In many cases, there are multiple ways to learn a skill or tool. Learning the Abaqus software, which is a powerful tool in solving problems using the finite element method, is no exception to this. Currently, there are many ways to teach and learn Abaqus, including:
- Learning from software Help/ Abaqus documentation
- Using books or PDF tutorials.
- Using Abaqus tutorial videos
- Participation in Abaqus training courses
Out of the above four methods, the first three methods have a self-learning aspect, which means that you can make short-term, medium-term and long-term plans for studying the content and learning Abaqus software yourself by preparing the relevant content. In the last method, the learning process is based on the process of the Abaqus class and course instructor, and you actually follow their planning. In the following article, each of the above four methods for teaching and learning Abaqus will be reviewed. It is noted that some people also learn Abaqus software at their workplace and by meeting the needs of the relevant collection.
Learning Abaqus using software help (Abaqus documentation)
Like any other tool that the relevant company provides you with a booklet or manual, the Abaqus developer company (Dassault system) provides the help/documentation for its users. If you haven’t installed Abaqus documentation or if you face with some issue for calling it, you can use Abaqus Online Help, which is just like its installed version. Considering that in Help/Abaqus documentation, many concepts, relations and explanations are presented in a summary and telegraphic way, it seems that its authors considered only experienced and expert users. This causes not only the help of Abaqus, also the help of any other commercial computing software is not suitable to start learning. The telegraphic expression of content (in cases such as coding) in Abaqus goes so far that you may need to read several chapters of a book that is presented during a postgraduate course to understand just one paragraph. Therefore, using Abaqus Help to start learning, even though it does not cost you a cent, is a difficult and risky path. Abaqus in the graphical environment of itself also has an interactive help (Context Sensitive Help) by which it provides the user with brief information about the parameters of modules icons and other headings of its documents. The video below shows how to use this in-app guide.
It should be noted that when we say “start learning Abaqus”, we mean starting to learn any new subject, topic and technique in it. For example, maybe you have a lot of skill in Python coding in Abaqus, but you are at the beginning of learning to write subroutines.
Learning Abaqus through books, pamphlets or text
Since the early 1980s, with the widespread use of engineering software in academic and industrial projects, some users of these software began to write educational books in this field. Until now, this process has continued with the production of text and pdf files. Because the Abaqus graphical environment is a visual window, training of each operation or step should be accompanied by placing a number of pictures. Unfortunately, the lack of color pictures in such books and also the lack of a complete explanation of the modeling process (step by step tutorial) makes learning in this way with some difficulties. Providing CD along with the books solve the problem of lack of suitable color pictures, but since every Abaqus training book must have at least ten solved examples in different fields, the full explanation of all the relevant cases, settings and basic concepts in the example has caused the increase of the pages and its publication cost. Therefore, this method faces a serious challenge for users, book writer and publishers.
It is almost impossible to explain the topics thoroughly in the form of a book. Since following the process of making a model from a book or a text requires patience and attention, if there is a mistake in the modeling process, and you encounter an error or results that are contrary to the presented results, At the end of the chapter, you probably have to re-read and check a chapter of at least 40 pages to realize your mistake. The existence of such problems, if it does not discourage you from learning Abaqus in this way, at least slows down your learning speed.
Participating in Abaqus training courses
Currently, the most expensive way to learn Abaqus is to attend Abaqus courses. These courses are generally held either in academic centers (in collaboration with scientific associations or faculties) or in private institutions such our institution (structural numerical research center). One of the advantages of these training courses is that they can be both face-to-face and online. The content of the course is presented to the participants before participating in it, and they participate in that course if they wish. Despite the fact that you will get to know a number of users who are similar to you in terms of mastery, the responsibility of your training rests with the course instructor and you can share your problems with him. Videos, educational pamphlets and educational certificate of the institute will be presented to you at the end of the course. These courses are often held in two categories, beginner and advanced. The high cost of these courses is usually high and is affordable only for institutions, companies and universities. The good news for you is that fortunately we hold many training courses every year at the request of engineering, industrial and academic centers.
Using Abaqus training videos
Today, the technology of providing services through the Internet is very active in the field of education. There are many YouTube channels, Instagram and Facebook pages for teaching engineering software. Online educational content is currently the most powerful educational method available to establish educational justice around the world. Since in digital education, the educational content is presented to a much larger number of people than the participants in a face-to-face training course, the cost of learning is greatly reduced. On the other hand, when using digital education, your energy and concentration will only be spent on learning the methods, and your mental energy will not be depleted for enduring the hardships of attending the class. Your constant access to educational videos can eliminate the need to write pamphlets. You can watch the training video at any time of the day and anywhere. In addition, you can directly learn the material you need without spending money to learn additional subjects by preparing an educational video related to your problem, thesis or project. Fortunately, this efficient method is also supported in our institution (Product Link). So that the possibility of asking questions and answers after preparing the products is available for you. You can ask your questions (which are mature enough after watching the movie several times) and get your answer. Considering that educational videos are usually recorded according to planning and under controlled conditions, there are no bugs such as instructor’s inappropriate expression due to fatigue or other environmental factors (which can occur in the classroom).
According to the above-mentioned materials, each of the Abaqus teaching methods has its own advantages and disadvantages. We are living in a world where the two factors of time and cost have caused the production of new tools, change or removal of existing tools. Given that teaching Abaqus through tutorial videos, the two factors of time and cost optimize the teaching and learning of this software, So we can conclude that this way is the best available way to teach and learn Abaqus.