Best workflow for beginners

Agree with Sergio.

Less is more. Simplify or this can be overwhelming.


Any of these two options is excellent.

Mecway is probably more consolidated, but Prepomax is under strong development and free.
Any of their Forum is an unvaluable help.


Ccx manual .

To start, just look at the final inp that your Prepomax or Mecway generate. You will get a flavor of how the inp is build and the syntax. When progressing you will need the manual for more advanced settings.

Tutorials with the Step file. Excellent starting point.

Step files Collection for practice. FeAnalyst also provide the step files of its examples.
You can also try some of the McMaster huge step collection.

Start modeling solids. Even many books and examples are with shells, they require more advanced setups.No need at this moment of Netgen, Gmesh, FreeCad, Salome,….
No more no less. Just with these few tools you can start modeling in one hour.
Forget about compiling the software, meshing techniques, 3D modeling, different solvers, file converters…
All that will come out progressively. Take my advice. It’s a big mistake to try to tackle it all at once and you will only get demotivated. Simplify to the very basics so you can focus on the engineering problem and reading the results.

If you can’t solve one tutorial with those simple tools, search for another tutorial where the step is provided.