Numerical method for mechanical engineer

what is numerical method?

Most Masters of Mechanical Engineering students learn to develop their skill in using computer software or numerical method to solve an engineering problem. Students must to understand the boundary condition, load, properties of material etc before  put all number in software. Most advance software using “user defined function” which is not user-friendly for non-technical folk.


The basic idea of numeric method is changing complicated mathematics equation to simple equation or calculation using “+, -, *, / ” so a computer can process it. This is an art about rearranging and simplifying. For example velocity in mathematics is described as v = dx / dt . This mathematics equation can be simplified as v = ( x2 – x1 ) / ( t2 – t1 ). At this stage, we need to know the position of x2 & x1 and time at x1 & x2. A computer can solve this calculation.

numerical methods book
numerical methods book

In numeric method, there are 3 approaches used by engineer i.e finite difference, finite element and finite volume.

ABAQUS is one of famous software to solve a technical problem by using finite element approach. Student are required to take finite element study before operating ABAQUS software. Without enough finite element background, we may get a misleading result.

We can get ABAQUS student versions and software tutorial by downloading from the official website at We may get a lot of example of ABAQUS simulation in technical forum website.


ABAQUS is excellent software for a finite element that recognized by the academic scholar, researcher and industry. User able to use this software to calculate stress, strain, deflection and temperature of material during mechanical and thermal load.

People without good technical and finite element background will face difficulties to input material properties, external load, the boundary condition of system evaluated and also how to read simulation out put. In oil and gas industry, some engineer use ABAQUS to conduct fitness for service level 3 to evaluate an equipment condition. The engineer may choose this procedure after conducted fitness for services level 1 and level 2.


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