The FLEX code was first developed by Weidlinger in the early 1980s to support Nuclear Test Ban Treaty monitoring. Its name derives from its primary focus, performing Fast Large EXplicit time-domain dynamic simulations, and from its versatility and unprecedented speed in modeling unusually large structures. At the beginning of the 1990s, the FLEX tree grew three branches: NLFlex, EMFlex, and PZFlex. FLEX became NLFlex, an expanded version of the original program used to simulate blast loadings on structures. EMFlex was developed as a separate program to model electromagnetic wave propagation, in support of improved quality assurance methods for the manufacture of integrated circuits. Finally, with support from the Small Business Innovative Research program, PZFlex was developed for analysis of electro-mechanical coupling in piezoelectric devices. Ultrasound devices for medical diagnostics were the original focus of PZFlex, but it now supports myriad other applications from acoustic monitoring to MEMS design.

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