Microstructure Builder (MBuilder) note: the developers recommend using DREAM.3D over MBuilder: dream3d.bluequartz.net


Microstructure Builder or MBuilder is a strategy to construct simulated 3D polycrystalline materials. The input is typically grain size and shape data as obtained from orthogonal images (optical or SEM) or 3D datasets. The output is a 3D voxel structure that matches the size and shape statistics provided at input.

The voxel structures can be used directly as input to Monte Carlo simulations or can be converted to mesh structures for use in FE structural analysis.

History of MBuilder

Microstructure Builder started as a collaboration between David Saylor at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Joe Fridy at the Alcoa Technical Center, with help from Tony Rollett, Bassem El-Dasher and Kyung-Jun Kung (all at CMU). It was supported by the Mesoscale Interface Mapping Project or MIMP under the NSF-supported Materials Research Science and Engineering Center at CMU (mimp.materials.cmu.edu). Various individuals have contributed to mbuilder over the years, including Chris Roberts, Abhijit Brahme, Sukbin Lee and Steve Sintay. Programs that have supported it include the Computational Materials Science Network (CMSN), DARPA under the SIPS program and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


Get the MBuilder source code archive [[http://matforge.org/redmine/projects/mbuilder/repository/revisions/b2f3a97a145d29f51719fe7336b25be7a3f41b08/entry/mbuilder_25May11.tgz]]

Compile Source

MBuilder is compatible with Mac OSX, Linux/Unix, and Cygwin (for PC)

  • Boost
  • CMake
  • C, C++, Fortran (77,95) compilers
  • Paraview (for visualization)

Additional tools

The voxelconvert code is downloaded from a server at CMU using SVN. This tool allows for file format management between the various steps of the microstructure generation process. It also provides post processing ability that allows the user to specify a size threshold on the smallest grains that are represented.

3D Enumerate




Contact us

The administrator for the MBuilder source code is Joe Tucker. Please contact us with questions or comments.

Terms of use

MBuilder is made freely available for anyone performing non-profit scientific research; those interested in using MBuilder for other purposes should contact us first. If you use MBuilder in your research, please spread the word. Send us modifications that you would like to see incorporated into the package and give us feedback!

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