Welcome to the WWW home page for FElt. FElt is an open source system for finite element analysis; this document provides an overview of the features in that system.
While felt, velvet and burlap all read and write this powerful syntax, velvet is basically designed such that you would never actually have to see the internals of one of these files because it lets you define your problem graphically. This is particularly useful for more complicated geometries like the one in our wrench example.
Velvet also allows for much more powerful post-processing than the simple text output that felt offers. We can generate a color plot of stress contours for the above wrench problem with one simple menu selection after we have solved the problem in velvet. Displacement contours, and two- and three-dimensional wire frame plots of the displaced shape are also available post-processing options in velvet. For hardcopy rendering, the color contour plots can be saved in PPM or EPS format and the wire frame plots as PostScript documents. For transient analysis problems, velvet replaces felt's ASCII based time-displacement plots with a graphical version that can be saved as a PostScript file. Velvet can also do animations of transient structural analysis problems and plot the mode shapes in a modal analysis problem.
Other applications in FElt include corduroy, patchwork, and yardstick. corduroy is a command-line application that gives you command-line access to FElt's mesh generation capabilities (which are also available in velvet). corduroy has its own intuitive, easy to use input syntax. The equivalent corduroy input file for the wrench example is shown here. Patchwork is an application for input file format conversion (to convert between FElt and DXF files for example) and yardstick is a simple application for problem scaling and unit conversion.
For Windows environments (95, 98, NT, etc.) there is an editor/encapsulator available. WinFElt gives you a GUI interface to the command line applications and has some post-processing capabilities. It is not a graphical pre-processor like velvet.
For people who want to use FElt on a DOS platform, a ZIP distribution of the command-line applications (felt, burlap, corduroy, patchwork, and yardstick) is available. The DOS distribution of FElt also includes feltvu, a simple graphical previewer for FElt problems. The DOS versions of FElt will only run on a 386 or better. Note that these versions are no longer maintained.
Finally, because this is a Web page we might as well include the obligatory links to some other interesting places. Here are some for other packages useful in finite element analysis and numerical analysis in general (we'd be happy to accept additional suggestions for this list - I know that some of the major commercial FE vendors must have Web pages):
For more information, please do take a look at the other documentation that exists for FElt. If you still have questions then please feel free to drop one of us a note at:
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (Last updated 22-Feb-00).