Your first stop for help on using Concept Analyst.

Quick guide

Here is a quick start guide to using Concept Analyst. You could follow this as an introduction, but the other tabs on this set of web pages contain several videos showing other examples you could view to gain an introductory understanding of how to build analysis models and view the results.

Models in Concept Analyst are sketched from base shapes, usually rectangles that are deformed in some way, such as adding or editing geometric points, or adding or editing features such as circular holes or fillets. Sketches can be rough (use the co-ordinates box in the top left of your screen as a guide) or accurate (sketch roughly then double right-click on a feature to edit its dimensions accurately). Boundary conditions are applied by selecting the tool and clicking on the appropriate line and specifying the direction and value of the condition. Run the analysis and view the results in seconds.

One thing to remember, when you are plotting results, a single right click anywhere in the screen will return you to the standard geometry display.

The most commonly used features from the menus are also available as toolbar icons; refer to the reference guide for a description of what these do, but remember there are many more options in the text menus.

The following example illustrates how to use Concept Analyst for a simple design.
Start a new model if necessary. Click the rectangle icon and sketch a rectangle by a click-and-drag motion somewhere on the screen. Double right-click somewhere close to the blue line drawing the rectangle and set the dimensions of the rectangle to be, say, 200 units by 100.

Similarly click the circle icon and use a click-and-drag motion somewhere in the rectangle to sketch a circular hole. Its size and position can be edited with a double right-click, or simply by moving the shape by clicking the icon , then using a click-and-drag motion to pick up the circle and move it.

Models in Concept Analyst must usually be constrained in the x- and y-directions. Apply a displacement constraint of zero to fix the left edge in the x-direction. Repeat to fix the bottom edge against displacement in the y-direction. [Note, in this example symmetry lines (or "rollers") boundary conditions would apply the same constraints because these edges are horizontal and vertical].

Apply a distributed load to the right edge of the plate by clicking the icon then giving a traction value to apply in the x-direction - let's take the default value of 100 MPa.
Run a full analysis and view the deformed shape or the results contour plots .

You'll notice that you have not specified material properties (mild steel is the default but you can change this in the Material menu). Nor have you specified the 'mesh' of elements to use. This has been automated (see the 'Edit - Preferences...' menu where, amongst other things, you can tell Concept Analyst whether you want a standard mesh (the default setting) or explore other mesh settings - a finer mesh will give more accurate results at the cost of more run time).

Now display some contours of results and you are ready to do some reanalysis. Let's do this by, say, moving the circle shape so click the icon and then (starting from any of the north, south, east west points on the circle) click-and-drag to move it to a new location. You could try adding a new circle. Notice how the results quickly update. Remember, a single right click will return to the standard geometry screen.

Reference guide


File icons
New - create new, blank model (a new model is created upon startup)
Open - open existing model file
Save - save current model

Undo icon
Undo - undo the previous command

View icons
Zoom in - magnify a portion of the screen
Zoom out - reset the view to the default magnification

Geometry icons
Rectangle - sketch a rectangle shape
Circle - sketch a circle shape
Move shape - move an external or internal shape
Add points to shape - add geometry points to an external or internal shape (not circles)
Delete points on shape - delete geometry points from an external or internal shape (not circles)
Move points on shape - move an existing geometry point of an external or internal shape (not circles)
Create fillet - sketch an internal or external fillet at a corner where two straight lines meet

Boundary condition icons
Distributed load - apply a distributed force or pressure to a line
Bearing force - apply a sinusoidally varying bearing force to a circle portion
Displacement constraint - apply a displacement to a line
Symmetry line - define a symmetry line (effectively a rollers condition of zero-displacement in the normal direction)

Analysis icon
Run full analysis - analyse the completed model

Results icons
Deformed shape - display x and y displacement animation
Results contour - display displacement, stress and failure criterion contour plots
XY plot - graph displacement and stress values over a boundary portion
Internal line - graph displacement and stress values over an interior portion

Report icon
Add results to report - add current graphical display to report file (you must have already opened a report file in the File menu)