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Re: Anyone using freeware FEA?

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I used the Windows version. I'm not aware of any difference between that one and the Linux version.
In reply to your information, there are indeed cheap analysis programs that do their job good.
Perphaps you'd be also interested in Roshaz - it is a ~500 bucks worth pre/postprocessor for CalculiX (its existence proves that
Calculix pre/post is awful).
Actually, to dream a bit, I seek a good investment for my time to program some kind of hand-tailored software that
would be of use for engineers and would be extensible with user-written design/check routines.
By good investement, I mean an open-source solver not bound by licensing and therefore not a black-box solution or under risk of
developer ceasing license/support renewal.
I currently looking towards CalculiX as a tested engine but the problem with beam elements needs more research.
To dream a bit more, an ideal FEA software would have a Robot SA-like user interface, a nonlinear, 3D, substructure-enabled, efficient (~1m DOF?) solver
and user-written, highly customisable design modules, all that available to public in source codes.
Remember that user-written design modules would greatly benefit to the international engineering community, producing kind of a common denominator
to compare national codes, projects, share design models etc. Doing that within proprietary software scope always restricts the audience to specific software users.
I have a parable for that. In my childhood, I had a (Soviet) book about weapons history. It described the situation preceding the invention of a tank in WWI as
that all the components of it - engine, tracks, gun, armor steel - were already available separately; the invention was to combine them into one unit. 
P.s. To correct myself, CalculiX is not an offspring of Plaxis at all. Instead, it reads Abaqus code.
On Tue, Oct 13, 2009 at 8:08 PM, Fugeeo <fugeeo(--nospam--at)> wrote:

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

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&#39;s strange, it really is
very uncomfortable. You have to operate some weird named groups, etc.Also,
it &#39;inflates&#39; 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&#39;m going to write one
when I&#39;m out of work and so become rich and famous) and some workarounds
for problems with beam elements.

Alexander Bausk
Civil/Structural design & inspection engineer, CAD professional
Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine
Tel. +38 068 4079692
Fax. +38 0562 470263