CalculiX is native linux software. It means that it is writing and testing primarily for linux. Since GCC compiler is cross-platform, CalculiX is ported to Windows, but it is not free from mistakes and problems.
For example CCX (solver) don't pass all verification tests.
CGX (Pre, Post-processor) has many small mistakes (all known builds).
It doesn't matter for small models in 90% of cases, and it is hard to catch and fix them all, because compilers have many small differences.
Also Windows XP, Windows7 and etc, may work differently, even with some new updates. Sometimes it works at Windows7 at home but don't work in other place. It is not so easy to catch all these problems for all windows users in limited time (also, remember that it is free, and I don't care of all people too much).
It is why CalculiX Launcher for Windows is limited. Also, for same reason, I provide two versions of CGX for Windows: 2.5 and 2.10 (old one is more stable, new one has more functions).
Trying to avoid all these problems and minimize my work, I am suggesting you to use CalculiX under Linux. If you're experienced linux user, you probably have both systems (in dual boot). Linux can be installed on removable usb drive. Also many people use linux only (engineers with Siemens NX and etc). The other benefit that Salome-Platform is also native linux software, and Salome_MECA (with Code_Aster) don't even have port to Windows.
If you don't know what is linux, you can install it under VirtualBox. In this case you have minimal risk to damage something when installation and finally your linux will be running as regular Windows program.
It is good solution if you have enough memory to run both OS at the same time.
Let's assume that practical minimal portion of RAM, set up for linux in virtualbox, is about 2.5-3 GB (you also should leave enough amount of RAM for Windows and other windows software). it is not a problem if you have 6-8 GB total amount RAM on your PC.
Disk space should be about 50 GB (to work with comfort, install software, create large models and don't think about free space).
You should setup these limits at the beginning of creation of linux image.
ISO files for linux can be downloaded anywhere. Remember that there is difference between amd64 (x86-64) and i386 (32 bit) architecture. Get right ISO file, that matches your virtualbox setup.
64 bit is recommended for calculation deals because it gives you ability to run large models.
I would recommend you caelinux distribution (64bit) that comes with many engineering programs. Alternative link for ISO files (caelinux2013.zip) is here.
Also you will need to update Salome-MECA to newer version (2015-2016) which is more efficient than 2013 (in caelinux2013 collection).
For 32-bit system you may obtain only Salome-MECA2013 (they stopped providing 32bit for old computers now).
Note: don't update Caelinux to Ubuntu14! It will require some specific work to fix some issues after updates. Linux is not windows, so don't worry for viruses too much.
Just keep your Internet browser and adobe-flash updated (because it is main source of possible threats).
As it was mentioned, CalculiX Launcher works with Salome-Platform.
Salome-Platform is 'papa' of FreeCAD and many others free CAD programs. It has the same functions and STEP/IGES support.
First, go the the official web-site and download Windows version (registration is required)
You will obtain self-extracting archive for Windows (about 1gb of size)
Unzip it onto C:\ drive
This procedure may take some time, but the benefit of huge size is portability.
Salome-Platform will provide you software with all libraries. Normally it should work 'out of box' but in some cases you may read installation instruction
Go to the folder with Salome and run 'bat' file as it is shown below.
At Windows7 you may need 'allow access', just do it.
OK, done! You can see Salome-Platform with list of modules. Start with selection of GEOM module.
Video lessons below show you main steps of how to work in CalculiX.
Video-Lesson1 - Creating and meshing model in Salome-Platform.
Video-Lesson2 - Converting mesh into CalculiX format and running CGX in Pre-Processor mode.
Video-Lesson 3 - Creating INP file with commands for CalculiX CCX (solver)
Video-Lesson 4 - Running CalculiX CGX in Post-Processor mode
CalculiX and Salome-Platform are native linux programs. They mainly developed and tested for linux. All windows clones are not free from mistakes.
In this case you may use CalculiX Launcher with windows version, provided by Jeff Baylor. http://bconverged.com/
It is most stable version of CalculiX for Windows, and sometimes it can be helpful.
The other (best) way is to install linux under Windows with Virtualbox
Google how to do it, also you may use this version, with old Salome-MECA pre- installed.
CalculiX allows you to calculate structures and machined parts with plastic deformation.
You may use Ramberg–Osgood law with *DEFORMATION PLASTICITY
card. In this case you don't need to define elastic properties separately.
The Ramberg–Osgood is typical equation to describe the non linear relationship between stress and strain—that is, the stress–strain curve—in materials near their yield points. It is especially useful for metals that harden with plastic deformation.
You can use it to calculate total (elastic+plastic) strain for fatigue with Strain-Life Analysis.
In this case you can avoid of using Neuber's correction (approximate and conservative dependency for getting plastic results based on elastic solution)
In this case (with using CalculiX) you don't need to take into account Stress Concentration Factor, only Surface Finish make sense for calculation, based on total strain.
Also you may use Libre-Office spreadsheet here (macros should be allowed for getting number of cycles. To make it work, go to Tools>Options>LibreOffice>Security>MacroSecurity and setup "Medium Level" and then re-run Libre-Office again)
Main CGX cards (Post-processing) (type commands when CalculiX GraphiX window is active
Use min/max cards to investigate stress distribution
For example max 250000000 will show areas with red color
where stress is > 250000000
Picture above shows Von-Mises stress in the beam, where max. stress value is 83700 psi (US inits) is very localized
Let's type max 50000
Now you can see red areas with stress>50,000 psi (from stress concentration and at the tip of beam where concentrated load is applied)
Main CGX cards (Pre-processing mode) Type commands when CalculiX GraphiX window is active, see response and output at terminal emulator (black) window.
will show list or all groups with number of entities
At picture above the group 'fixed' has 672 nodes, 'bore2' has 1353 nodes
Let's show them in graphic window.
plus n fixed m plus n bore2 b
In this case 'n' means nodes, 'm' - magenta, 'b' - blue (color).
plot <entity> <group> <color> - will show the group of entities plus <entity> <group> <color>
will add the group of entities to existing view
plot n all – show all nodes (group ='all') plot e VOL1 – show elements of the group 'VOL1' plot na all – all nodes with their numbers
Colors: White w, Black k, Red r, Green g, Blue b, Yellow y, Magenta m, Nickel 'n' (metallic gray) and turquois t
plus na BC1 r - will add view for nodal group BC1 (red colour)
Measure the distance between nodes http://youtu.be/yMdQGxBu9Xw
______________________________________________ qadd name
Semi-Interactive card to create the new group 'name'
by selection or add new entities for existing group.
See the video-lesson >> http://youtu.be/bqEf3GMPA1I
______________________________________________ qrem name
Semi-Interactive card to remove entities for existing
group 'name' by selection. See the video-lesson >> http://youtu.be/6WFfEjKBWAM
Move or scale model. For example move all scal 2
will scale all in 2 times.
Write some data to the text file. For example send all abq
will write all mesh without groups (nodes and elements)
for shell elements renaming the type of element is required
(open file with text editor, search for "*Elements" and rename)
______________________________________________ Send card is used to apply boundary conditions (it will create text file, that shell be attached in CCX inp file using *INCLUDE
send load abq pres 1.0
write the file with pressure = 1 for
the group of faces with name = 'load'
______________________________________________ send surf abq film 1200. 0.5
will assign the film temperature of 1200 and
the film coefficient 0.5 to all element-faces in set surf.
______________________________________________ send surf abq dflux 0.5
will assign the flux of 0.5 to all element-faces in set surf.
______________________________________________ send fix1 abq nam
write nodes for the group 'fix1' into
the txt file with 'num' extension
______________________________________________ comp name do
Add faces to nodal group 'name', or
add nodes and faces to the elemental group
Read CalculiX CGX documentation for more information!!!