FEMtools Release Information

 

FEMtools 4.0.1 Maintenance Release (December 2017):

FEMtools 4.0.1 is a maintenance release that provides bug corrections, several enhancements and following additions:

  • New interface with ABAQUS SIM files
  • Support for MSC.Nastran 2018
  • Support for MSC.Nastran free and mixed interface superelements
  • Support for SAP2000 v19
  • New command SORT
  • Several new examples
  • Several new documentation chapters

 

FEMtools 4 (June 2017):

FEMtools 4 is a major new version that brings new features and improvements in all modules, supports recent versions of FE programs and consolidates the maintenance releases of the past years.  The highlights of this new release are summarized hereafter:

  • Released for Windows 64-bit platforms (7, 8, 10) and Linux 64-bit RHEL6+ only
  • Support of a new Safenet HL dongle that can also be used on Linux computers
  • New Check for Updates automatic updating of the program
  • New license configurator to configure nodelocked, network and roaming licenses
  • New vector-based icons (SVG) with modern flat design
  • Automatic scaled icons on high resolution monitors (4K)
  • New reporting commands for MS Office (Excel, PowerPoint, Word)
  • New interactive test model editor
  • Improved graphical picking (visible items only, pick by face, pick by attached)
  • New Digital Signal Processing (DSP) commands
  • Support of Abaqus 2017
  • Support of MSC.Nastran 2017
  • Support of Ansys 18+
  • New interface with the LS-DYNA finite element package
  • New out-of-core solver options to overcome memory limitations
  • New command to add rigid body modes and rotation DOF to the database (MBA)
  • Support for rigid connections in Modal-Based Assembly (MBA)
  • New tool for computing Mass Loading Sensitivity (MLS)
  • Improved Mode Participation Analysis (MPA) tool
  • New tool for computing Mode Participation Maps (MPM)
  • New tools for excitation and support location selection
  • New commands for importing and exporting sensor selections
  • New interactive mode shape pair viewer
  • Improved computation of  mode participation factors
  • Improved computation of modal orthogonality (EVO)
  • Support for new parameter types (spring stiffness scaling factors)
  • New commands for RSM regression and verification
  • Topometry optimization for minimum FRF level design

 

FEMtools 3.8.2 Maintenance Release (October 2015):

FEMtools 3.8.2 is a maintenance release that provides bug corrections and various enhancements to the framework, data interface programs, user interface, analysis modules, commands and API functions.

 

FEMtools 3.8.1 Maintenance Release (May 2015):

FEMtools 3.8.1 is a maintenance release that provides bug corrections and various enhancements to the framework, data interface programs, user interface, analysis modules, commands and API functions.

 

FEMtools 3.8.0 (December 2014):

FEMtools 3.8 is a major revision of the FEMtools software suite with improvements and extensions in all modules of the program. The highlights of this new release are summarized hereafter:

  • Mesh generation commands can now be used to directly generate test models. Previously an FE model was generated that was subsequently converted in a test model.
  • Generation of master DOFs for model reduction and superelements is extended to provide more options.
  • FRF Computation uses new dialog boxes to generate FRFs from analytical or test modes in a faster and more efficient way.
  • It is now possible to add a gravity load to static analyses. This is also supported for topology optimization.
  • Improvements are made to the Pretest Analysis tools for Nodal Kinetic Energy analysis, automated and manual sensor selection and a new tool for mass loading sensitivity analysis is added.
  • Mode shape pairing for axisymmetric structures and AutoMAC analysis are improved with new settings.
  • A new tool for Automated Mode Tracking (AMT) is added to compare mode shapes of a modified model with a set of reference modes and to identify mode switches. This feature can be used in design modification tools.
  • It is now possible to define generic parameters for sensitivity analysis and model updating. Generic parameters offer the flexibility to use any value that is accessible from an external database as parameter.
  • Parameter Relations:
    • It is now possible to define relations using parameter labels as an alternative to using parameter indices. This simplifies the definition and editing of parameter relations.
    • A new type of relations, group relations, has been introduced. Group relations are defined on labels: the relation will modify all the parameters with the specified labels in the same way.
  • It is now possible to use a generic solver for sensitivity analysis and model updating. A generic solver is an external solver that is piloted with a custom-developed script.
  • Model updating using generic parameters, responses and solvers is now available for completely customizable implementation of automated updating processes.
  • The Monte Carlo Simulation (MCS) tool for probabilistic analysis has been reworked and now offers new commands, settings, and dialog boxes. More specifically the following features are significantly improved: importing test data, sampling, statistical property estimation, sample evaluation and postprocessing.
  • An additional applet for local modal parameter extraction is added to the FEMtools Modal Parameter Extractor (MPE) add-on and the global extractor tool is extended with additional commands for modal extraction automation. The addition of an applet for local modal parameter extraction has been a regular user request since the release of the original MPE add-on. A local extraction tool is preferred to extract modal parameters from test data that are affected by mass loading.
  • Extended scripting functionality is offered through 26 new and 29 modified commands to be used in command scripts. FEMtools Script programmers will benefit from enhanced FEMtools API functions.
  • The FE data interfaces and solver drivers (Abaqus, Ansys and Nastran) are upgraded to support the latest version of the external solvers. The interfaces are extended in response to customer requests.
  • A new OAPI-based version of the SAP2000 interface and driver is introduced for enhanced correlation analysis and model updating of SAP model.

 

FEMtools 3.7.2 Maintenance Release (August 2014):

FEMtools 3.7.2 is a maintenance release that provides bug corrections and various enhancements to the framework, data interface programs, user interface, analysis modules, commands and API functions.

 

FEMtools 3.7.1 Maintenance Release (February 2014):

FEMtools 3.7.1 is a maintenance release that provides bug corrections and various enhancements to the framework, data interface programs, user interface, analysis modules, commands and API functions. The following is a sample of new features and enhancements in this release:

  • The user interface now supports ultra-high resolution screens. The size of user interface items like toolbar icons is now scalable.
  • Dynamic rotation, zooming and panning can now be performed using one-finger and two-finger gestures on touch-enabled screens.
  • A new and very fast direct reader for the ABAQUS ODB file format is added.
  • It is now possible to exchange sets of nodes and elements with ANSYS.
  • Enhanced support for Universal Files that contain FRFs with undefined type.
  • The FEMtools eigenmodes solver now supports banded analysis for reduced memory requirements.
  • Various improvements are made to the dynamic substructuring methods (superelements, MBA, FBA).
  • Various improvements to Mode Participation Analysis (MPA) and automated sensor selection in Pretest Analysis.

 

FEMtools 3.7.0 (September 2013):

FEMtools 3.7 is a major revision of the FEMtools software suite that introduces new dynamic analysis and substructuring features (dynamic compensation, modal-based assembly), as well as improvements to FRF-based assembly, pretest analysis, correlation analysis and model updating. There are also various improvements and extensions to the interface programs, commands and API functions.

The highlights of this release are summarized hereafter:

  • Computation of Frequency Response Functions (FRFs) is improved in the following ways:
    • The modal method can now be enhanced by using the Dynamic Compensation method.
    • The Pade Method for direct FRF computation now includes automatic convergence control.
    • Direct FRF computation now supports features like multi-reference enforced displacements and local coordinate systems.
  • Modal-Based Assembly (MBA) is added as a new dynamic substructuring method that can predict the impact of a modification on the dynamic properties of a structure. The MBA implementation in FEMtools 3.7 supports FEA data, test data or a combination of FEA and test data (hybrid modeling). MBA is an extension of Structural Dynamics Modification (SDM) and replaces the SDM tool that was included in previous FEMtools versions.
  • FRF-Based Assembly (FBA) was introduced in a previous release but is further extended in FEMtools 3.7. FBA loads and responses are introduced which enable the FBA module to perform Transfer Path Analysis (TPA). FBA now also supports multi-point constraints, computation of the internal forces in the FBA connection points and the use of enforced displacements. Additional examples that illustrate the applications of FBA have been added.
  • Pretest analysis now uses uniform GUI panels that offer the same level of integration and functionality for all sensor selection methods. This includes the possibility to use fixed sensor locations, and preview of the candidate locations based on minimal sensor selection among other new features.
  • Correlation analysis introduces a new spatial correlation algorithm for processing large data sets like the point clouds obtained with non-contact sensors (laser scanning vibrometers). Directional node-point pairing and multi-step node-point pairing are added. Mode shape pairing can now be based on POC and mode pairing for axisymmetric structures has been improved.
  • Model updating can now use a new method for automatically improving the condition of the Bayesian updating equations. This results in a more robust updating process for cases with a high number of updating parameters or updating responses. FEMtools 3.7 also offers additional flexibility for rejecting updating results. Several improvements have been made to text-based parameter updating and multi-model updating. Generic responses can now be used for a more flexible approach to model updating in case of non-standard responses.
  • Extended scripting functionality is offered through 27 new commands to be used in command scripts. FEMtools Script programmers will benefit from new utility and FEMtools API functions.
  • The FEMtools database and project files (fdb, fpj) are now saved in compressed format resulting in smaller data files.
  • The principle FE data interfaces and solver drivers (Abaqus, Ansys and Nastran) have been upgraded. For example, the Abaqus and Ansys interfaces now support importing FRF data, and the Nastran driver can now pilot the MSC.Nastran ACMS solver.
  • The flexibility of the Universal File Format interface has been improved and settings can now be controlled with a settings dialog box.
  • The Polytec file interface has been rewritten to improve performance and robustness.

 

FEMtools 3.6.1 Maintenance Release (December 2012):

FEMtools 3.6.1 is a maintenance release that provides fixes to issues reported after the previous release and provides various improvements and corrections to the interface programs, GUI, commands and API functions. Support for ANSYS 14.5 interface files has been added. This release has been verified for Windows 8.

 

FEMtools 3.6.0 (June 2012):

This major revision of the FEMtools software suite introduces new dynamic analysis tools (Pade approximants, FRF-based assembly, and time domain simulation), and extends the pretest analysis tools. The Modal Parameter Extractor add-on tool has been upgraded with a new interactive applet.

The highlights of this release are summarized hereafter:

Pade Approximants

Frequency Response Function (FRFs) can now be computed using Pade approximants method. This method combines the advantages of the modal approach (speed) and the direct approach (no truncation, explicit damping models). The Pade process divides the FRF frequency range in several smaller frequency bands and uses the direct FRF solution as well as the direct FRF gradients up to order n at the center of each band to expand the solution for all frequency lines featured in the band. This results in a significant reduction of the number of direct solutions. In practice speed improvements of factor 200 can be obtained by using Pade approximants with only very little loss of accuracy compared to a direct solution at all the frequency lines.

FRF-Based Assembly

FEMtools 3.6 introduces FRF-Based Assembly (FBA), a new tool for dynamic substructuring. FBA is used to combine multiple sub-components and predict the response of the assembly from the FRFs computed or measured on each component. FBA is an alternative to component mode synthesis (Superelements; CMS) and the modal-based assembly (using mode shapes only).

Time Domain Simulation

FEMtools 3.6 introduces Time Domain Simulation, a new tool for dynamic analysis.
Time domain simulation (TDS) techniques allow computing transient responses of structures in function of the applied loads. The FEMtools TDS solver first derives a state-space model from the normal modes of the structure and then uses this model to compute the time series of the responses. As such, the TDS solver does not require any additional FE solutions and therefore provides the transient response in a computationally efficient way.
In combination with the FEMtools Modal Parameter Extractor (MPE), the TDS module can be used as a pretest analysis tools. The TDS module can provide the direct output of the measurement channels, i.e. time series. Therefore, the pretest analysis can start from simulations of the raw measurement data and be used to evaluate the complete test procedure.

Pretest Analysis

Selected sensors can now be rotated with the Rotate Sensors panel.
Sensor Elimination using MAC (SEAMAC) can now use a set of fixed sensor locations.
It is now possible to supply a target value for the off-diagonal MAC values in the SEAMAC technique. The routine will search the smallest model (minimal number of sensors) that has off-diagonal value lower than the specified value. As such the
2 FEMtools 3.6 Release Notes

Modal Parameter Extractor Add-On

A new interactive applet for the FEMtools MPE (Modal Parameter Extractor) is added with FRF selection, frequency band selection, multiple band selection, complexity plot and more. The FEMtools MPE is an add-on module for extracting modal parameters from a set of Frequency Response Functions (FRFs) or cross-power spectra.

Extended Scripting Functionality

There are 26 new commands to be used in command scripts. Programmers will benefit from new FEMtools Script functions and new FEMtools API functions.

Upgraded FE Data Interfaces

Interfaces and drivers with FE programs were made based on user requests. The NASTRAN and ANSYS interface programs have been updated to support the recent ANSYS 14 and MSC.Nastran 2012 releases.

 

FEMtools 3.5.3 Maintenance Release (March 2012):

Provides fixes to issues reported after the previous release and provides various improvements and corrections to the interface programs, GUI, commands and API functions. Support for ANSYS 14 interface files has been added.

 

FEMtools 3.5.2 Maintenance Release (November 2011):

Extends DSP, MPE, pretest analysis and correlation analysis with new features. A new add-on for interfacing with data files from third party operational modal analysis software (ARTeMIS) is introduced in this release. Furthermore there are various improvements and corrections to the interface programs, commands and API functions. The following is a sample of new features that are included in this release:

  • Import of mode shapes from Abaqus ODB file
  • Import of Abaqus condensed matrices to be used as superelements in FEMtools
  • Integrated linear and modal stress analysis for 3D solid elements
  • A new tool for mode participation analysis that can be used for target mode selection (pretest analysis)
  • Support for multiple measurements with roving sensors for operational modal analysis
  • A new add-on for interfacing with data files from third party operational modal analysis software (ARTeMIS)
  • Generation of mode shape animation files (GIF, AVI) on Linux

 

FEMtools 3.5.1 Maintenance Release (April 2011):

Provides important upgrades to the framework libraries and is released together with a new add-on for digital signal processing. Furthermore there are various minor improvements and corrections to the interface programs, commands and API functions. A new direct interface with Polytec data files is now included.

 

FEMtools 3.5.0 (December 2010):

FEMtools 3.5 is a major revision of the FEMtools software suite that introduces new functionality for pretest analysis, correlation analysis, model updating and structural optimization. Moreover, this release extends the application reach of FEMtools to experimental modal analysis with the introduction of a new add-on for modal parameter extraction.

  • FEMtools 3.5 adds support for Mac OS X 10.5+.
  • This release introduces the Tabify window arrangement, docked dialog boxes and panels.
  • There are 21 new commands to be used in command scripts. Programmers will benefit from new FEMtools Script functions and new FEMtools API functions.
  • Numerous extensions to interfaces and drivers with FE programs were made based on user requests. The NASTRAN and ANSYS interface programs have been updated to support the recent ANSYS 13 and MSC.Nastran 2010 releases.
  • Manual Pretest Analysis - A new tools for interactively select DOFs for placing test transducers and directly evaluate the effect on the MAC-matrix. DOFs can be interactively added or removed by picking on the nodes of an FE model.
  • Modal Parameter Extractor Add-On - The new Modal Parameter Extractor (MPE) add-on module is a tool for extracting modal parameters from a set of Frequency Response Functions (FRFs) or cross-power spectra. It can be used for classic input-output modal analysis or operational output-only modal analysis.
  • Correlation Analysis - All shape correlation criteria now use consistent settings for specifying the coordinate system, a DOF set and shape set.
  • ODS-based Model Updating - The correlation metrics used for ODS-based model updating now includes the Displacement Phase Correlation (DPC). This criterion expresses the overall phase difference between two shapes.
  • Discrete material optimization (DMO) is a newly added tool that aims at optimizing the lay-up of composite materials. DMO can identify the optimal material and orientation angle of each ply, out of a discrete set of available materials and acceptable orientation angles.
  • Optimization using Genetic Algorithms - Genetic algorithms are stochastic optimization methods. Using concepts of natural selection and genetics, they iteratively search for the optimal solution.
  • Discrete Topometry Optimization - The topometry optimizer now supports the use of discrete plate thickness values as optimization parameters.