October 27th, 2017, 07:18 AM  #1 
Member Joined: Jan 2017 From: Huddersfield Posts: 36 Thanks: 0  Stress strain analysis
I have been given a question on stress and strain which I have completed using 3 methods and come to the correct answer with each method, however I must then go into detail about the advantages and disadvantages of all 3, to which I am struggling, if anybody could give a quick summary of each that would be great help (I am a numbers man and not a great writer) The 3 methods used were : Hand calculations (pen paper and calculator) Spreadsheet template (Microsoft excel) Solid modelling (solidworks analysis) What are the advantages/disadvantages of a simple model/complicated model? Speed, repeatability, flexibility and accuracy? Any help is greatly appreciated 
October 27th, 2017, 08:54 AM  #2 
Senior Member Joined: Jun 2015 From: England Posts: 891 Thanks: 269 
Well you must have experiences of your own since you have worked it out three ways. But I assume that you did not develop the spreadsheet or solid model software yourself? The spreadsheet you might have done yourself or used your college's own but I assume the solid model is a commercial package So I will confine my remarks to somethings you probably haven't thought of. Cost increases in the order 1 < 2 < 3 Probably convenience goes in the same order. But there is a trade off between effort and results. I haven't counted the effort involved in learning the software and setting it up. So if you only want to do the calculation once this trade off is quite different from if you want to perform many similar calculations. Hope this helps. 
October 27th, 2017, 10:24 AM  #3 
Member Joined: Jan 2017 From: Huddersfield Posts: 36 Thanks: 0 
Yes that was a great help No I performed the calculations myself on all 3, I just struggled to think of reasons as to disadvantages to the spreadsheet and solid modelling, learning the software is a cracking one, would never have thought of that Cheers 
October 28th, 2017, 07:00 PM  #4 
Senior Member Joined: Sep 2016 From: USA Posts: 521 Thanks: 294 Math Focus: Dynamical systems, analytic function theory, numerics 
A few more comments which might be helpful. 1. Pencil and paper results are only valid for the model which is being implemented. Models are naturally a simplified representation for a system. They can do a good job of failthfully reproducing the behavior or a poor job. The pencil and paper results apply directly to the model but don't necessarily apply to the real problem. 2. Excel is dogshit and forcing people to use it should be a war crime. 3. Solidworks applies numerical methods to solve problems and thus has the opposite problem as in (1). Namely, you get approximate solutions whose accuracy may depend heavily on the problem, the numerical method, or both. In particular, finite element methods have the fantastic ability to solve differential equations even when the solutions are not smooth enough. However, this means it is possible (though unlikely in a real world application) to produce a solution which doesn't actually exist. 

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