MadModder
The Shop => Software Tools => Topic started by: bry1975 on July 08, 2011, 07:58:55 PM

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

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

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

"Engineers Toolbox" could be worth a look  it started out as an online 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.

Thanks David,
It will be useful to check metal stiffness/deflection.

I forgot to mention this one: Felipe  finite element package based on Fortran.
http://www.felipe.co.uk/
This is a really great finite element package that will allow one to visualize stresses and deflections in a part (among other many other things).
It was developed by a professor of mathematics at the University of Bath. I bought a licensed copy about 15 years ago and like it. The free package has many bells and whistles and is worth a download. :thumbup:
Dick

Thanks Dick,
Sound like a good program BUT will it run on linux?
And BATH what a lovely city shame about the terrible traffic congestion use to always dread dragging into BATH on the A4.

Hi Bry.
What distro are you using? On Ubuntu 11.04 I just searched the software center and came up with 4 FE analyzer/mesh generator programs. Z88, Gmsh, Elmer FEA, and Netgen.
Cheers
Jeff

Jeff,
Yah, thats the thing. If you are a Linux/Unix/BSD user the situation is far different. There are loads of quality finite element packages out there.
The original gold standard is NASTRAN, developed under defense dept contract here in the States. I would be surprised if it was not available in some form over Linux.
Go Linux. :thumbup:
Dick

Thanks chaps,
Looks good fun FEA not that I really need it but always good to test designs and calculations.