Dymola and Modelica Explained

Over the years I have come to realise that there are misunderstandings about what Dymola and the modelling language Modelica are and how they relate to one another. This blog post seeks to address the confusion.


Dymola (DYnamic MOdelling LAboratory) is a user interface and Modelica language compiler owned and developed solely by Dassault Systemes. Dymola enables the user to write, compile and simulate Modelica based models.

Modelica Association Logo

Modelica is a modelling language developed and maintained by the Modelica Association. The Modelica Association includes members from both industry and academia. See https://www.modelica.org/ for more information.

Modelica is an acausal modelling language where physical components are described by relationships rather than procedural code (the latter method is highly prescriptive and is typical of a programming language). When using Modelica, the user is not required to re-arrange model equations to suit the system boundary conditions or the application of the system or model. This makes the models extremely versatile and allows extensive model reuse for many applications. It also enables user friendly model inversion. Furthermore the execution code is generated and optimised for us at compilation through an automated process called Symbolic Manipulation allowing ever more detail to be modelled with minimal increases in CPU time.

Symbolic Manipulation process principles applied to an electrical circuit built in Dymola. Equations are rearranged and reduced via automated identification of knowns, unknowns, state variables, parameters and variables.

Each Modelica compiler will differ in their symbolic manipulation algorithms and so will the compiled model performance and code optimisation.

Dymola is not the only Modelica compiler but is the compiler that exploits the majority of the Modelica language functionality. OpenModelica is an example of another Modelica language compiler which despite its name is not developed and maintained by the Modelica Association. It is developed by the Open Source Modelica Consortium based at Linköping University.

Claytex are users and distributors of Dymola and have been contributing for many years to defining the software development requirements through liaising with Dassault Systemes and Dymola users. We also help define requirements from developing and using Modelica application libraries in our day-to-day activities on customer projects within the road, off road, and motorsports sectors including CAV (Connected Autonomous Vehicles).

We are able to help you in a wide range of applications so please get in touch with your enquiries.

If you would like to learn more about how to use Dymola and Modelica, Claytex offer workshops and training courses to address this. Please follow this link to find out more.

Alessandro Picarelli – Engineering Director

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