There are questions I get all the time from my audience, and particularly from the students who are beginning in FEA.
I decided to share my answers so everyone can read them.
Which is the best FEA software to learn?
A software is a tool for the engineer to realize something. So, what you should think about first is not “which is the best software to learn?”, but “what do I really want to achieve with an FEA software?”
If you are a student who wants to become an FEA analyst in the future and you want to prepare for it, then I suggest you learn one of the leading FEA software in the market (or maybe even all) as the company you will apply for will probably have one of those: Ansys, Hypermesh or maybe Abaqus
If you are a student doing a Master Degree or a PhD and you are hesitating which software to use for your thesis, I would suggest Abaqus, as abaqus was born from University and it has basically all the advanced tools required from research purpose.
If you are an engineer searching for a very cheap or free software to do your own side project, then I would suggest using either LISA or an open source code such as Code Aster. The disadvantages are that the tools will be either limited or the code itself will be very difficult to implement…but nothing is impossible for engineers really motivated to achieve their goal.
Now, if you are an independent FEA consultant and you have some money to invest but not so much, maybe you can consider a software such a midas NFX, which has many tools and analysis types available for an “affordable” pricing.
And finally, if you are an independent consultant and you have all the money in the world, then I guess you should choose either Ansys, Abaqus or Hypermesh, depending on your familiarity with FEA and your level of skills to use a software.
Other question I get frequently: