About the EDEM Creator

The Creator is used to setup and initialize your model. It is where you or import particles and geometries and define the other model parameters.


  1. Creator Tree

  2. Viewer

  3. Creator Toolbar and Menu Bar

  4. Data Browser (Creator)

Creator Tree

The Creator Tree is displayed on the left side of the EDEM window. It contains information about the Project, Bulk Material, Equipment Material, Geometries, Physics and Environment.


The Viewer displays 3D representations of your particles, geometry, and fields (if applicable). The rotation, position and zoom factor of the Viewer are controlled using the mouse.

Creator Toolbar and Menu Bar


Icon Name Description


Click to switch to the Creator.


Click to switch to the Simulator.


Click to switch to the Analyst.


Click to start a new model.


Click to open an existing model.


Click to save your model.


Click to view the online help.

Change Time Step Back

Move to the first time step in the simulation.

Change Time Step Forward

Move to the last time step in the simulation.

Start Coupling Server

Click to start the Coupling Server.

Coupling Server Disabled

Shows the Server is not running.

Server Awaiting Connection

Shows the Server is started but not connected.

Server Connected

Shows the Server is connected.

Stop Server

Click to stop the Coupling Server.

Filled Display Mode

Click to display geometry filled.

Mesh Display Mode

Click to display geometry

Points Display Mode

Click to display geometry

Display Particles

Click to display or hide all particles.

Display Cylindrical Periodic Boundary Conditions

Click to visualize cylindrical periodic boundary.

Add Bulk Material

Click to add a Bulk Material to the simulation.

Add Equipment Material

Click to add an Equipment material.

Save Material Block

Click to save block of material for material bed.

Transfer Material from Database Materials

Click to transfer materials to and from the Material Database. simulation materials with material database.

Rename Material

Click to rename the selected material.

Copy Material

Click to copy the selected material.

Delete Material

Click to delete the selected material.

Open GEMM Wizard

Click to open the GEMM Wizard.

Add Particle

Click to add a particle to a Bulk Material.

Import Particle

Click to import a particle to a Bulk Material.

Export Particle

Click to export a particle.

Rename Particle

Click to rename a particle.

Copy Particle

Click to copy a particle.

Delete Particle

Click to delete a particle.

Add Sphere

Click to add a Sphere to a particle.

Copy Sphere

Click to copy a particle Sphere.

Delete Sphere

Click to delete a particle Sphere.

Add a Geometry

Click to access geometry add drop down list.

Add a Box

Click to add box from geometry drop down list.

Add a Cylinder

Click to add cylinder from geometry drop down list.

Add a Polygon

Click to add polygon from geometry drop down list.

Import a Geometry

Click to import a geometry from 3D CAD file.

Rename a Geometry

Click to rename a geometry sections

Copy a Geometry

Click to copy a geometry sections

Delete a Geometry

Click to delete a geometry section.

Merge a Geometry

Click to merge geometry sections

Replace a Geometry Part

Click to replace geometry with alternative one.

Add a Motion

Click to access Motion drop down list.

Add Linear Translation

Click to add linear translation to geometry.

Add Linear Rotation

Click to add linear rotation to geometry.

Add Sinusoidal Translation

Click to add sinusoidal translation to geometry.

Add Sinusoidal Rotation

Click to add sinusoidal rotation to geometry.

Add Conveyor Translation

Click to add conveyor translation to geometry.

Add Conveyor Rotation

Click to add conveyor rotation to geometry.

Rename a Motion

Click to rename a Motion.

Copy a Motion

Click to copy a Motion, this can be applied to the current geometry or an alternative one.

Delete a Motion

Click to delete a Motion.

Move Motion Up

Click to reorder Motion.

Move Motion Down

Click to reorder Motion.

Add Force

Click to add force to geometry

Add Torque

Click to add torque to geometry

Add Factory

Click to add a material factory to the simulation.

Import Factory

Click to import a factory.

Rename Factory

Click to rename factory.

Copy Factory

Click to copy factory.

Delete Factory

Click to delete factory.

Change Factory

Click to change from static to dynamic factory.

Add Material Block

Click to add a material block to a geometry

Delete Material Block

Click to delete a defined Material Block

Show Scale Grid

When displaying particle shapes show/hide grid.

Show Origin

When displaying particle shapes, show origin and particles as a mesh.

Highlight Surface/Meta-Particle

Highlights selected surface of particle shape or selected Meta-Particle

Add Meta-Particle

Click to add a Meta-Particle.

Rename Meta-Particle

Click to rename a Meta-Particle.

Copy Meta-Particle

Click to copy a Meta-Particle.

Delete Meta-Particle

Click to delete a Meta-Particle.


Note that in addition to the icon system there are a series of keyboard shortcuts shown alongside the Creator Tree for the same actions as the icons. The Delete key also can be applied to single and multiple selections.

File Menu

Tools Menu

  1. Options: Access the global options dialog containing settings for the following items:
    1. Additional Components
      1. RecurDyn Coupling
        When this checkbox is enabled, a new option called “Import Geometry from RecurDyn” will appear when you right click on Geometries in the Creator Tree. This allows you to read a *.wall file, produced by RecurDyn, allowing you to import a geometry from RecurDyn.
        Once the geometry is imported and the coupling interface is enabled, RecurDyn can control the geometry motion in EDEM. The forces experienced by these geometries are passed back to RecurDyn and any motions arising due to these forces are calculated in RecurDyn.
      2. Abaqus Coupling
        When this checkbox is enabled, a new option called “Abaqus Co-Simulation” will appear in the Analyst under the Tools Menu allowing you to couple EDEM with Abaqus FEA.
    2. Data Browser
      The data browser options are used to configure the color of the data browser text and background.
    3. Display Options
      1. Background Color: This option is used to change the fill color of the Viewer background. The background can be colored with a solid or gradient fill. The color change will affect the Creator, Simulator and Analyst.
      2. User Logo: This option can be used to apply a custom logo to the Viewer window. The logo can be positioned, scaled, faded as required.
    4. File Locations
      The file location options are used to determine the location of the following:
      1. Materials Database: The location of the users materials database, used to store and transfer materials to and from simulations.
      2. GEMM Database: The location of the Generic EDEM Material Model database, used to set the location of the database to import to EDEM.
      3. Contact Models: The location of custom (user-defined) contact models, see the EDEM Programming Guide for more information on user defined models.
      4. Particle Body Force: The location of custom (user-defined) particle body force models.
      5. Particles: The location of particles saved independently of the model for reuse in other projects.
      6. Factories: The location of any user-defined factories.
    5. Mouse Configuration
      Used to configure how the mouse is used to alter the display in the Viewer.
      1. Camera Actions: Change the mouse button and modifier key used to pan, track, zoom and rotate the camera. Modifier keys assign keyboard  buttons to press to perform the specified camera action. Choose any unique combination of three mouse buttons and three keys for each motion.
      2. Rotate on Axis: Change the mouse button and modifier key used to rotate on an axis. You can also set whether to rotate on the model axis or the screen axis for both the horizontal and vertical rotations.
      3. Bin Control: Bin tools and Sensor tools in the Analyst can be moved through mouse selection.  First select the bin and the color changes from blue to green. Then using the Bin Control Modifier (default CTRL) the bin can be moved through the Pan, Track, Axis Locked Rotation and Free Rotation options. The Bin Control Modifier can be set by the user to any of the options available in the drop-down box.
      4. Mouse Sensitivity: The mouse sensitivity can be altered independently for tracking and zooming. You can also specify modifier keys for each sensitivity setting.
    6. Rendering Options
      1. Use legacy particle display: This option is checked if EDEM cannot use the computer Graphics Card. Typically applied when using Remote Desktop or when using EDEM on computer with out-of-date graphics card drivers.
      2. Display Templates: 3D CAD files can be used as particle templates. Templates can be used as a guide (outline) to help define the shape of your particle in the Creator as well as providing, if desired, the shape for calculation of the center of gravity and mass moments of inertia, or as a display option in the Analyst.
        When a model containing a particle template is saved, an extra file (.ptf) is created.  If this file is deleted, the template information will no longer be stored within the modelMulti-Sphere Particles with Template rendering
    7. Section Options
      1. Creator
        1. Timestep on Switch: When switching to the Creator, it will it automatically load the last time step.
        2. Hide Electrostatics: This should be ticked unless using the electrostatics contact model, this option enables a series of options to appear in the interface which are specific to the electrostatic contact model.
      2. Simulator
        1. Compress Save Data: When checked EDEM will compress simulation data as it is saved to minimize file size. Turning this off will reduce the time taken to save but increase file size.
        2. Timestep on Switch: When checked the last time step will be displayed when switching to the simulator, otherwise the current time step will be displayed.
      3. Analyst
        1. Timestep on File Load: Models can be loaded into the Analyst with the first or last time step appearing first.
        2. Display:
          1. Auto Update Display: Toggles whether the display is automatically updated when changing display properties, or whether an Apply button is present and must be pressed first.
          2. Axis Key: Turn the display of the axis key in the Viewer on or off.
          3. Domain Box: Turn the display of the boundary box (marking the domain edges) in the Viewer on or off.
          4. Timestamp: Turn the display of the time stamp in the Viewer on or off.
      4. Data Export Defaults
        1. Notation: Specifies the default format when exporting data via the data export tool. Options are: Smart, Fixed-Point and Scientific.
        2. Precision: Specifies the corresponding default precision when exporting data via the data export tool.
    8. Simulator Engine
      Choose from the standard or GPU simulator engine. On creating a new simulation the Simulator Engine will default to the one set in the Tools Menu. When in the Simulator the user can change the engine used and this information is stored per simulation in the simulation_name.dfg file.  When opening existing simulations the displayed engine will be the last saved setting for the simulation.
      When starting a new simulation EDEM defaults to the Maximum Cores available on the local PC.  Users can set the default number of Cores via the Simulator Engine > Default Number of Cores menu.  This can be set once per user and then EDEM will default to the chosen setting.

      Simulator max CPU options
    9. Units
      1. The units configuration dialog is used to set the measurement units used throughout EDEM.

View Menu

  1. Show Particles: Turns the particle display in the Creator on or off.

  2. Themes: Show the EDEM interface with Legacy Theme (default) or Dark Theme.

Displays Menu

Split the EDEM view window into multiple displays, this allows multiple viewer windows to review different view-points of the model in each window.


Help Menu

  1. Help: The help menu brings up the relevant information regarding the EDEM interface.
  2. About EDEM: The about box provides information about the current version of EDEM. The EDEM Version and Revision number are useful information to provide EDEM technical support when discussing support cases.
  3. About Altair Simulations Products: The About Altair Simulation Products gives acces to the Copyright notices, Altair website, License Agreements and Customer Support.

Data Browser (Creator)

The Data Browser is an .html page that displays detailed information about your model. The information displayed differs between the Creator, Simulator and Analyst. Right click in the Data Browser and choose Save to save the information in an .html file. There are five sections in the Data Browser within the Creator:


The description as defined in the Project section of the Creator Tree.


  1. Gravity: Details of the gravity acting in your model as specified in the Creator Tree.

  2. Materials: A list of all materials used in the model and their properties, as specified in the Materials Editor.

  3. Energy: The total energy in the model at the current time. It is the sum of the kinetic energy, potential energy and the energy in any contacts taking place.


  1. Domain: The dimensions of the domain as specified in the Creator Tree.

  2. Sections: Each section is the model and its properties are listed.

  3. Geometry Totals: Totals. Details of the number of elements that make up each section of geometry.


  1. Particles: A list of each particle type used in the model and their properties. This contains either sphere data for Multi-Sphere, Sphero-Cylinder data or mesh data for polyhedral particles.

  2. Factories: Details of each factory used in the model and their properties. Properties are as specified in the Creator Tree. The total number of particles created by each factory is also listed.

  3. Particle Totals: The total number of particles in the model at the current time. Totals for each particle type are also listed.


  1. Interactions: A list of the interaction types taking place in the model as specified in the Materials Editor.

  2. Contacts: Lists the total number of contacts in progress at the current time. The contacts are broken down into contact types: For example number of particle A - particle B contacts or number of particle B - surface A contacts. The total number of collisions that have taken place during the time step are also listed.


  1. Bond Totals: Lists the total number of bonds, total number of intact and broken bonds and number of bonds intact/broken between particle pairs.



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