I've been looking at Lisa FEA but not got far with it yet, but before I commited too much time to it I wanted to know peoples opinions on FEA for small projects.
I'm quite happy doing simple hand calculations, but it's been a while since I did any, and I have an OND in engineering and used to design equipment for dust control (extraction systems on quarries etc).
I've also made bike frames and other brackets and fixings for years so I've got a good practical feel for thinking problems through
I'm thinking of using FEA to simulate things like frame structures to get an idea of stress areas before actually making them, trying different shapes of gusset, tube and hole placement etc.
I'm well aware that FEA isn't a magic pill that'll tell me everything, just with the simple bits I've looked at it takes a lot of work and thinking about to decide on the correct load, fixings etc.
So is it worth learning to use Lisa or is it hard to use, are there other better solutions that are cheap or free.
Of do I just stick to the old "if it breaks make it bigger"?