Implementation of the stiffness method within MathCad numeric computation environment
Pacheco Crosetti, Gustavo E.
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This article presents a case study of a simple planar framed structure to show an original implementation of the stiffness method of structural analysis within MathCad numeric computation environment. This approach was used to introduce undergraduate students to the finite element method basis through the study of bar elements. As MathCad is a graphic environment, the student is able to 'see' the elements of the stiffness matrix, the effect of rotating from local to global coordinates, the assembling process of the structure stiffness matrix, and the decomposition used to introduce the boundary conditions. This approach has proven to be useful and didactic.