The Engineering Vibration Toolbox

Author:Joseph C. Slater and Raphael Timbó

Overview

The Engineering Vibration Toolbox is a set of over 35 educational programs and associated files by Joseph C. Slater. It can be run on any platform supported by Matlab Octave (Mac, Windows, VMS, Unix, Cygwin), or Python. Also included are help files, examples, and files containing raw experimental data. The codes include single degree of freedom response, response spectrum, finite elements, numerical integration, modal analysis and phase plane analysis. It was originally designed for use with the text “Engineering Vibration” by Prof. Daniel J. Inman (Prentice Hall) but has expanded since then.

I highly recommend use of Octave or Python if possible, as they are free. If you know Matlab, you already know most of Octave. Most students will hardly know the difference, except that it’s free! The Octavized toolbox can be found here, but is more easily installed using the The Engineering Vibration Toolbox for Octave. Further, the licensing is less restrictive (no charge for professional use!). The entire archive can be downloaded as a zip file. Please refer to the Octave web site for details on obtaining and installing Octave.

Python is not much different in style and capability, especially when using Spyder. It’s a much more capable language for general computing and is becoming the de facto introductory programming language in engineering and computer science and is one of the most in-demand languages. That means learning not only develops your computational skills, but also develops your broader programming toolbox. The Python version is also the most quickly developing version of the Vibration Toolbox.

If you are new to vibration, you can learn about what vibration is and why it’s important at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Structural Dynamics Technical Committee Exploring Structural Dynamics website.

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