So this semester hasn’t been so bad in terms of classes but there is always that one class that you always have a hard time with in my opinion and that class is my Mech 012 class, Strength of Materials. The hard part about this class though has just been the project we have been assigned, which is to write a program that will do a finite element analysis of a 1-D bar. Now you might say, “What in the world does that mean?”
Well take a look at this rod for example. If I were to divide it into separate parts, lets say 3 evenly spaced parts (because that’s what the picture shows), and I were to place a certain number of forces anywhere along the length of the bar, my goal would be to determine the displacement of each node (the x1, x2, etc.) and the stress that each element exerts. Elements are the evenly spaced parts you separated the bar into(the green).
Now we can do this by hand if we wanted to since the bar is only split into 3 elements, but my project calls for 200 elements, which would take an eternity to do! Hence why we have to program this on MATLAB. I’m almost done with the project, but it has taken a long time to do and has been difficult to figure out. But I still have to admit that this stuff is still pretty cool to know.