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  • DrD

    #20 -- A Question of Stability (Revised)

    By DrD

        Mechanics Corner
        A Journal of Applied Mechanics and Mathematics by DrD, #20
        © Machinery Dynamics Research, 2015
    A Question of Stability Introduction     The word stability in its several forms is widely used in nontechnical communication. A person whose life it highly consistent from day to day is said to have a stable life. When the political situation in a particular area appears to be unlikely to change, it is said to be stable. A person who is well balanced and unlikely to be easily provoked to anger is said to be a stable person. When the medical condition of a sick or injured person ceases to get worse, the person is said to be stabilized. A company on the verge of bankruptcy is said to be an unstable company. But what does the word stability mean in a technical context? Each of the foregoing examples hints at the technical meaning without really being explicit about it.   A factor g = accel of gravity was missing in the potential energy expression. That is now corrected.
  • DrD

    A Question for Readers

    By DrD

    Many of you have asked me various questions, so now it is my turn. Let me lay a bit of background first, and then the questions.   I have had some conversations recently with JAG (one of the other writers here at ME Forums) regarding the choice of software for 3D modeling and analysis. JAG has made some excellent suggestions, specifically a cloud based program called Onshape. Unfortunately, for reasons that are unclear, my computer cannot run Onshape; I have worked with their help people for several hours, all to no avail. JAG recommends this in part because there is a "free version for the hobbyist" and a relatively inexpensive "full version for the professional." That is pretty attractive, but since I can't run it, I'm stuck.   I gather that virtually all engineering colleges these days are teaching some sort of 3D modeling and analysis software, but that raises a few questions in my mind. 1. If your college teaches brandX 3D software, what will you do when you go to work for a small company that cannot afford anything more than 2D drafting (simple CAD), with no analysis capability at all? How will you do your job then? You probably have your own pocket calculator, but will you have your own copy of ANSYS or Pro-E? 2. What software does your school teach (every students should have an answer to this question, so I expect lots of replies on this one!)? 3. If you have used software extensively for analysis of engineering problems (beam deflections, stress analysis, fluid flow, heat transfer, etc), are you confident  that you will be able to work all of those problems if there is no such software available to you on the job?   I might add, as sort of a postscript, most of you know that I am older than dirt (I just had another birthday, so the situation is even worse!), so I tend to look at things from an elderly perspective. One of my great fears as a working engineer was "What will happen when I'm ask to do something that I don't know how to do?" It happened more than once, and it usually resulted in a flurry of intense research to come up to speed on whatever topic was involved. I could usually do that because I have a pretty good library, and I knew how to use a university library as well. But in terms of software, I was always concerned that I had no FEA program, so how could I do problems that others were doing by FEA? I have come up with some interesting work-arounds, including writing my own FEA for some problems, but I never wanted to be dependent on software that I could not afford to own. So, back to my questions about: How are you going to buy your own copy of ANSYS? DrD
  • saurabhjain

    Calling Mechanical Engineers to collaborate on Twitter

    By saurabhjain

    If you are a mechanical engineering professional and have a twitter account .. we invite you in our mechanical engineering  campaign to collaborate on twitter.. Retweet the following status on https://twitter.com/mechportal/status/646544243649961985 Look forward for your presence. Regards Mechanical Engineeirng forum

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