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Re: Anyone using freeware FEA?

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Alexander, did you try the Window's version of Calculix?  Or only the Linux
version?

I have been learning ADINA 900 nodes.  It's $140.00, and you also receive
the finite element analysis book by Bathe (in itself worth $140.00).  I find
the user interface to be very cumbersome, however, it can use input from
ANSYS files.  I think it would be interesting to use a program like Calculix
to preprocess... and then use the ADINA for the analysis, it is a commercial
software, and highly tested.  900 nodes is pretty good for many things we do
in structural design.

ADINA staff are very personable.



1. CalculiX.Good: Frequently updated, kind of an offspring of the renowned
Plaxis (?). Has some user-to-user support. Lots and lots of features
including large displacements, nonlinear material, etc.
> Bad: pre/post is total hell. Not because it's strange, it really is
very uncomfortable. You have to operate some weird named groups, etc.Also,
it 'inflates' beam elements (that usually have a precise analytic
solution) to form 3D 20-node solids which in turn causes problems with
torsion calculations, hollow sections etc.
> Resume: really needs a good pre/postprocessor (I'm going to write one
when I'm out of work and so become rich and famous) and some workarounds
for problems with beam elements.



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