[Gmsh] Newbie question

Karen Pease meme at eaku.net
Thu May 26 02:12:36 CEST 2016

Hi all.  I've spent all evening trying out different meshing and FEA
software and gotten precisely nowhere... so I decided it's time to
ask. Where is a good place to start?  All I'm wanting to do is:

1) Take an existing model (say, exported as STL)
2) Import it
3) Assign material properties, anchor points, and assign forces
4) Run a FEA simulation
5) See the stresses and deflections

Seems like a pretty basic workflow, but I can hardly get past the
first step.  GMSH got me the furthest - at least I could actually see
it.  But it's just a wireframe, I can't do anything more with it than
pan around it, there's no interactive points.  The model is just
window decor as far as I can tell.  I see nothing in the visibility
options that makes it any more interactive.

(At least this is further than I got with other tools... netgen might
as well have had the interface in Swahili).

I've tried reading the documentation, but what's called a "tutorial"
(http://gmsh.info/doc/texinfo/gmsh.html#Tutorial) is practically an
API manual.  I've tried watching videos on Youtube, but one, not only
do they rarely deal with importing geometry like STLs, but for most
programs the interface in the videos looks different from what I see
because I use Linux and they use Windows.  And the Windows versions
usually seem to have more user friendly versions (at least gmsh is
better than calculix in this regard, with calculix it's like half the
interface is missing....)

What do I do?  How can I get my bearings here?

Any feedback at all would be greatly appreciated... thanks, all.

 - kv, Karen

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