Algor's Williams (above) presents a Web-based demonstration of the developer's Mechanical Event Simulation software. Conducting FEA classes over the Web means students can participate anywhere without being away from their families during off hours. Train in at least twos, suggests some instructors. Team members can reinforce each other's learning experience. Companies always wrestle with whether or not to train people offsite for CAD or FEA work. It takes creative individuals out of the office, managers argue, so their productivity is lost for a short time, and costs can be significant. The good news is that costs come back to the company in about half a year, (Machine Design, Jan 10, 2002, p. 96) and users feel more competent so they perform with new interest. Once a company clears the cost hurdle, the question becomes: Who should get training and how much? Of course, the answer is: It depends. "The type of training depends on the user's background and previous experience," says Robert Williams, product manager for "If users are learning their first FEA program or refreshing general FEA knowledge, then introductory courses are appropriate. They provide an overview of finite-element theory, concepts, and terminology. These courses provide guidance on getting started and explain how to apply FEA to the engineer's work," says Williams. Instructors prepare an agenda and material geared toward how attendees are likely to use the software. It's not necessary for attendees to learn everything the software can do, just what's needed to start working on their own. "Our company, for instance, provides two introductory courses," says Williams. "One focuses on working with CAD models, such as the seamless transfer of geometry to the FEA software, suppressing features not essential for analysis, and meshing as well as analysis and results evaluation, presentation, and reporting. The second course covers topics
Products & Services
Finite Element Analysis Software
Finite element analysis software (FEA) uses a numerical technique to model and analyze complex structures by solving boundary-value problems. The structure to be analyzed is divided into points (elements) that make a grid called a mesh.
Learning Management Systems (LMS)
Learning management systems (LMS) are software applications for delivering, tracking and managing training. They are used mainly by educational institutions and corporate training departments.
Instructional Seminars and Training Services
Instructional seminars and training services include non-credit programs; courses or seminars in engineering, science, technology, management, and other specialized subject areas; and production operation or application-specific training.
Educational and Training Software
Educational and training software is used in applications such as distance learning, online training, and more specific programs such as equipment training and support.
Education Management Software
Education management software is used by teachers, students, and school administrators for organization and collaboration, and to facilitate learning.
Topics of Interest
Engineering departments often keep a thick book handy that details the way things should be done. It's the department's preferred operating procedures. In recent parlance, it's their best practices.
Design experts say using FEA early in a design cycle lets engineers detect and correct problems sooner and in a less-costly manner than if they wait to apply it. Few debate that wisdom. The real...
Making analysis a design feature In the past, choosing whether or not to use FEA software could be a tough decision. Engineering departments raised legitimate objections such as steep learning curves,...
A parametric FEA program now lets engineers manipulate shapes and positions of features in meshed models without accessing the original CAD model or CAD software ), lets analysts extensively change...
Interoperability tools for design and analysis, new elements, additional material models, faster solvers, and innovative training techniques make the latest finite-element field worth a closer look.