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Deflection calculator or FEA freeware

**bry1975**:

Can any of you chaps recommend a good deflection calculator or free FEA program, it's been some years since I've calculated any deflection.

TIA

Bry

**dickda1**:

For finite element software, you might take a look here.

http://www.freebyte.com/cad/fea.htm#fea

I have used Lisa and a couple others. But the basic problem with the freeware stuff is that the interface is difficult or essentially missing. The expensive packages (Ansys, NASTRAN, CATIA, etc) will help you generate a mesh, configure loadings and constraints, solve for deflection (or stress, etc), and visualize the results.

This stuff is fascinating to use, but one definitely needs a degree in mechanical engineering just to start.

If you are just interested in deflection, you might use formulas in the Machinist Handbook or Roark's Formulas for Stress and Strain. They built bridges with this stuff in the days before modern computing. :thumbup:

-Dick

**bry1975**:

Thanks Dick,

The only time I used a littie bit of FEA was with either Autocad 2000 or mechanical desktop 2 or 3 can't remember which one been a good 14years ago.

Only started looking at deflection again last night so need to remind myself of the technical nomenclature. :doh:

Found this calculator late last night but haven't tried it yet.

http://www.aps.anl.gov/APS_Engineering_Support_Division/Mechanical_Operations_and_Maintenance/Calculators/ElasticBeam2.html

**David Jupp**:

"Engineers Toolbox" could be worth a look - it started out as an on-line free system with paid installable. I don't like the way the pricing/licensing model has moved, but a 30 day trail is available. Just search for ETBX. If it has the calculation modules you need, it is pretty simple to use.

**bry1975**:

Thanks David,

It will be useful to check metal stiffness/deflection.

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