Book - Python Scripts for Abaqus
In 2011 I published a book titled Python Scripts for Abaqus. The book explains how to enhance and control finite-element simulations in the Abaqus FEA software using the Python programming language. Using a Python script an analyst can automate a repetitive task, vary parameters as part of an optimization study, extract useful information from simulation output databases, or can customize the user interface. The book website has more information.
If you're interested in the story of how the book came to be, read on:
My work on a research project on blast resistant panels funded by the Army Research Lab required me to repeatedly change many parameters of my models, run them with these changes, and parse the output, all in an iterative and automated manner. The best way to achieve this seemed to be through the use of Python scripts. At the time I did not know anybody who had used the Abaqus scripting interface and I was also unable to find any tutorials online, and so I taught myself scripting using the Abaqus documentation, the Python.org website, replay files (.rpy), and muddled through with trial and error. I wasted a lot of time figuring out which commands to use and debugging scripts and the project ended up taking a lot longer than it should have. So a few months after the project was completed I began to think about writing a beginners Python scripting guide.
It wasn't a very organized effort at first but I put up a website about the book to see if people were interested. I received many emails from engineers in industry and researchers in academia inquiring about the status. Some even offered to pre-pay and get early access. I realized many engineers were having the same frustrating experiences with scripting that I once did, and that helped me stay motivated through the project. I also received some useful information about what topics other engineers were interested in.
I worked on the book while completing the junior and senior years of my undergraduate studies, and it consumed all of my free time and weekends. I finally published it in my first year of graduate school.
The book has been well received and engineers from many large firms have purchased it over the years, ranging from the aerospace and defense sector (NASA, Boeing, Airbus, the European Space Agency, Bechtel Bettis, Sandia National Labs, Lawrence Livermore Labs, the US Army Core of Engineers), to computer hardware manufacturers (Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Amazon, Intel, Dell), to oil and gas companies (Shell, Schlumberger), and academic institutions (MIT, Stanford, Georgia Tech, Carnegie Mellon, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, Indian Institutes of Technolgy, etc), to name a few.
The book helped me land an internship at Dassault Systems (Simulia), the developer of Abaqus, and I ended up working there for a few years after graduation. I also learned a thing or two about marketing and sales in the process.
If you're looking for the book, it is available at www.abaquspython.com. The book preview and table of contents are attached below.