There’s a Wrapper for That

Many publications describe software design patterns for reusing object-oriented software. The most widely read book on design patterns is so influential that it has its own Wikipedia page. In this book, the "Gang of Four" offers two guiding principles for software design patterns. The first principle is to program to an interface, not an implementation, … Continue reading There’s a Wrapper for That

Results of a New Challenge

After proposing a modeling challenge for linear-elastic analysis of a strongback frame, I proposed a second challenge for linear-elastic analysis of the Ziemian frame. There were eight participants in this challenge, an increase from five for the first challenge. Due to the light gravity loads on the frame, whether or not the analysis included self-weight … Continue reading Results of a New Challenge

Not Just a Modeling Term

Master/slave is common terminology to describe relationships in many technical fields, e.g., between tables in databases or between devices in control systems. The terminology also appears in finite element analysis where the response of one node controls the response of another node through constraints. However, this terminology is based on archaic relationships within our society. … Continue reading Not Just a Modeling Term

Handle Your Constraints with Care

Manipulating the nodal equilibrium equations is necessary to enforce constraints between degrees of freedom (DOFs) at two or more nodes in a structural model. These multi-point constraints arise from assumptions of axial and flexural rigidity of frame elements, e.g., rigid diaphragms, and also between two nodes at the same location where some of the DOFs … Continue reading Handle Your Constraints with Care

Gimme All Your Damping, All Your Mass and Stiffness Too

Just because OpenSees is open source does not mean it is a fully transparent box. This is mostly because documentation has lagged behind development. So, pessimists would say the box is semi-opaque while optimists would characterize it as semi-transparent. But a few parts of OpenSees are definitely housed in an opaque box. Take, for instance, … Continue reading Gimme All Your Damping, All Your Mass and Stiffness Too

Meshing for Column Loads

For material nonlinear analysis of frame models, you can improve the computed response by using more displacement-based elements or more integration points in a force-based element. The material nonlinearity occurs inside the basic system, also known as the natural system or the kernel. To capture geometric nonlinearity due to large displacements, you have to go … Continue reading Meshing for Column Loads

More Is Not Always Better

I sometimes run across simulations where frame member response is computed using displacement-based beam-column elements with more than two Gauss points per element. These elements require at least two Gauss points to ensure a complete solution and to capture the exact solution for a linear-elastic, prismatic member. While it is well known that you can … Continue reading More Is Not Always Better