Geotechnical design and analysis Subject:
Finite Element Method vs Finite Difference Method
Could any one please throw some light on differences between FDM and FEM analysis process.
In my layman term, FDM develops difference equations between grid points in the solution process, so primarily requires rectangular grids. FEM will have shape functions and could have nodes between grid points, so can solve more complex geometry without necessarily requiring rectangular grids. Is this correct ? Are there any other specific differences ?
Just my observation regarding the comparision of "computation cost" based on the use of current established softwares that adopts FE or FD.
Some current established FD softwares do not have good ("efficient") meshing algorithms dealing with the polyhedral formations. In effect, they increase the computation cost by having to require the user to model with more elements than is necessary. For more complex boundary problems, there really is little advantage over FE softwares (with efficient meshing algorithms) on computation time, partly due to this factor.