Coding your own FE software

Newmark’s family of implicit algorithms gives fast and accurate results for most of the common civil engineering problems such as earthquakes and low velocity impacts with small deformations.

Several industrial applications involve high velocity dynamics of solids, for example forging, machining, crash–tests, collision modelling and many others. Explicit methods are the most appropriate ones in this case.

This interesting topic was the aim of my MSc project that can be downloaded here. I tried to prove that it is not necessary to spend a lot of money to get a good finite element code with the capability to keep constant mass, momentum and energy and to represent very large deformations with complex material behaviours.

The code is completely open, free and easy to understand. Although it was written for Matlab -a bad choice for finite elements- in a couple of months I think the result was not too bad as you can see from the image (top: pressures in a square plate that is spinning all the time; bottom: pressures in a predeformed tube).