General Modeling Steps

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When creating a numerical model the following general steps are taken. Finite element numerical modeling is conceptually reasonably simple but is often remembered as being overly complex due to an over-emphasis on the creating of an appropriate finite element mesh. Our software simplifies this process into the following steps.

 

1. Create a New Model: A new model must first be created.

 [Creating a New Project / Model... section in the User Manual]

 

2. Model Settings: The parameters for the analysis should be set. For a finite element analysis these parameters usually default to the most optimal settings. For a slope stability analysis it is useful for the user to select the method of analysis.

 [Model Settings... section in the User Manual]

 

3.Input Model Geometry: In this step model geometry is input into the software. Our software allows polygons to be cut and pasted in from Excel or imported from an AutoCAD DXF file, in addition to manual or graphical entry of both 2D and 3D data.

 [Specifying Geometry... section in the User Manual]

 

4. Assign Material Properties: Material properties must be defined and assigned to each material region.

 [Material Properties... section in the User Manual]

 

5.Define Slip Surfaces: In a slope stability analysis, it is necessary to consider how the critical slip surface will be determined. A searching method and any associated parameters must be specified. This step required for SVSLOPE only.

[Slip Surfaces... section in the User Manual]

 

6. Define Initial Conditions: It is generally important to define initial starting conditions in both a steady-state and a transient-state model. While of particular necessity in a transient model, initial conditions also provide an important "first guess" when solving steady-state models. A good "first guess" in steady-state models can make the difference between obtaining a solution and not obtaining a reasonable solution. Defining initial conditions is not necessary in the slope stability model unless a water table is present.

 [Initial Conditions... section in the User Manual]

 

7. Define Boundary Conditions: The boundaries of the model should have well-defined boundary conditions which are physically realistic but yet do not unduly influence the solution. Defining boundary conditions is not necessary for a slope stability model with the exception of external distributed, line, or point loads. For a slope stability model the user may also want to define internal support systems such as anchors or geotextiles.

 [Boundary Conditions... section in the User Manual]

 

8. Define Results to Output: The results output, including graphs, reports, advanced ACUMESH visualization, and export of data into various formats can be defined. This step is unnecessary for SVSLOPE.

 [Results... section in the User Manual]

 

9.Analyze: Once the model is properly set up it can be analyzed. In our software the analyzing process causes a mathematical script to be written out. The finite element solver is then called to read and interpret the mathematical script.

 [Analyze... section in the User Manual]

 

10. Visualize: After a solution has been obtained the numerical model can be visualized using the ACUMESH visualization software. Professional quality detailed output and animations may be created with this flexible software.

 [Visualization... section in the User Manual]

 

If this help is not enough then there is also documentation in the detailed modeling steps section in the User Manual (content not included in the SVOFFICE Overview Manual).

 

 

Menu Structure

The menu structure of each piece of software has been designed to be in a logical order from upper left to lower right. For example if the user starts a model and proceeds through the menu system from left (File) to right (Solve) they will succeed in creating and solving a model. The SVOFFICE Manager dialog controls the setup and creation of any new model as well as the opening of any existing model.

 

Specifically the user can set up most models by proceeding down the Model menu as shown in the following figure:

 

The menu structure of each piece of software has been designed to be in a logical order from left to right. For example if the user starts a model and proceeds through the menu system from left (File) to right (Solve) they will succeed in creating and solving a model. The SVOFFICE Manager dialog controls the setup and creation of any new model as well as the opening of any existing model.