Bow & Arrow Physics Simulation

VirtualBow is a free, open-source software tool for designing and simulating bows. It gives users an easy way to test and optimize their designs by providing almost instant feedback about a bow's predicted performance. The simulation results include a variety of static and dynamic characteristics of the bow such as the draw curve, limb deformation, stresses, arrow velocity and degree of efficiency.

However, please note that this software is still immature, so don't trust the results too much yet and report any bugs that you find. For more details see the screenshots and feature list below or have a look at the user manual. Visit our subreddit r/VirtualBow for news, support and general discussion.


Model Editor

  • Create, load and save bow models
  • Edit layers, material properties and other parameters


  • Simulates the statics and dynamics of the bow
  • Uses the finite element method (FEM)

Result Viewer

  • Static results:
    • Limb shapes
    • Draw curve
    • Stored energy
    • Stress distribution
    • ...
  • Dynamic results:
    • Position, velocity and acceleration of string and arrow
    • Kinetic and potential energy
    • Degree of efficiency
    • ...

Command Line Interface

  • Run simulations from the command line
  • Call VirtualBow from other programs/scripts to perform parameter studies and design optimizations

Fully Documented

  • User Manual: Explains all features of the program and helps you getting started
  • Theory Manual: Detailed documentation of the internal simulation methods

Free and Open-Source


  • Downloads are available for Windows, Linux and MacOS