Alternatives to COMSOL Multiphysics

by Alexis Writing

COMSOL Multiphysics is a program used to model, analyze, and simulate physics-based systems. Engineering programs commonly use this COMSOL software across the world, allowing users to work with theoretical designs and situations. Usually, training in the COMSOL system is required prior to working with the software, as proper knowledge of how to develop these high-definition multiphysics situations is needed for creating plausible models. Within the COMSOL Multiphysics program, users can keep track of all of their designs as all their features are conveniently listed on the “Model Builder” section. However, as with almost any software on the market today, there are alternatives to the COMSOL Multiphysics program.


Produced by MathWorks, MATLAB is an all-in-one computing environment. Useful for all things mathematics related, from plotting functions to creating user interfaces to manipulating matrices, MATLAB is a powerful program preferred by many professors. Through the additional Simulink package, MATLAB can be expanded to have program capabilities comparable to those of COMSOL Multiphysics. MATLAB Simulink allows users to work with model-based designs and embedded systems.


Created specifically for allowing users to create and work with complex systems on a single platform, SimulationX is ITI GmbH’s contribution to the world of computer-based models. This program boasts especially of its 500 already in-program ready-to-use model elements, claiming that these elements allow users to work with models in the smallest amount of time possible. SimulationX is available for free; however, this free version only has limited capabilities.


Ashler-Vellum’s answer to engineering/model-based programs, Cobalt offers many of the same functions as its competitor software systems. Cobalt has a special three-dimensional modeling system which allows users to quickly and easily create different models. This program may be especially useful for any workers in the product design industry, as it offers solid and surface modeling and precision drawing, among other features.


Originally known as "Pydee," Spyder is the main Open Source program used as an alternative to COMSOL Multiphysics and gives users the opportunity to work with this model development program in situations useful for engineering projects. With the main advantage to this relatively light-weight program as its “free status” (as all Open Source programs are), Spyder is compatible with most Windows, Linux and Mac systems and is bound to be a favorite modeling program for any budget-conscious universities or individuals.

About the Author

Alexis Writing has many years of freelance writing experience. She has written for a variety of online destinations, including She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the University of Rochester.