Which FEM program to use ?

Hello. I'm some kind of a lurker, posting very few times in recent years. I contributed a bit more in the early 90's and I would thank some help from the NG.

I'm not completely new to FEM programs, but almost and my interest is in 3-D Stress Analysis. Linear and non-linear.

I have been examining Quick Field Student edition and I think it is more oriented to Electrical Engineering problems. Moreover it only works with 2-D Stress analysis problems.

I have heard about Nastran, Patran, Ansys, Catia, etc. and would be grateful for some suggestions from the newsgroup.

I work in an University and eventually we can buy, say, a decent piece of software, but not on the extremely expensive side.

Thanks in advance,

Juan Vazquez.

Reply to
Juan Vazquez
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"Juan Vazquez" wrote in news:dhmmmk$hkj$ snipped-for-privacy@newsreader.mailgate.org:

Check out Calculix, it is open source, but/and seems robust and capable.

Of the big players NE Nastran is a winner on performance/cost. Catia is a CAD program.Ansys is reputedly the easiest to extend, but not necessarily the easiest to pick up. Patran reputedly is lagging in the pre and post processor stakes. MSC Nastran for Windows is probably the slickest to pick up. You might want to do some research on LS Dyna, Algol and ABAQUS.

Round here we use most of the above but basically Hypermesh for pre and post, and mostly Nastran to solve. It works. It doesn't fall over. Yeah I know, not exactly a glowing recommendation!

As for pricing you'll probably be paying essentially zero for any of the above for a university, as they are far more keen on extending the userbase than worrying about a few bucks here or there.


Greg Locock

Reply to
Greg Locock

Nastran is a very good linear solver. You'll need a pre/post processor to go with it, such as Patran. It can handle big models well and do non-linear analysis.

Ansys and Abaqus are other good FE software packages. They are best for non-linear analysis.

Catia is mainly a CAD software. There may be a FE module but it's probably not that good.

I suggest FEMAP as a pre/post processor and use a non-MSC Nastran such as NE Nastran or Abaqus. Ansys could be another option. I don't have any experience with it.

Reply to
Jeff Finlayson

If you want to use the software for students doing practica, using Femap as pre-post processor will indeed be by far the easiest solution, there is not much in the market simplier to pick up for first time users.

If you like Nastran there are Nastran for Windows versions bundled with Femap from all major Nastran vendors (MSC, NX, NE).


Reply to
Timo de Beer

Nastran's also got non-linear capabilities. Linear is probably it's strongest point, but I've done some non-linear stuff with Nastran also.

As far as non-linear goes, I've been extremely impressed with DYNA. It's not as user friendly. From what I hear, it's THE FEM tool to simulate collisions (auto industry). I really can't think of a more complex, non-linear type of problem than that.


Reply to

Thanks, very much to all of you: Greg, Jeff, Timo and Dave.

Your suggestions are very helpful.


"dave.harper" escribió en el mensaje news: snipped-for-privacy@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

Reply to
Juan Vazquez

You can also try PERMAS for linear and non-linear problems. They supports a student version with a limited number of elements. More informations you can find at: http//:

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Best regards K.Kulling

Reply to
Kim Kulling

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