About an IDE for FAST ?

Hi all,
I’m working on a GUI for FAST (planning to extend to most useful tool related to it, like TurbSim and PreComp)

The idea is to have a form-like editor for every input file. I started with the main file, and in the attachments you can find the result.

I’m implementing a FAST Project Wizard, an integrated console to run simulation and read output messages. Also I’m thinking about various useful tasks that can be automated (much like as it is done now with scripts)

I would like to know your opinion, suggestions and features you would expect from such a tool.



We have used GUIs for simpler codes in the past and found the level of effort required was not worth it. I know of other groups who started creating GUIs for FAST and then gave up on it. I’ve used programs in the past that had GUIs and found them to be very difficult to use compared to just editing the input files.

We are reworking both FAST and AeroDyn and I think the input files will change dramatically, so you will have to make substantial changes to your GUI to adapt it. You will probably find this frustrating.

Others may disagree with me, but I discourage GUI development at NREL whenever someone suggests it. I always wanted to create one just for fun, but I just don’t have that kind of time.



Dear Stefano,

While I agree with Marshall’s comments, I don’t want to disuade you from pursuing your development of this tool if you have the time/interest in developing it. I’m sure some users would prefer working with a GUI rather than with text files and batch scripts.

As Marshall said, other users of FAST have developed GUIs. Most recently is a group from the Technical University of Cartagena (UPCT) who is working in cooperation between the International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE) and Compass Ingeniería y Sistemas (Compass IS). They’ve developed a GUI for FAST through an interface with Lognoter. You may wish to contact them for possible coordination.

Here are my suggestions for features that would be useful in a GUI for FAST:

*Including checks on the input files to ensure that entries are within valid ranges (e.g., mass must be greater or equal to zero).
*Integrating the pre- and post-processors (e.g., BModes, AirfoilPrep, TurbSim, MCrunch, MBC3) such that the data flow is seamless.
*Adding turbine graphics (based on the geomtry inputs) and animations of the turbine time series and eigenmodes from linearization.
*Automatic generation of IEC-style load case simulations for a given model.
*A “simplified” modeling option where only a subset of the features is available (for use by students in coursework).

What is your plan for public distribution of this GUI?

Best regards,

Thank you Marshall
Thank you Jason,
I appreciate all of your advices. I understand Marshall’s point of view and most of the time is the quickest way to get the job done; but also I more inclined to use visual aids if they are available and can help me (like Jason said about pre-check, etc… ).
So I have now a little piece of software to share with you and with anyone willing to test it.


At the previous link you can find a couple of blog post about it.
NDT is an Eclipse plugin in very early stage of development. It has not so much features implemented right now, but more are on the way and most of them already tested by me as proof of concept (for example a particular output file editor/viewer with charting capabilities to directly preview output channels trend)

I’m here to help anyone interested.


PS: The code is not open at the moment, but can be used for free. More details will come along with future releases.

the source code of the plugin(s) for Eclipse has been released on GitHub.


If others are interested in the development of such tools or simply need more information please let me know (we can then define the desiderata and the roadmap )


Dear Stephano,

Thanks for sharing your work with us. If I get some time I’d like to look at it in more detail than just looking at screen shots.