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Tools to dimension and validate your FEA model.

The FEMDS software is a postprocessing tool. It is an extension of the FEA tool required to analyze the strength of the designed structure. As shown in the above figure, the FEMDS tool is part of the 'black box' and helps the structural engineer to generate quality reports based on international standards.

The engineer doesn't have to learn a 'new way of working'. He just performs his job as he always was used to do it.  The FEMDS software only accelerates the routine checks.

The engineering of a structure always starts with determining the loadpaths. In this design stage it is regular practice to do that without any software starting with a blank piece of paper; just doing a couple of hand calculations.   These are generally simple linear strength calc's.  However, isn't it handy to know what the effective skin width is? Or, for a frame structure, what the joint strength is of a connection or the buckling strength of a column? These hand-calculation tools are now accessible on-line, which facilitates the FEA engineer to dimension his FE model.

Whenever the detailed FE analysis is performed by the finite element software (FEMAP or ANSYS), the FEMDS add-on software can be used to perform a check whether all loadcases in the FE model also comply with the standards.  This add-on is a tool that facilitates the job of the structural engineer. It helps accelerating the result check but is also an aid for preparing the justification report.

The software is particularly written in a way to provide the user with quick answers. During development of the software special attention is given to add the code checker results to the FE analysis results by only a few mouse clicks. In general the code guidelines are followed. The software contains input checks to stay within the code limits and provides the user with directions to improve the input to get them within the limits of the standard.

Additionally, FEMDS wants to be open as much as possible to make the user to understand what the software exactly calculates. Extra calculation sheets (in Acrobat reader or Mathcad format) are available in the download portal, which can be used to verify the calculated answers by the software. They explain how the standard is implemented in the software. Off course these files are only made available with a valid user license.

Generally the software can be used with the linear elastic results of the FE model output. Although AISC 360-10 may require a second order analysis of your structure, analysis time can be reduced using the effective length method. In this case directions are given to ensure that the analysis is within the guidelines of this standard.

A more precise description of how the software works as an add-on to FEMAP or ANSYS is shown by the following links:

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