XBUILD: Pre-processor for Finite Element Analysis of Steel Bridge Structures
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Historically, the lack of interactive pre-processors to describe tedious finite element models has hindered the use of the finite element method for bridge analysis. The work performed in the present study mitigates this problem by providing an interactive graphically based pre-processor for the finite element analysis of highway bridges with high-speed engineering workstations. The name of the pre-processor is XBUILD. Version 1 of XBUILD is written in the C programming language, uses Sun View graphics, and runs on SUN SPARCstations. The pre-processor gives engineers the choice of using both keyboard and mouse styles of interaction to describe and edit bridge geometries, set boundary conditions, define sub-structure and highway vehicle objects, and place trucks at desired positions on the bridge. The capabilities of XBUILD Version 1 are demonstrated by working through the step-by- step details of creating a finite element model for the FHWA-AISI test bridge.