Setting up a model
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The user can set-up, analyze and view the results of a model using the following 12 simple steps:
A. Preparation of the input data
1. Define the System of Units. This is a very important step for the model. This step has nothing to do with the program itself. Instead, the user has to define the preferred system of units and then all the program data have to be consistent with this system. Then the results will also comply to that system. For details, see System of Units.
B. Pre-Processing: Building the Model
2. Click to define Material(s). You need to define the Material Name (optional), Material Density d (optional) and Material Elastic Modulus E for each Material. For details, see Materials.
3. Click to define Sections(s). You need to define the Section Name (optional), Section Area A and Section Moment of Inertia I for each Section. For details, see Sections.
4. After you have defined at least one Material and one Section, you can start drawing your Model on screen, as follows:
•Left-click on screen to define a new free Node (no constraints).
•Left-click on screen, hold down the left button and then release it at another location to define a new Element and two nodes at ends i, j.
•Double-click on a Node or close to it to to define a new Constraint (Support) set. Each time you double-click a Node, a new Nodal Constraint set is applied to the Node.
•If SNAP is activated (Default=True), then you can only draw Nodes and Elements at increments defined by the Snap Size setting (Default=0.1).
•If SNAPNODE is activated (Default=True), then you can "catch" Nodes so that new elements can be connected to existing Nodes.
•Note: All Elements that are defined on screen are assigned Material 1 and Section 1.
If you do not want to use on-screen drawing, you can still click to define Nodes manually and to define Elements manually.
5. Click to:
•Move Nodes to their exact positions, if needed. For example, a Node with X-Coordinate 5.8 defined on screen with Snap Size = 0.1 should be moved to the exact position 5.85.
•Define or change Nodal Constraints.
For details, see Nodes.
6. Click to:
•Assign the right Material and Section to every Element, if needed. All Elements that are defined on screen are assigned Material 1 and Section 1. For example, an Element that has been defined on screen has to be assigned Material 2 or Section 2.
•Define Hinges at Element ends. Each Element can have a hinge at either end (Start-i or End-j or both).
For details, see Elements.
7. Click to define Nodal Loads. For details, see Nodal Loads.
8. Click to define Elemental Loads. For details, see Elemental Loads.
9. Click to define Body (Acceleration) Loads (if needed). For details, see Body (Acceleration) Loads.
•If you want to take into account the self-weight of Elements as an additional elemental load for each Element, then you have to provide the Material Density for the Material of each Element and also to define a Linear Acceleration Vector equal to the standard earth gravitational acceleration. A common practice is to put the earth gravitational acceleration with a minus (-) sign at the Y direction - this means gravity acting towards -Y global axis.
•Example: If you are using kN for forces, m for length and s for time, then the Material Density has to be given in t/m3 and you have to enter -9.80665 (or simply -9.81) at the aY component of the Linear Acceleration Vector.
C. Analyze the Model
10. Click (or press F5) to run the Finite Element Analysis. For details on the Analysis, see Analysis.
D. Post-Processing: See the Analysis Results
11. Click , , , or to see the Axial Force Diagram, Shear Force Diagram, Bending Moment Diagram, Model Deformation or the Free Body Diagram.
•: Deformation (deformed shape of the Model)
•: Free Body Diagram (external forces together with support reactions)
12. Click to see the analytical results. The analytical results include: