Many defects relative to stress occur during the complicate casting process, such as hot tearing, residual stress concentration and distortion. Modeling of casting thermal stress during casting solidification process is of great significance to predict and analyze casting stress defects. Involving too many complex influencing factors, the stress simulation is very difficult and retains a hot spot of macro simulation in foundry engineering. Currently most researchers adopt integrated FDM/FEM method, i.e. using finite difference method (FDM) to calculate solidification and heat transferring, while finite element method (FEM) to simulate stress. Some universal commercial FEA packages are usually adopted. This study has tried two kinds of approaches to simulate casting thermal stress. One is based on ANSYS, a well-known powerful FEA analysis software. Another is to develop an independent own copyrighted casting stress simulation system based on FDM. The routes of these two methods were given respectively. To calibrate the simulation system, a stress frame sample and a real practical casting were simulated and pouring experiment was also carried on. The results of simulation were in agreement with the experiment results and practical cases. It indicates that these two approaches can all meet demands. When adopting FDM method, thermal analysis and stress analysis can use the same FD model, which can avoid the nodes matching between different models and reduce the errors of thermal load transferring. It makes the simulation of fluid-flow field, temperature field and stress field unify into one model. This system takes full advantages of mature FDM technology and can be used to simulate the forming of residual stress and predict the occurrence of hot tearing.