I am a Rhino user. One of my tasks now is to create a bench out of GFRC concrete (concrete with no actual steel reinforcement). I did a parametric study and found that one of the legs of the bench is about 0.2m diameter. In Rhino (Grasshopper) the only type of FEA analysis is with shell elements (both Karamba and Millipede support it), however I think that 0.2m diameter is too thick to analyze it with shell elements, therefore needing solids.
At my university on a few machines there are Solidworks licences, therefore I tough why not export my model and try to use solids in Solidworks.
My question is for a circular element - 0.15 - 0.20m diameter and 0.4-0.5m in height, is it necessary to use solids. In one of the manual I read that there is ratio of 0.05 between height to span ratio, which in my case I need to use shells, but what suggestions would you give me?
If I create a mesh out of shells, touching each other (multiplayers), do you think this will give accurate results, rather than trying to model the bench out of solids?