>> 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.
I took a look at those two, and it's obvious there would be a steep
I'd like to have one of the custom tower packages, like Tower,
RisaTower, or Guymast, but they start around $3k. I imagine these
programs are like EZNEC in that they are elegant GUIs on top of a
standard FEM engine.
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