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What is Finite Element Analysis? FEA explained for beginners

481 ratings | 24941 views
So you may be wondering, what is finite element analysis? It's easier to learn finite element analysis than it seems, and I'm going to try to explain what FEA is in a simple and easy to understand way for beginners. Finite element analysis uses the finite element method to simulate physical events through computational modeling. I will not be getting into the various equations behind this calculation, but I will be sticking to broad concepts and real world applications. This is a very simple introduction to finite element analysis explained in very basic terms for beginners to understand. This includes the basic concepts of geometries, meshing, and simulation of finite element analysis. FEA is a fast growing field and is utilized in various industries including automotive safety, civil engineering, computational biomechanics, sports biomechanics ect. Examples of finite element analysis software are LS-DYNA, Abaqus, Ansys, Pam-Crash, Radioss, and others. I will be posting new videos ~weekly that will include more in depth analysis of this topic, as well as software tutorials ect. If you are interested in any of this, hit that subscribe button.
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Text Comments (36)
Dinesh K. Malviya (1 day ago)
nice introduction for FEA .. expecting more to come !!
Ash Ish (19 days ago)
Thank you so much sir!!! Really there is no material like this for the beginners to understand FEM *very greatly explained*
Donata Nuttini (1 month ago)
Thanks, great explanation
abdul majid (1 month ago)
sir more videos please
Jet Luo (1 month ago)
Thanks man. Really helpful!
Munnesa Bari (1 month ago)
Please do a tutorial on how to use strand7 program for FEA on a mandible? :O
Unpopular Mechanics (1 month ago)
I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with strand7 so I’m unable to help
deep pushap (1 month ago)
Panashe Sabau (2 months ago)
I like this one already. Thank you
Teodora Maria (2 months ago)
This is my bachelor's degree subject and this video helped me so much , things are so clear now in my mind , thank you so much !I can hardly wait for other videos if it's possible in the medical field (would be very helpfull). Very good job!
Unpopular Mechanics (2 months ago)
Really glad to hear that it was helpful for you!
Dejay Rezme (2 months ago)
Thanks for the video! If you want to design your own boat, could you teach yourself and learn to use fea with laminates and do it yourself? Or is this just nuts?
Unpopular Mechanics (2 months ago)
There are some free meshing software out there that I've used. IA-FEMesh is one that works pretty well for simple geometries. I'm not super familiar with it but I could make a video once I brush up on it. Also, you can create topics on the forum where you can attach pictures and whatnot to better illustrate any issues that you may have. https://feassistant.com/forums/
Dejay Rezme (2 months ago)
@Unpopular Mechanics Oh wow thanks! Well I'm "sketching" concepts in Fusion 360 so that isn't the problem, although it's way more work than I hoped to actually design something in CAD properly. And it's also an iterative process or design spiral, in order to design the boat and it's resistance and hull shape I need to know how heavy it's going to be and how heavy depends on the forces acting on it depending on the weight and hull form... I have yet to watch your full video series also. There is just a boatload to learn about naval architecture. What software could I use? Is a trial version of hyper mesh the only sensible option or is there free software that can be used reasonably well. I know Fusion360 has a fea module but not for laminates / composites. Can you "approximate" composites as isotropic materials if you assume a quadraxial fiber orientation?
Unpopular Mechanics (2 months ago)
Oh wow! Well that is a huge job but it’s possible. You should first prioritize learning about CAD and how to begin designing the boat. Once you have the CAD created you’ll be able to mesh it and set up a finite element simulation to test for whatever you want. If you are only worried about weight, you can just try to model the CAD and compare the mass between materials commonly used for catamarans. I’m assuming you would need to determine how thick the material for the boat would be and things like that. I’d be happy to help you along the way as this is a pretty ambitious project ;)
Dejay Rezme (2 months ago)
​@Unpopular Mechanics Thanks for answering! No I mean for actually designing and building a boat to travel the oceans on. I know there is a lot to that and that it would be safer and easier to hire an engineer for it. But for my goal of a solar powered catamaran you need to optimize for weight because you only have very low power available. There are no good designs or building plans that incorporate that atm. So my question is, if I learn the basics of structural engineering and then teach myself to use some (hopefully free) software to do this FEA optimization to optimize for weight, would that require years or months of learning? I presume that fea especially for laminates is very high paying so it could be cost effective to DIY. So is this nuts? :)
Unpopular Mechanics (2 months ago)
Design your own virtual boat for simulation? Yeah that’s possible for sure. You would just need CAD of a boat geometry or design the geometry yourself
Shabee Jose (3 months ago)
Thank u boss
AthenaSaints (3 months ago)
Thank you. This is a good start for me.
Unpopular Mechanics (3 months ago)
Let me know if you need any help! Feel free to join the forum as well and ask any questions there. That is can be easier than answering through youtube!
Muhammad Ismail (4 months ago)
Great piece of work! please keep going I am going to use your videos to start learning FEA.
aditya mathur (4 months ago)
That was really helpful! Thankyou! :)
Woo Lee (6 months ago)
Wow very nice and helpful. How do you design a human body? Do you use cad to model?
Abhista Danis (3 months ago)
in my opinion to design 3d model of irregular shape such as bone, ship, or another entity we cut a model into several 2d drawing. when the part/segment getting more wired we often add some cut or station to make sure the model is representing the real model .and then the we arrange segmenting together and use command loft in autocad or rhino. just like design a ship using lines plan method. currently i've using FEM analysis to design offshore structure such as ship, drilling platform, production platform etc
Unpopular Mechanics (6 months ago)
Yeah so the process would be to take scans (CT/MRI) of a volunteer, create a geometry from that scan data using segmentation techniques, mesh that geometry, and then assign appropriate material models and modeling techniques to the mesh. The last step is one of the most challenging because components of the human body behave differently in PMHS subjects vs living people like you and me. Two of the biggest human body models are the GHBMC and the THUMS if you want to know more.
sairam basker (7 months ago)
Thanks for the video...I also suggest you to post a video on simulation of a vehicle.
Unpopular Mechanics (7 months ago)
I'm looking forward to it! I apologize but I've been slow on my uploads. I hope to speed up so we can get to the really fun stuff like vehicle simulations!
Yash Sahu (7 months ago)
Plz bring more video on this
Unpopular Mechanics (7 months ago)
Hopefully I can start to get more videos together in the coming week!
Yash Sahu (7 months ago)
Very nice explanation sir
SUV Tropics (8 months ago)
Loved it man. I'm gonna write a thesis on structural analysis using either ansys or abaqus. I have decent computer smarts but I'm a beginner in FEM, which one would you recommend? I just need to get the work done easy.
Unpopular Mechanics (8 months ago)
Awesome! Well, both are pretty similar and would be more than likely be fine for whatever project you are looking at doing. It would more come down to what your advisor has/wants to pay for an academic license tbh. Sorry, I know that might not be much help, but both really are great choices. I work mostly with LSDYNA so be sure to lookup some tutorials for whichever you choose to help you along the way!
ali alqubati (8 months ago)
Very good intro.
Ajay kumar (9 months ago)
This is the best decent Intro.
poor boy (5 months ago)
@Unpopular Mechanics please keep going. Your ironic username earned a new sub
Unpopular Mechanics (9 months ago)
+Ajay kumar I really appreciate it. I’m trying to get some more videos together soon. Let me know if there is anything you’d like to see.

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