I have been working on a linear static simulation for a few weeks now. This whole time I have been using draft quality elements so that I could get an idea of areas that needed refinement without wasting too much time. I recently ran a simulation with draft quality curvature elements, try not to laugh but here are the specs of the mesh (439695 DOF's, 146726 Nodes, 853279 Elements). FYI I am already taking advantage of symmetry, my model is acutally a quarter size of the actual. The simulation took 2 days to run and returned pretty good results.
I know the answer to this question is of course yes but here goes anyway. Should I now re-run the simulation with high quality elements? You can already see the massive size of my mesh and that it took 2 days with draft quality elements, I cannot fathom how large the mesh would be and how long it would take if high quality elements were used or if my computer could even handle it. My computer specs are: Intel Pentium 4 HT 3.00GHz, 2 GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 4300/4500 Series.
Here are my questions:
1) What is better a draft quality mesh with very good refinement in areas of interest or a high quality mesh with much less refinement?
2) What are your opinions of using h-adaptive and p-adaptive?
3) Curvature elements take longer to solve right? Should I maybe just go back to standard elements?
4) What are your computer specs and how fast do you think you could solve a problem like mine?