Steve Maki wrote:
> I wish I could justify the purchase of one of the finite element
> analysis programs, but I know they're not cheap...
There are lots of free FEM programs out there.(FeLT and GRAPE spring to
mind) The real challenge is in having the expertise to effectively use
them. Also, free usually implies non-user-friendly interface (for casual
users).. just like for NEC.
And, just like for NEC, the devil is in the details. Are you going to
model the details of the bolted joints or use some reasonable
approximation? Are you going to model the L section as a simple beam
with specified parameters, or actually the details of the L.
It's much worse with structural FEM than for ElectroMagnetic.. In EM
modeling, it's a conductor with specified properties, and generally
isotropic, and there's no concept of "bending". In structural, a beam
has torsional, bending and shear, and they're different in all
directions and coupled to boot.
There's a reason that introductory texts talk about idealized beams with
uniform cross section in axial compression, tension, or simple bending
or torsion only.
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