouslama@tum.de