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I agree with Mr. Wright. I have been using mechanical and structural FEA packages for about 20 years. Everything from PATRAN to COSMOS to STAAD. Everyone has its idiosynchrocies. Everyone has its bugs and assumptions. To say that you are "effectively" using these applications within two hours maybe jumping the gun a bit. I must admit that the bells and whistles and fancy graphics may have something to do with that conclusion, but any serious package has to be carefully scrutinized. That is why I choose products that have been examined and tested for years by myself and others who have worked as long as I. Products like STAAD may not be the "glittziest" of all the new packages, but it is tested. I subscribe to their NRC Audit Manuals. We do time history analysis for block foundations. Even when doing that, I have to be careful in the output - is it using implicit or explicit integration, how is it accounting for damping,etc.. That's my 2 cents.


J. Pankaj
Harash and Assoc

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