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Recommended finite element analysis freeware? - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2007-06-15 22:10
  Subject:   Recommended finite element analysis freeware?
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  Mood:Muder By Death - Killbot 2000
  Music:"What are we doing tonite, Brain?" "The same thing we do EVERY night, Pinky..."



So, I have a hankering to do some FEA structural analysis on some... components... that I'm thinking about.

I found this page with a great list of free FEA software. I'm just wondering if anybody on the friends list has had any experience with doing FEA and if so had a chance to try out any of these programs. I'm very much the n00b at mechanical engineering, so the easier the better at first. Dynamic and vibratory analysis aren't strictly necessary, but would be nice. Thermal and electrical are not needed. So far I've downloaded and am going to try out LISA, JL Analyzer, APM Structure LV 3D and MyStran. I wanted to try out SolidWorks Express, but it apparently doesn't come with a finite element analyzer that's worth a damn - so screw that hippy crap!
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2007-06-16 07:24 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
So far, LJ Analyzer's AutoFEA is easily the best in terms of ease of use. It seems to have a nice vibration analysis bit too. Haven't tried the dynamic analysis stuff, but the menu item is there.
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  User: nickhalfasleep
  Date: 2007-06-16 16:12 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Neat stuff. The civil engineering program had a bunch of these for concrete and steel design, but I never played with any.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2007-06-16 22:35 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Actually I'm really more interested in the small scale stuff. I'm not going to be building any bridges. I'm more interested in knowing if a 2" diameter aluminium tube is going to hold up to a 600 lb static load. That kind of scale.
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  User: nickhalfasleep
  Date: 2007-06-16 22:40 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
It scales marvelously well down to that sort of scale too, provided you apply appropriate element sizing. I think it's when you push the material to difficult extremes where the impurities of the crystalline matrix cause shear failure modes is when you need to pony up to more expensive software.
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Triggur
  User: triggur
  Date: 2007-06-16 20:10 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
ooooo, very cool. I'll have to keep this stuff in mind when I'm build junk.

Thanks!
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Triggur
  User: triggur
  Date: 2007-06-17 00:39 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Hey while we're (sort of) on the topic, do you know of software that lets you build up 3d models of mechanical things and let it simulate them, in terms of moving the moving parts relative to each other to see if it works?
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2007-06-17 01:08 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Maya's inverse-kinematics can simulate very simple physics. Simple rigid body movement, hinges, gravity... but not a lot of complex machines. No belts, gears, chains, etc. There are also physics sims, like that "Physics of Something Awful" video. But as far as I know none of them do 3D. I've been looking for a really good 3D sim with gears and chains to test out my ideas for a CVT. Thus far, no luck. But let me know if you find anything worthwhile...
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Triggur
  User: triggur
  Date: 2007-06-17 07:55 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I've heard really great things about SolidWorks, but not in a use-it-for-free-without-paying-assloads sfcenario... :-P
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2007-06-17 08:25 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
As I said in the post, I read somewhere that even in the "sign up with your email address so we can spam you" "Express" version, their FEA stuff is utterly sucky as hell. The modeling capabilities are supposed to be nice though.
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Triggur
  User: triggur
  Date: 2007-06-17 12:54 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
whoops, my bad. bummer. :-P
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osmium_ocelot: DD
  User: osmium_ocelot
  Date: 2007-06-17 12:51 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Keyword:DD
"components..." he says...

Come on Ben. Out with it.
You're finally gonna build a 4 ton 16' tall, diesel powered Deathbot to lay waste to the yuppie scum of Boulder.
Admit it!
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2007-06-17 19:17 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
As if I'd want to turn that task over to a robot! Nah, this is for testing exoskeleton parts.
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