A CDE Definition
(Finite Element Analysis) A mathematical technique for analyzing stress, which breaks down a physical structure into substructures called "finite elements." The finite elements and their interrelationships are converted into equation form and solved mathematically.
Graphics-based FEA software can display the model on screen as it is being built and, after analysis, display the object's reactions under load conditions. Models created in popular CAD packages can often be accepted by FEA software. See automatic design optimization.
automatic design optimization
Using the computer to achieve the most efficient design of a product. Finite element analysis (FEA) and other methods are used. In the past, design engineers have performed a combination of manual and automated methods to accomplish design optimization. They have applied FEA to parts of a CAD drawing, determined what components needed work and then redrew the object manually. Increasingly, software that is tightly integrated with the CAD program can perform the analysis and automatically redraw the object. See FEA.
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