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Re: [SEAOC] Computer Applications[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org
- Subject: Re: [SEAOC] Computer Applications
- From: chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com (Christopher Wright)
- Date: Sun, 11 Feb 1996 13:54:53 -0600
>Marlou B. Rodriguez wrote: > Therefore, the most usefull thing you could do would be to dump your >Mac's and get some Intel chip computers. As SEAOC's token liberal (;->) the last thing I want to do is rekindle an OS war, but I use a Mac in my practice, which is primarily FEA, and I find Macs to be far more productive than a Wintel platform with far less time wasted on computer geekery. There are a number of good FEA packages that run on a Mac. COSMOS/M, INERTIA and LapFEA are three commercial packages which run on Macs. I use COSMOS, and I have some experience with MSC/Pal which is a predecessor of LapFEA. COSMOS and INERTIA provide demonstation versions that can only run small models (50 nodes or so) which are excellent learning tools. MSC/Pal used to have such a demo; I don't know if that carried over to LapFEA. The MacSciTech ftp archive <ftp://ari.net/MacSciTech/> has a demo version of MACSAP/SAP95 and some other oddments that may be of use. Depending on your needs, the MultiFrame programs look pretty good, too. To risk telling you your job (albeit from the perspective of 20 years in the FEA biz) I think it's a waste of time to concentrate on anything but the basic elements of FEA in an undergraduate environment. For this you don't need large-scale software like STAAD or ANSYS, and the process of learning such programs obviates any but the most trivial demo problems anyway. Students should know some of the basics of matrix-based structure analysis, but even more important to know how to validate results and fit them into a design context. Wading through the input detail in one large real world 3D analysis wastes time better spent completely dissecting the results of many smaller problems to show techniques. I've always thought a neat excercise would be to give students the results of, say, 5 problems. Diagram the problems to show what is being done, then tell them that some have input errors and their job is to find the mistakes and re-run the problems and prove that their answer is correct. Another interesting approach would be to computerize a student's first course in structural analysis--basically re-teach the course with finite element techniques, showing the productivity gains and pitfalls along with the applicability of first principles. Christopher Wright P.E. |"They couldn't hit an elephant from chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com | this dist--" (last words of Gen. Voice phone (612)933-6182 | John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864) ...
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