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NMSBuilder alpha release available!

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  • NMSBuilder alpha release available!

    NMSBuilder is a user-friendly tool package for developing OpenSim musculoskeletal models from patient-specific biomedical data and for leveraging OpenSim to perform dynamic simulations of movement. The NMSBuilder alpha release is now available for you to download for free.

    The alpha version of the NMSBuilder application, which integrates the multimodal data fusion functionalities of the Multimod Application Framework with the OpenSim API, has been released as freeware to the biomedical community.
    The software now makes it possible to build personalized musculoskeletal models from medical images with a user-friendly interface and to perform dynamic simulations of movement. Users are able to:
    • import and edit patient-specific data, including medical images, surface models, motion analysis data, FEM meshes, and more
    • visualize and fuse the data
    • process them to build full-scale personalized musculoskeletal models
    • create and export models in the OpenSim model format
    • run OpenSim simulations and store the results
    Information on how to download and use the application can be found here:

    The software has been released as part of the activities of the NMS Physiome project, an international collaboration for musculoskeletal predictive medicine, that officially started on January 27th, 2010. This three-year cooperation program between two large research initiatives, the European VPHOP (The Osteoporotic Virtual Physiological Human) and the United States SIMBIOS (the NIH Center for Physics-based Simulation of Biological Structures), aims to develop synergies in terms of tools, infrastructures, and research activities related to musculoskeletal predictive medicine.
    Three open-source software tools were integrated to develop the software:
    • MAF (Multimod Application Framework), an open-source freely available framework for the rapid development of applications based on the Visualisation ToolKit (VTK) and other specialised libraries. It is implemented in C++ and provides high-level components that can be easily combined to develop a vertical application in different areas of scientific data visualisation and processing.
    • OpenSim, a freely available, user extensible software system that lets users develop models of musculoskeletal structures and create dynamic simulations of movement. The software provides a platform on which the biomechanics community can build a library of simulations that can be exchanged, tested, analysed, and improved through multi-institutional collaboration.
    • FEBio (Finite Elements for Biomechanics), an open-source software package for finite element analysis that offers modelling scenarios, constitutive models and boundary conditions that are relevant to many research areas in biomechanics.

    Additional information:
    Potential use
    The NMSBuilder software has wide potentials for the biomechanical community. The application is primarily intended for biomechanics researchers with different backgrounds who use or wish to use OpenSim and deal with subject-specific scenarios at different levels in the modeling workflow of the musculoskeletal system. In addition, the software can be used as a powerful tool for editing, visualizing, fusing and managing biomedical data coming from different sources. The software is particularly suitable to simplify and speed up the data processing and model development framework using different types of subject-specific biomedical data.
    Getting started
    Available downloads also include a user’s manual, which describes the installation procedure and all NMSBuilder functionalities, and test data to get started with the software. Tutorials will be coming soon. Webinars and workshops are planned in the near future. Upgrades of the software and additional material will be continuously posted on the BiomedTown page:
    Upcoming development
    The NMSBuilder alpha release is integrated with OpenSim 2.2.1. The software is currently being migrated to the upcoming 3.0 version of OpenSim. In addition, statistical post-processing and visualization tools will be included in the software, as well as import/export facilities for Matlab file formats.
    The project: NMS Physiome
    NMS Physiome is a project funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) to promote a more organic cooperation in the development of Predictive, Personalised and Integrative musculoskeletal medicine, as part of the European Union’s Virtual Physiological Human initiative.
    The project aims to integrate communities, technologies and services developed in two large research projects: VPHOP (Osteoporotic Virtual Physiological Human) funded by the European Commission, and SIMBIOS (Center for Physics-based Simulation of Biological Structures) funded by the US National Institutes of Health.
    VPHOP, formed by a consortium of 21 partner institutions led by Prof Marco Viceconti (University of Sheffield), is developing the next generation of health technologies to fight osteoporosis. As part of this endeavour, the personalised modelling of the patient’s neuro-musculo-skeletal system is essential.

    Led by Stanford University, the project provides infrastructure, software, and training to help biomedical researchers understand biological form and function as they create novel drugs, synthetic tissues, medical devices, and surgical interventions. The cluster of projects connected to SIMBIOS is investigating a wide scale of biological structures - from molecules to organisms. Stanford University’s Scott Delp, a co-Principal Investigator of SIMBIOS, and his team focus on the accurate modelling and simulation of the neuro-musculo-skeletal system.

    Useful links

    Simbios: NIH Center for Biomedical Computation at Stanford University

    Provide easy-to-use, extensible software for modeling, simulating, controlling, and analyzing the neuromusculoskeletal system.

    FEBio is a nonlinear finite element software package that is specifically designed to address problems in computational biomechanics and biophysics.

    For clarifications on model creation and data editing, user's perspective: Giordano Valente
    For clarifications on software installation and bug reporting, developer's perspective: Debora Testi
    For dissemination: Martina Contin

  • #2
    Re: NMSBuilder alpha release available!

    All this sounds very exciting, until you realize it is only for Windows-users. I understand that I represent a minority of the potential user base, but I'll ask anyway: any chance of a version for a "free" operating system, or a "compile-your-own-version"?


    • #3
      Re: NMSBuilder alpha release available!

      Hello Joakim,

      Originally posted by jholmberg15 View Post
      All this sounds very exciting, until you realize it is only for Windows-users. I understand that I represent a minority of the potential user base, but I'll ask anyway: any chance of a version for a "free" operating system, or a "compile-your-own-version"?
      Thanks for your question, actually the code base of NMSBuilder is 99% OpenSource since the application is built on top of MAF and mafMedical which are both opensource and available on GitHub

      You can fork the repositories at:

      GitHub is where people build software. More than 100 million people use GitHub to discover, fork, and contribute to over 330 million projects.

      GitHub is where people build software. More than 100 million people use GitHub to discover, fork, and contribute to over 330 million projects.

      and check for MAF cross-platform dashboards here:

      We help you acquire the perfect domain for your site. Affordable payment options. Quick and responsive customer support available.

      We choosed to release a Windows only version because this is the platform supported by the the latest OpesSim GUI official release:

      Anyway MAF is a cross platform framework and in the future we could release a multi platform version also if there is enough momentum.

      In the mean time, if you have a mac you can run NMSBuilder using Bootcamp, Virtual Machines or other environments that simulate Windows. Linux users can also use Wine.

      At the end of the project we might consider releasing the full NMS Builder application open source: your feedback is very important for us so let us know what do you think about the software.



      • #4
        Re: NMSBuilder alpha release available!

        Dear all,

        this is to provide some updates on NMSBuilder development:

        - A getting-started tutorial is now available for download on the dedicated BiomedTown page (

        - We have launched a public forum on BiomedTown ( Feel free to post on any topic related to the use of NMSBuilder

        - A new version of the software, which integrates the latest OpenSim version 3.0, is available for download on BiomedTown (

        - We will run the first free webinar on NMSBuilder on December, 4th. For additional information and registration to the event please visit the OpenSim Webinar page (

        Best wishes,

        Giordano Valente
        (on behalf of the NMSPhysiome team)