Verifying Will Never Be Easy

A previous post compared the natural periods computed by OpenSees for a relatively simple one-story, one-bay, elastic frame to published ETABS results. Many easy to make modeling choices (mass distribution, rigid joint offsets, relative stiffness, etc.) led to "incorrect" periods. The "correct" modeling choices gave periods from OpenSees that were very close to ETABS--close enough … Continue reading Verifying Will Never Be Easy

The Stiffness Matrix Isn’t Everything

After several deliveries of graduate level courses in linear and nonlinear structural analysis, I have started to think that we over-emphasize the stiffness matrix in linear structural analysis. And this emphasis can lead to conceptual difficulties in nonlinear structural analysis. The steps to a linear analysis are presented as: Form the stiffness matrixForm the load … Continue reading The Stiffness Matrix Isn’t Everything

More Solutions Than Problems

OpenSees has its share of problems: documentation is a work in progress; solid finite element analysis capabilities are not fully developed; benchmarking and verification don't happen too often; and volunteerism drives maintenance and support. Yeah, I know, what support? OpenSees has also generated--or, better yet, been used to generate--more than its fair share of solutions, … Continue reading More Solutions Than Problems

Two Paths You Can Go By

I am confident we can use OpenSees to solve every truss, beam, and frame problem from any statics or structural analysis textbook as well as every single degree-of-freedom and rigid shear frame problem from a structural dynamics textbook. We can also solve any reasonable problem from a finite element textbook. My confidence starts to wane … Continue reading Two Paths You Can Go By

Line Mesh

The DiscretizeMember function, which dates back many years, was recently superseded by the line mesh command, written by Minjie. In addition to creating boundaries for solid meshes, as shown in this post, you can use line meshes to discretize a frame member (2D or 3D) into beam-column elements--just pass the optional element type and arguments … Continue reading Line Mesh