Zak – A Truss and Beam Model Builder

Alle Fragen zu: Vernetzung, Materialien, Lasten, Randbedingungen und Elementparameter /
All questions to: meshing, materials, boundary conditions and element properties

Moderatoren: ccad, mz15, auroraIco, Lehrstuhl

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Inquisitor
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Zak – A Truss and Beam Model Builder

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BildI don’t know about other engineers, but when I build finite element models, I find that I don’t always get the model right the first time. :lol: Correction… I never get it right the first time. For tubular frame structures using (trusses and/or beams) I find I evaluate a run and change section properties, add or remove elements and/or move nodes. I think Z88 Aurora is mainly geared for people doing continuum models and exporting them from other CAD programs. As such, I found it very difficult to make the kinds of changes I needed. In general, I really like Z88 Aurora and think it is a great foundation. At first I wrote Zak just for my needs. After a while, I realized it wouldn’t take that much more effort to make it more user friendly for others… a little more error checking here, a little more friendly messages there. Using Z88Aurora and understanding the magnitude of what they have accomplished, I felt I would like to contribute back to this community in some small way.

Zak is this program. I hope you find it useful.

Here is the link for the application installer. Zak is only for Windows. I have run it on Window 7 (32 and 64 bit) and Windows 8 (64 bit). It should run on Windows XP, but I don’t have any of those machines around anymore. This link will always point to the most recent version.

http://z88.garmf.com/Zak/Installer.htm

If you have questions that other people may find useful, please post them on this thread. If you find a bug, please leave it here on this thread or email me through this forum. I have used some of the images found in Z88Aurora and have done this to help users transition back and forth between the two programs. If anyone on the Z88 team feels this is a copyright issue, please let me know and I’ll change them to something else immediately.

Although, I do not need anything in return, any comments would be appreciated. If enough are using it, I’d be glad to expand and improve it based on the desires of the users. Otherwise, If no one uses it, it will wither and die.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be adding videos to help users get spun up. Stay tuned.

Oh… I guess I should provide a disclaimer… I am not affiliated with the Z88 team and they take no responsibility for Zak in any way. So... don't expect them to. :)
Zuletzt geändert von Inquisitor am Fr 19. Okt 2012, 21:34, insgesamt 1-mal geändert.

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Installing Zak on Windows 7 or Windows 8

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Short little videos of what to expect installing Zak...

Windows 7
http://screencast.com/t/FSuOEFIiDQ6

Windows 8
http://screencast.com/t/Gl14ke1U

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Zak Overview

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Five minutes of your life to see what Zak offers.

you might want to open this in another tab or window. Its wider than the Z88 frame.
http://screencast.com/t/4ArRjh9je

Shows:
• a completed model
• moving around the model
• most of the buttons
• ModelBuilder description and purpose
• successful export and analysis in Z88Aurora
Zuletzt geändert von Inquisitor am Fr 19. Okt 2012, 22:56, insgesamt 1-mal geändert.

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Lightning Fast Node Entry...

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Well… maybe not quite. How about five more minutes to learn all there is about node entry in Zak?

you might want to open this in another tab or window. Its wider than the Z88 frame.
http://screencast.com/t/aO3oQSJap2k

Shows:
• Creating a new model
• Opening the ModelBuilder
• Data entry via the number pad – One hand, no looking… at least for some. :oops:
. . . The plus key (+) acts like a tab and moves to the next coordinate
. . . The enter key completes entry on the current node and starts in the X coordinate of a new node.
• Data entry the way I like it – Copy and paste from Excel! Boom – Lightning! 8)
• Selecting nodes in ModelBuilder, selects in the Model View… and vice versa.
• Labels – Why remember node numbers. Next week when you open the model you won’t remember that node 13 is that critical crack tip… Label it!
• Offsetting or copying one or multiple nodes

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Dot-to-Dot with Zak

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For those of us with no artistic talent what-so-ever, we had dot-to-dot and Mom thought we were the next budding Picasso. It’s a good thing engineering was available to us challenged individuals. Give Zak five more minutes to master that coloring book!

you might want to open this in another tab or window. Its wider than the Z88 frame.
http://screencast.com/t/9InHGbvafe

Shows:
• Make elements like a pro.
• Mirror elements… it creates the nodes for free!

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Slugs don’t have feet

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In this video Zak shows you how set up section and material properties for your model.

you might want to open this in another tab or window. Its wider than the Z88 frame.
http://screencast.com/t/cB82c7sBKqW

Shows:
• Section editor almost like Z88Aurora.
• The Z88 Material database in all its glory
• Filtering based on “Canned” or “User” or your own filter.
• Clone a material and convert to Imperial units (optional).

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To each their own…

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Zak and assigning section and material properties for your model.

you might want to open this in another tab or window. Its wider than the Z88 frame.
http://screencast.com/t/jgp4ho9ty

Shows:
• Using the default values (ahead of time would be better) but we can still do it. (This has been revised. See “Moment of Clarity” below.)
• Filter on the Material’s tab, filters on the combo box selectors.
Zuletzt geändert von Inquisitor am Sa 20. Okt 2012, 23:06, insgesamt 1-mal geändert.

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Load her up…

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Zak and creating load and constraints cases.

you might want to open this in another tab or window. Its wider than the Z88 frame.
http://screencast.com/t/ubCvF8u3koK

Shows:
• Setting nodal loads
• Setting constrained nodal displacements
• Using value transfer – get a value from anywhere in the spreadsheet to apply to one or multiple other cells. Note – This works on the X, Y, Z coordinates also! (This has been revised. See “Moment of Clarity” below.)
• Saving multiple load cases in the Zak project.
Zuletzt geändert von Inquisitor am Sa 20. Okt 2012, 23:05, insgesamt 1-mal geändert.

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Proof in the pudding…

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Zak review and running the analysis.

you might want to open this in another tab or window. Its wider than the Z88 frame.
http://screencast.com/t/Xqg1uevxDT

Shows:
• Review of the steps
• Exporting the model from Zak
• Importing the model into Z88Aurora
• Running and post-processing the non-linear analysis.

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Moment of Clarity

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I have revised setting properties on the Nodes and Elements tabs to something a little saner. We can now copy and paste values around to be more like a spread sheet.

Here is a video...
http://screencast.com/t/XqPLIEFBn

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Version 3 is Available

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If you already have Zak, it'll prompt you to upgrade the next time you start it. Otherwise if you've yet to take the plunge... see the link at the top.

This is a major update in functionality and in the way you do Finite Element Analysis. As has been stated, Zak is all about rapid design and the changes associated with a malleable design as it is optimized for your project’s criterion. In the simplistic view, Zak has been fleshed out to manage your entire design process. To the ModelBuilder of version 2.x, has been added:

• Zak now supplies the input files and drives the lightning-fast, user (and developer friendly :D) Z88 Aurora Finite Element Analysis program in the background.

• Zak now takes the Z88 Aurora’s output and presents and supplements your results in a user friendly environment similar to the ModelBuilder.

• But mainly, you’ll find that the load case system is missing. In version 2.x, Zak supported multiple load cases. This included nodal loads and constraints. This has been thrown out and replaced with the “Model Case” engine. In Zak 3, ANYTHING can be modified and maintained in your project. This includes:

o moving, adding and deleting nodes
o adding and deleting elements
o changing, adding or deleting sections
o changing, adding or deleting materials
o changing, adding or deleting constraints
o changing, adding or deleting forces.

• This also includes the ability and to annotate your Model Cases and quickly compare model to model graphically and/or in the data reduction.

• Support for projects with combined trusses and beams – I don’t want to sound like this was that big of a deal on my part… Z88 Aurora supplied that functionality!

And... of course... stay tuned for the Videos! (Beats the heck out of me writing documentation! :P)

Enjoy!

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Re: Zak – A Truss and Beam Model Builder

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Here is a review of building the suspension model using version 3.0. Not much has changed in this part, so I’ll be quick.

you might want to open this in another tab or window. Its wider than the Z88 frame.
http://screencast.com/t/28hLlByUV2D

Shows:
• Adding nodes
• Connecting elements
• Adding constraints
• Adding loads
• Running the static analysis
• Seeing the deflections

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Re: Zak – A Truss and Beam Model Builder

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This video shows working with the changes in the Material properties editor and displaying results in the "Evaluator".

you might want to open this in another tab or window. Its wider than the Z88 frame.
http://screencast.com/t/w2VAftlAKS

• Fundamental change in Material property handling – Materials are not added and stored in a project. This way, moving the project to a different computer does not require making sure the Material databases are consistent. It also allows us to change the material properties from model case to model case within the project.

• Running the Analysis

• Looking at the results in the “Evaluator”

o Sorting
o Hiding “zero” columns

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Re: Zak – A Truss and Beam Model Builder

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Introducing the "Model Case" engine. This replaces the load cases with the ability to change any aspect of the model between cases.

you might want to open this in another tab or window. Its wider than the Z88 frame.
http://screencast.com/t/o8Ff5a3JMP

Shows:

• Branching an existing model case

• Toggling between model cases update Model Builder, Model View and Evaluator results being viewed.

• Annotating your model so you’ll know tomorrow or next year what was special about the model case.

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