Simulate Early, Simulate Often... In Rhino
Thanks for your reply Vadim.
I'm happy to hear it is on the TODO list.
The scenario I'm in, and which I assume is a common one, is to model for example a thin shell, hence the offset must be smaller than the radius of curvature anyway, right?
There would then be the possibility to specify an offset thickness as well as direction for which the anisotropic direction field would be calculated.
Presumably, the forces would then be specified by boundary edges? I realize that it differs from the way SnS works at the moment, but on the other hand since Rhino will not change it's handling of solids in the near future, it would still be the fastest way to get results.
Ironically, I'm in the situation where I turn to mesh-based methods (OASYS) where you can specify a surface and its thickness as a variable. This presumably goes straight into the thin-shell equations.
Perhaps there is a way of doing mesh-less methods in 2D on the surface, and then specifying the thickness as a parameter for the equations also in SnS?
The offset SHOULD be smaller than the radius of curvature, but sometimes the user is not aware of the imperfections in the surface due to geometric construction methods. And things will get much more complicated if the offset direction is not normal to the boundary.
We will probably add point and edge restraints to S&S soon. We have not decided on point/edge loads. While all of these are used widely in FEA and are convenient abstractions, they are not really physical (you can't really restrain a point or have a point load), and the users must know how to interpret the results.
Shell (2d curved surface) elements are fundamentally different from 3D solid elements, and should give you more accurate results for very thin-shell objects ... as long as you do not mind meshing of course. S&S can handle thin-shell models of course, but high accuracy would require a lot of elements. We have a number of ideas on how to improve handling of such models in the future, but it will take some time (and resources!).