Computational Biomechanics

Dr. Kewei Li

Introduction to Finite Element Software

Introduction to FEAPpv

FEAPpv is an open source and free version of the general purpose finite element analysis program FEAP. The “pv” in the name of FEAPpv means “personal version”. The programming architecture of FEAPpv is similar to that of FEAP. The official website of FEAPpv can be found here. You can download an executable file of FEAPpv for your operating system from the official website if you are using Windows or MacOS. To test whether FEAPpv is working on your computer, you can download the input file for a simple 1D problem at the course repository.

After you download the executable file, double click to run it. Then, a window will appear. Select the input file you downloaded from the course repository to start the simulation.

If you are using a Linux machine or unable to use the executable file of FEAPpv on your computer, then you need to compile and build FEAPpv from the source code in order to run it on your computer. You can download the source code on the official website or the latest version from this GitHub repository. The instruction to compile and build FEAPpv is also available on the official website. For more information and videos on how to compile FEAPpv, visit the FEAP Wiki installation page. If you are using a Windows machine, it is highly recommended to use the Alternative Installation method on the FEAP Wiki. Although that instruction was written for FEAP, it has been confirmed that it also works for FEAPpv.

If you have questions about compiling or using FEAPpv, you can also post your questions at the FEAPpv section of FEAP user’s forum.

Introduction to Abaqus

The Abaqus Student Edition is a free personal finite element analysis package for solving problems with a limit of 1000 nodes. It is governed by a personal use license and may be used on a perpetual basis. You can download the Abaqus student edition on this website. You will need to register for an account first.

You can also use a teaching edition of Abaqus at the computer lab on campus, for example, the computer lab in room BMT01077 (Lehrsaal VIII) of Biomedical Engineering Building. The teaching edition of Abaqus includes the same functionality as the commercial edition, but limits the model sizes of the Abaqus structural simulations to a very workable 250000 nodes.

See also the SIMULA Academic Program page and the Wikipedia page of Abaqus for more information.

Mesh Generation Software

There are a number of good mesh generation software. Some are free, others offer student version for free. For example, HyperMesh from Altair is a very powerful mesh generation software, and they offer a student version for free. However, there are some limitations such as the output file format and the number of nodes. Similarly, the student version of Abaqus is also a good tool for not only mesh generation but also solving the finite element problem. Thus, Abaqus is recommended for this course, see link above to download Abaqus.

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