What is Finite Element Analysis? What is FEA? Engineering Analysis: Applications of CAD Software

What is Engineering Analysis?

Another important application of CAD software is carrying out engineering analysis. Checking the designed object for its functionality is called as engineering analysis. In almost all the engineering design related projects some or the other analysis is required. It can be stress-strain calculations, heat transfer measurements, or using differential equations to find the dynamic behavior of the system, which is being designed.

What is Finite Element Analysis?

One of the most common examples of engineering analysis is finite element analysis or FEA. FEA is one of the most commonly used and powerful feature of the CAD software. To carry out the analysis of object by using FEA, the object is divided into finite number of small elements of shapes like rectangular or triangular. These objects form the interconnected network of the concentrated nodes.

To carry out the analysis of whole object each and every node of the network is analyzed and their results are synthesized to get the complete analysis of the object. Each and every node can be analyzed for various properties like stress-strain, heat transfer or any other characteristics depending upon the type of application. The interrelating behavior of all the nodes gives the behavior of the whole object.

The CAD software has the option of defining the nodes and network structure as per the designers requirements or automatically. In the automatic method the user has to merely define certain elements for finite the finite element model, while the CAD software does the job of computations.

The output of the finite element analysis can be seen on the monitor. If the user finds that the output results are undesirable, they can change the shape and dimensions of the object and carry out FEA again.

Some of the most popular CAD software used for FEA are ANSYS from ANSYS, Inc. ANSYS offers a number of FEA products, which can be seen here.


Reference: Book: CAD/CAM: Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing by Mikell P. Groover and Emory W. Zimmers

This post is part of the series: Applications of CAD

This is the series of articles describing various applications of CAD software like geometric modeling, engineering analysis, FEA, design review and evaluation, drafting etc.
  1. Applications of the CAD Software – What is Geometric Modeling?
  2. Applications of CAD Software: Engineering Analysis: FEA
  3. Applications of CAD Software: Design Review and Evaluation
  4. Applications of CAD Software – Automated CAD Drafting
  5. Applications of CAD Software: CAD/CAM Database
  6. Applications of CAD Software: What is Solid Modeling?