SimScale Professional Training: Structural Mechanics/FEA

Introduction to the Theory and Practice of FEA for Professionals

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is now a widely used tool during the product development process. In contrast to physical prototypes, engineers, and designers can virtually simulate their own designs and validate different design concepts early in the development process. The successful use of FEA as a design tool requires an understanding of FEA basics, familiarity with FEA process and commonly used modeling techniques, as well as an appreciation of inherent errors and their effect on the quality of results. When used properly, FEA becomes a tremendous productivity tool, helping engineers and designers reduce product development costs and time to market.

This 5-session course provides engineers and designers with the skills necessary for proper use of FEA in the design process. Participants will first study the theory of the Finite Element Method and then learn about meshing techniques, different analysis types, advanced concepts such as contact mechanics, remote force/displacement, and cyclic symmetry, and potential sources of error.

All topics are illustrated by hands-on examples using SimScale, our web-based engineering simulation platform. Participants can access SimScale with the Free Community Plan or with a Professional Plan. Hands-on exercises and quizzes will provide an opportunity to put what is learned into practice.

Course Format

This 5-session FEA course is hosted on-demand which allows you to work at your own pace.

In each session, you will

  • Watch about 1.5 hours of lecture videos
  • Complete an optional learning exercise on the SimScale Platform
  • Take a short quiz to cement your knowledge
  • Post questions and receive feedback from our trainers

Session 1: Fundamentals of Finite Element Analysis

  • The Fundamentals of Finite Element Theory and its governing equations
  • The Finite Element Method and solution approaches
  • The role of FEA in the product development process
  • The FEA capabilities on SimScale and a complete workflow for a structural simulation

Session 2: CAD Preparation and Meshing in Structural Mechanics

  • Important steps in CAD preparation for simulation
  • How to do a mesh refinement study to develop a simulation-ready mesh
  • When to use a first and second order mesh
  • The meshing algorithms available on SimScale and how to use them

Session 3: Static Analysis with SimScale

  • Complete workflow for a static structural analysis
  • Difference between linear and nonlinear analysis with focus on nonlinearity sources
  • Methods available on SimScale to solve these nonlinearities
  • Overview of relevant case studies demonstrating linear and nonlinear static analysis

Session 4: Dynamic Analysis with SimScale

  • Dynamic analysis and its benefits
  • Fundamentals of dynamic analysis in the frequency & time domain
  • The processes to follow in dynamic analysis for better results
  • An overview of some case studies to understand the steps required for performing dynamic analysis with SimScale

Session 5: Advanced Concepts in Structural Mechanics with SimScale

  • Advanced boundary conditions including cyclic symmetry and elastic support
  • Advanced material properties available on SimScale including material damping and hyperelastic materials
  • Physical contacts including friction and fictitious clearance
  • Overview of some case studies to gain an understanding of how to handle complex nonlinear contact and harmonic analysis with SimScale

By the end of the course, you will have a firm understanding of how to use FEA in the product development process and be fully equipped to run successful simulations on the SimScale platform.

Your Instructor

Anna Flessner
Anna Flessner

Anna attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she obtained her Master’s in Civil/Structural Engineering. She has experience in FEA, topology optimization, and structural design. At SimScale she focuses on building an engaged engineering community, supporting users in the forum, and delivering training, mainly in the area of structural mechanics.


Who Is This Course For?

This course is aimed at engineering and design professionals who want to learn how to use Finite Element Analysis to improve their product development process.

It's helpful for those who are not specialized analysts but need to use Finite Element as well as for those with experience with other simulation tools who would like to learn the workflow for FEA on the SimScale platform.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
This is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
What is the time commitment?
In addition to the 1.5 hours of lecture content per session, there is also a hands-on exercise and short quiz. In total, this course takes 12-15 hours.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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