Desktop Engineering Blog

Delamination Modelling

Posted by Andy Woodward on 20-Jan-2017 04:00:00

Delamination is one of the critical failure criteria in the design of laminates and any bonded joint. Modelling it with simulation software is possible, but can be very fiddly and labour intensive in many finite element codes.  It is often necessary to pre-determine where delamination will occur and then create interface elements that capture the cohesive behaviour of bond.  Doing this manually within a GUI environment is not fun.

The Marc finite element solver, from MSC Software, makes this very easy by having the solver detect where delamination is likely to occur between unique materials (or within a homogenous material) and then create the interface elements itself.  This represents a massive saving in time for the FEA engineer creating these type of models.

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Topics: MSC Software, FEA, Various

FEA Model Checking - Part 2

Posted by Andy Woodward on 12-Jan-2017 13:00:00


This is the second part of an article on basic model checking. 

In the first article we talked about some basic checks for the mass, stiffness and grounding integrity of the model.

In this article we’ll look at some static checks. In a simple or single component model these may not be necessary.

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Topics: FEA, Various - Machine Tools

FEA Model Checking - Part 1

Posted by Andy Woodward on 04-Jan-2017 10:00:00

I’ve been an FEA user since 1992 and providing first line technical support for the last ten years. A surprising number of models sent to us over the years with ‘problem’ behaviour have had fundamental mistakes in the way they were constructed that could have been easily identified through systematic model checking. 

In this two-part blog we will discuss some recommended model checks that can help identify basic problems.  In the first one we’ll look at mass and stiffness checking.

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Topics: FEA, Various - Machine Tools

Non-linear Flexible body dynamics

Posted by Andy Woodward on 07-Dec-2016 10:00:00

In the last simulation blog the benefits of flexible body dynamics simulation were introduced.

The method used to represent a component flexibly requires an FEA solution that captures the vibration characteristics (normal modes) and the connectivity stiffness between the interface points (constraint modes). These are all linear modes used to represent any state of a component by a linear superposition sum. But what if your component doesn’t behave linearly?

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Topics: MSC Software, FEA

Flexible bodies in Motion Simulation

Posted by Andy Woodward on 28-Nov-2016 12:00:00

In an earlier blog article the differences between kinematic and dynamic simulation were discussed, highlighting the importance of dynamic simulation as an input to the design of components by generating realistic loads. Most dynamics simulation is performed with the basic assumption that the components are rigid so only their mass and inertia properties are considered.

But this is not always an accurate assumption, although it does make for faster solution times. Consider the example below.

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Topics: MSC Software, FEA

How BIM has changed Façade Design

Posted by Geoff Haines on 07-Nov-2016 12:00:00

“Change or die” is the shorted version of Charles Darwin’s famous quote.

A little while ago I was in a meeting with a director of a major developer in London, trying to convince him of using 3D CAD (or BIM) models to help in construction projects and one comment put forcefully to me was “I’ve built many a building with a pencil, paper and a fax machine so why should I spend money on 3D CAD information? “  I think we have all met these dinosaurs and we know what their future beholds!

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Topics: AEC, Architecture, Engineering & Construction, BIM

Intelligent 3D Curtain Wall Design

Posted by Geoff Haines on 14-Oct-2016 12:00:00

Goethe said that “By seeking and blundering we learn “.

Well I am not so sure that I would like to start a career in engineering knowing I was blundering in order to learn. But his point is bluntly put - that what we call knowledge is gained through making mistakes. In other words, engineers push the envelope in design, making things bigger or lighter until they fail and then seeking out what went wrong. In some cases, this leads to fundamental research to capture the laws of nature in formulae. In other cases, it leads to best practice or rules. This is how the aerospace industry has made flying one of the safest modes of transport.

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Topics: AEC, Architecture, Engineering & Construction, Facade, BIM

Training Certification - why do it?

Posted by Geoff Haines on 04-Oct-2016 12:15:00

How do you get recognition of your skills or you want to be involved in better work or been seen as making a difference - how do you show your difference?  

It’s all about having something unique that gives value to your employer.

Or if when job seeking how do you differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack? I had a friend who said you should draw pretty flowers on your CV! – whether he ever did that I don’t know, but in the competitive world we live you have to have a difference. That’s what sells. In sales jargon it’s called a Unique Selling Point, and when going for a job or looking to improve your position, that’s what you need.

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Intelligent 3D Façade Templated Design

Posted by Geoff Haines on 29-Sep-2016 12:00:00

If you think back to your first days in a design office, in a new industry fresh from college, you’ll remember that there was always a designer who’d been there many years. That was the person you sought for help, as they had all the experience of what works and what doesn’t.

It was Oscar Wilde who said “Experience is simply the name we give to our mistakes”, and so why shouldn’t you capture that experience to then avoid making the same mistakes.

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Topics: AEC, Architecture, Engineering & Construction, Facade, BIM

2D or not 2D that is the question?

Posted by Geoff Haines on 02-Aug-2016 10:00:00

Continuing my theme of Shakespearian references, I
wonder if the bard was prescient foreseeing this question that has been asked many a time by managers when they start design projects?  “Should we do this in 2D, it will be quicker, or should we take the plunge and model it in 3D” – how many times has that been said in the last two decades or so, let alone 400 years?

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Topics: 2D Design