George Laird's blog

LS-DYNA: What Should Engineering Managers Ask Their New Simulation Engineer During an Interview?

One engineer’s observation about the world of simulation engineering beyond the folk tales of “oh its really easy”

The FEA Quiz Revisited

The basic challenge that every simulation engineer faces is how do we tell the difference between a cartoon and that of a simulation. As a friend of mine has remarked, I can make you a cartoon very inexpensively but an accurate simulation will cost you. It is a tough game since engineering is a blend of getting the job done on schedule and on budget and how does one decide that a simulation is good enough? I have no answer since it is the responsibility and the reputation of the simulation engineer to decide whether or not that the answer is good enough and it is a weighty responsibility. Combine this responsibility with the at times tiresome nature of model construction and checkout, and the pool of engineers willing to become simulation engineers is not exactly large. Which leads to another comment by a friend: “Many engineers think they might want to be simulation engineers.” But of course, once they start slogging thru the modeling process and get their asses kicked via bad simulations, they realize that maybe it ain’t the dream job that they had envisioned!

Predictive Engineering – Western States ANSYS LS-DYNA Distributor – Your Free Coffee Cup is On Its Way!

LS-DYNA has been one of Predictive’s core analysis tools pretty much since we got started in 1995.  It is an amazing numerical workhorse from the basic linear mechanics (think ANSYS or Nastran) to simulating well nigh the impossible.  At least that is the way I feel at times when the model is not solving and spitting out arcane error messages and I’m basically questioning my sanity for accepting this project from hell that has a deadline at the end of the week.  Which brings me to my favorite project management image – “trough of despair followed by wiggles of false hope then crash of ineptitude and finally the promised land” but I’ll leave that for another blog. 

For now, let’s talk about those free coffee cups.  Predictive is now the western states distributor of ANSYS LS-DYNA and provides complete sales, training and services for ANSYS LS-DYNA  clients in this region.  It is a continuation of our prior setup with LSTC (now ANSYS LST) with the addition of Predictive’s ability to offer ANSYS Workbench with LS-DYNA and other ANSYS software tools.  So where’s my free coffee cup?  If you are a current Predictive ANSYS LS-DYNA client, we’ll be shipping’em out to you at the end of February and for our new client’s – just send us an email or give us a call.

Boom, Bang and da Buzz or How Now Brown Cow?

LS-DYNA has been a mainstay at Predictive Engineering for roughly 20 years.  It has been an amazing journey and on most days, LS-DYNA is the all-time, most favorite code of my simulation existence.  But, as we all know, there are moments when the model is not running, the manual must have been written in Greek, un-explicable error messages are flying past you on the screen and basically you are questioning your sanity as the clock tolls 2:00 am in the morning.  Nevertheless, in general, 99.999% of the time, you just love the power and flexibility of LS-DYNA.  One of our more fun projects was this high-speed cone crusher where big rocks are crushed into smaller rocks.  Rock comminution was one of my specialties when I worked for the US Bureau of Mines as a scientist, so this project had a special twist since we now had a chance to make a virtual rock pile and then crush it.  The LS-DYNA model used Lagrangian rocks that were then crushed within the rotating, rigid-body cone crusher.  Loads were extracted and then applied to a FEA model.  The rock crushing model was simply used to create loads for the stress model.  As we know in FEA, the three most important things that determine the accuracy of your FEA model are: Loads, Loads and Loads.  Yeah – another simulation joke.


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