Elastica is a software to simulate the dynamics of filaments that, at every cross-section, can undergo all six possible modes of deformation, allowing the filament to bend, twist, stretch and shear, while interacting with complex environments via muscular activity, surface contact, friction and hydrodynamics.

cosserat-rod-theory, cosserat-rods, elastica, mechanics, python, simulation
pip install pyelastica==0.2.4



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PyElastica is the python implementation of Elastica: an open-source project for simulating assemblies of slender, one-dimensional structures using Cosserat Rod theory.


Visit cosseratrods.org for more information and learn about Elastica and Cosserat rod theory.

How to Start

PyPI version Documentation Status

PyElastica is compatible with Python 3.8 - 3.10.

$ pip install pyelastica

With this you get a minimal version with very little dependencies.

All options:

  • examples: installs dependencies to run example cases, found under the folder examples.
  • docs: packages to build documentation

Options can be combined e.g.

$ pip install "pyelastica[examples,docs]"

Documentation of PyElastica is available here.

If you want to simulate magnetic Cosserat rods interacting with external magnetic environments you can install the derived package using

$ pip install magneto_pyelastica

Details can be found here.


We ask that any publications which use Elastica cite as following:

  author       = {Arman Tekinalp and
                  Seung Hyun Kim and
                  Yashraj Bhosale and
                  Tejaswin Parthasarathy and
                  Noel Naughton and
                  Ilia Nasiriziba and
                  Songyuan Cui and
                  Maximilian Stölzle and
                  Chia-Hsien (Cathy) Shih and
                  Mattia Gazzola
  title        = {GazzolaLab/PyElastica: v0.3.1},
  month        = may,
  year         = 2023,
  publisher    = {Zenodo},
  version      = {v0.3.1},
  doi          = {10.5281/zenodo.7931429},
  url          = {https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7931429}


  • Gazzola, Dudte, McCormick, Mahadevan, Forward and inverse problems in the mechanics of soft filaments, Royal Society Open Science, 2018. doi: 10.1098/rsos.171628
  • Zhang, Chan, Parthasarathy, Gazzola, Modeling and simulation of complex dynamic musculoskeletal architectures, Nature Communications, 2019. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12759-5

List of publications and submissions



We have created several Jupyter notebooks and Python scripts to help users get started with PyElastica. The Jupyter notebooks are available on Binder, allowing you to try out some of the tutorials without having to install PyElastica.

We have also included an example script for visualizing PyElastica simulations using POVray. This script is located in the examples folder (examples/visualization).


If you would like to participate, please read our contribution guideline

PyElastica is developed by the Gazzola Lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Senior Developers

Names arranged alphabetically

  • Arman Tekinalp
  • Chia-Hsien Shih (Cathy)
  • Fan Kiat Chan
  • Ilia Nasiriziba
  • Noel Naughton
  • Seung Hyun Kim
  • Songyuan Cui
  • Tejaswin Parthasarathy (Teja)
  • Yashraj Bhosale