## Introduction

ANSYS is a general purpose finite element modeling package for
numerically solving a wide variety of mechanical problems. These
problems include: static/dynamic structural analysis (both linear
and non-linear), heat transfer and fluid problems, as well as
acoustic and electro-magnetic problems.
In general, a finite element solution may be broken into the following
three stages.
This is a general guideline that can be used for setting up any
finite element analysis.

**Preprocessing: defining the problem**;
the major steps in preprocessing are given below:
- Define keypoints/lines/areas/volumes
- Define element type and material/geometric properties
- Mesh lines/areas/volumes as required

The amount of detail required will depend on the dimensionality
of the analysis (i.e. 1D, 2D, axi-symmetric, 3D).
**Solution: assigning loads, constraints and solving**;
here we specify the loads (point or pressure), contraints
(translational and rotational) and finally solve the resulting
set of equations.
**Postprocessing: further processing and viewing of the results;**
in this stage one may wish to see:
- Lists of nodal displacements
- Element forces and moments
- Deflection plots
- Stress contour diagrams