GSoC’19: Week-5 – Moving on with a Non-mutable Column class

A lot of things happened this week and I am happy to inform you that PR #17055 has been successfully merged. The beam module now supports the cross-sectional shape of the beam as an alternative parameter to the second moment. With this, the aim of the stage-I to integrate the geometry module with beam module has been accomplished.

Although we need to add some examples in the docs, to make it easier for the user to understand how to use this new feature.

Coming on to stage-II, I had already, initiated a discussion to finalize the API of the new Column class that is to be implemented as a part of the continuum mechanics module in this stage.

We concluded that it would be much better if the Column class remains non-mutable i.e. unlike the beam class where a beam is formed in a piecewise form, the new Column class would take all its required input data during the declaration and then one can call different methods to calculate different things.

I have made a work-in-progress PR #17122 implementing the Column class which performs the required buckling calculations. Currently, I have not included a method to calculate the critical load as there was a bit of problem with the form of the equation which the dsolve() returns after solving the differential equation of buckling. dsolve() is SymPy’s differential equation solver.

In general, if we solve the general equation of buckling manually, we might apply the method of undetermined coefficients, which of course even dsolve()  is capable to apply, but it gives the answer in an exponent form, while we need it in a trigonometric form (for ease of further calculations). So after seeking different methods trying to convert this equation in terms of sin(x) and cos(x), I finally had to put that problem in the discussion, where Oscar Benjamin, gave an idea to declare the variables as positive in order to get it in terms of sin and cos. I tried that it works well for our case. I will have to figure out the further calculation of the critical load.

Hopefully will be updating the code with a new method to calculate critical load, soon.

Also, I have planned to have a method to solve the unknown reactions and reaction moments, which would use the boundary conditions to get their values.

With all these things going on, this week we also had our first evaluations, and I am very happy to say that I have passed it. Thanks to the mentors!

 Next Week:

  • Completing Column class with all its methods
  • Adding tests and documentation.
  • Starting discussions for the next stage.

I will try to finish working on the Column class this weekend.

Will keep you updated!

Thanks!

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