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Free Finite Element Solver

This software is very much work in progress and we accept no liability for any errors in the code. 

This page describes how to use M3d's 2d finite element solver to solve the classic hole in a plate problem. 

 

 Download the M3d free Finite Element Software Here

 

In M3d go to the 'File->Import->DAT' menu item and then browse for the file "PlateHole.dat" which came in the M3d zip file.

The picture right shows the 2d Finite Element mesh for the problem, with no restraints or loads applied.

 

To create the X restraints select the 'Analysis->Create Restraint' menu item. You are then prompted to select the nodes. Drag a box over the nodes on the Y-axis. The box is dragged by depressing the left mouse button and then dragging to the right and down. If you wish to deselect the nodes click the right button and choose 'Deselect All' from the pop up menu. The nodes can also be selected by just clicking on them.

The nodes to apply the restraints to should appear highlighted as illustrated right. Press the middle mouse button or press enter to accept this selection. 

 

 

You are then prompted for a vector to define the restraint. In the command line type 1,0,0 to activate the X restraint and free Y & Z as illustrated right.

An "R" marker should appear next to the node.

Similarly, create Y restraint along the bottom edge with the restraint vector 0,1,0. Remember to deselect the previous nodes by clicking the right mouse button and selecting the 'Deselect All' menu item.

 

Now select 'Analysis->Create Force' and select the nodes along the left hand edge, but not the 2 corner nodes as illustrated right.

Press the middle mouse button or press enter to accept this selection. 

You are then prompted for a vector to define the force. In the command line type -1000,0,0 and press enter.

Similarly, create force values of  -500,0,0  on the two corner nodes. The model should appear as right.

 

To solve the finite element model select 'Analysis->Solve Stress' to start the Finite Element solver. On completion, results sets of displacement and stress should have been created. 

To plot stresses select 'Post Processing->Select Contour Results'  from the main menu. The following dialog box should appear containing the data to be selected.

Select 2d STRESS and SigX in the select boxes and press OK.

 

To generate the stress contours select  'Post Processing->Contour Raw Data' the following stress plot should appear.

 

To plot the deformed finite element model shape select  'Post Processing->Select Deformed Results' and select the DISPLACEMENT results set as illustrated right.

Press OK and then select 'Post Processing->Deformed Display' to activate the plot.

We now need to set the  deformed magnification scale by selecting  'Post Processing->Options-> Deformation Scale' and then enter 10000 in the command line. The following display should be generated.

   

 

Test File Scripting

The next quick example shows how to create Finite Element nodes and elements with a text file script. Nearly all menu commands in the M3d Finite Element Modeller have an associated text command which can be typed in the command line. Below is a script of commands which can simply be cut and pasted into the M3d command line to create a Finite element and apply its materials and properties.

NDCR
0 0
1 0
1 1
0 1
C
ELCR
LAB
1 4
D
C

MMAT1
AL

70E9
0.33


NDCR
0 0
1 0
1 1
0 1
C
ELCR
LAB
1 4
D
C

MMAT1
AL
1
70E9
0.33


PRSHELL
Plate
1
1
0.1
1.0

ELMOPID
LAB
1
D
1



end

Simply cut this text from the webpage and then paste it into the command line in M3d. Note to paste into the command line, 'ctrl-v' doesn't work, you have to right mouse click and select paste.

The following finite element should have been created.

Download the M3d free Finite Element Software Here.

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