This book uses a novel concept to teach the finite element method, applying it to solid mechanics. This major conceptual shift takes away lengthy theoretical derivations in the face-to-face interactions with students and focuses on the summary of key equations and concepts; and to practice these on well-chosen example problems.
For this new, 2nd edition, many examples and design modifications have been added, so that the learning-by-doing features of this book make it easier to understand the concepts and put them into practice.
The theoretical derivations are provided as additional reading and students must study and review the derivations in a self-study approach. The book provides the theoretical foundations to solve a comprehensive design project in tensile testing. A classical clip-on extensometer serves as the demonstrator on which to apply the provided concepts. The major goal is to derive the calibration curve based on different approaches, i.e., analytical mechanics and based on the finite element method, and to consider further design questions such as technical drawings, manufacturing, and cost assessment. Working with two concepts, i.e., analytical and computational mechanics strengthens the vertical integration of knowledge and allows the student to compare and understand the different concepts, as well as highlighting the essential need for benchmarking any numerical result.