"Pygmaeos gigantum humeris impositos, plusquam ipsos gigantes videre".
(a dwarf on a giant's shoulders sees the farthest of the two)
Bernard of Chartres.
It is usual and proper to quote Bernard of Chartres or other versions of that quote to underline the importance of an adequate documentation and knowledge of the state of the art as a starting point for new developments and projects in engineering. Otherwise we would be always reinventing the wheel.
In opposition to this reflexion, when I faced this project I did not started from existing modules or libraries that could have solved part of the tasks and simulations. Instead of that, I crumbled each task until the most basic pilars, the geometry, to build from there, tailor made, an specific solution for the problem.
The reason is simple: only reinventing the wheel, at least one time, you can deeply understand it and improve it. In addition, it is very satisfactory to find out that your conclusions match with the experts ones or learn new argumental tools from them when you fail to solve the problem...
"El menesteroso de una ciencia, el que siente la profunda necesidad de la verdad, se acercará cauteloso al saber ya hecho, lleno de suspicacias, sometiéndolo a crítica; más bien con el prejuicio de que no es verdad lo que el libro sostiene; en suma, precisamente porque necesita un saber con radical angustia, pensará que no lo hay y procurará deshacer el que se presenta como ya hecho. Hombres así son los que constantemente corrigen, renuevan, recrean la ciencia.".
(The devoted to a science, the one who feels deep need of truth, will approach with caution to any previously built knowledge, full of suspicion, subjecting it to review... with the doubt that is not true what the book argues. In fact, because he really needs knowledge he will never accept outside conclusions and will dismount any built knowledge to the root. Such people is the one that continuously correct, renew and upgrade the science)
Ortega y Gasset.