PROJECTCHRONO is a physics-based modelling and simulation infrastructure based on a platform-independent, open-source design. The core of PROJECTCHRONO is the Chrono::Engine middleware, an object-oriented library whose C++ API can be used to perform multi-physics simulations. Among the other components of the PROJECTCHRONO ecosystems are:
The first version of the Chrono::Engine was developed in 1998 by Prof. Alessandro Tasora when he was a student at the Politecnico di Milano. It was the result of a thesis in Mechanical Engineering. Originally, Chrono::Engine was meant to be a multibody simulation tool for robotics and biomechanics applications.
Until 2002, Chrono::Engine was tightly linked to the Realsoft3D modeller. In 2002-2005 the software was gradually reorganized in the form of a standalone library, just like it is today. Alessandro started working in 2005 with Professor Mihai Anitescu from University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratories. Their work strengthened the handling of large frictional contact models in Chrono.
Professor Dan Negrut joined the Project Chrono effort in 2007. The members of Simulation-Based Engineering Lab (SBEL) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have been active in its development ever since.
We took the decision to release Chrono as open source in 2013, when we started to use the name PROJECTCHRONO to recognize the fact that this software infrastructure had become a multi-physics simulation engine. In 2014, the US Army decided to invest US $1.8 million over a two year period to further develop Chrono as an open source platform for physics-based modelling and simulation. Chrono development is going strong with the next release planned for August 15, 2016.
Chrono is copyrighted by PROJECTCHRONO, a nonprofit set up in the US, and released under a BSD 3 license.