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ninjaneer777 (Mechanical) (OP)
21 Dec 10 3:05
I'm curious what people's thoughts are about whether NEi Nastran (with FEMAP) is comparable to ANSYS?

You can base it on whatever metrics you like, but some examples would be usability, ease of pre/post processing, solver speed, robustness, limitations, user community, technical support, continuous improvement of product, cost, meshing, etc.

I have received quotes for both, as well as other softwares, and NEi Nastran comes in at ~15k and ANSYS ~30K for full nonlinear structural capabilities, both with yearly maintenance of 20% purchase price.

My interest is mainly structural analysis but feel free to throw in your opinions other capabilities as well or if you  only have used one of the packages what do you dislike / like about it?

My background is I use Mechanica daily, am learning Abaqus, tinker with ANSYS when possible, and occasionally mess with Solidworks Simulation.
trainguy (Structural)
21 Dec 10 16:16
Femap is awesome, esp. since version 10.0 and up.

Interactive mesh editing, tweaking, connecting - very cool really.

NEi are quite supportive.  I don't know how they compare to NX Nastran.

I do prefer Femap over Ansys for ease of use and pre-post.

tg
ninjaneer777 (Mechanical) (OP)
23 Dec 10 1:24
trainguy, thanks for your response. Do you have much experience using contacts in NEi Nastran? If so are you pleased with it's ability to handle complex contact setups?

I'm going to demo it but I also wanted other peoples opinions. Thanks.
k6rot (Mechanical)
24 Dec 10 15:10
I have used both ANSYS and NEi Nastran with Femap and I agree completely with trainguy... Femap has come a long way and is very impressive. It is stable, handles very large models, fast, and has heaps of capabilities. The latest release has a very impressive beam cross-section results interpolator.  NEi Nastran is very capable as well. Both products are well maintained with a full release every 6-12 months and interim maintenance releases 2-5x a year. NEi Nastran has the same solvers built in as ANSYS like the PCGLSS but seems to support the faster ones in more solutions. I never had an issue with solver speed. Any limitations of Femap are handled in the NEi Nastran Editor and the limitations with NEi Nastran are mostly minor and they seem to be working on them so I would not be too concerned. ANSYS has plenty more limitations which are more of an issue for us like a lack of 3d composites. The NEi support team is responsive and handles both Femap and Nastran issues. ANSYS is a lot of marketing hype.  I would recommend going with NEi Nastran and Femap saving the $15,000 and using it for something else. Just my 2 cents.    

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