Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

Improve product design by simulating complex thermal, structural, and modal problems before prototyping.

Finite element analysis (FEA) is used to predict how a model will react to forces in the real world. This analysis is a part of the product design cycle and examines the effects of forces such as heat, vibration and much more. FEA is carried out to optimize designs and understand their points of failure.


Finite element analysis (FEA) uses the practical application of a mathematical method called finite element method (FEM). It is used to model complex geometrical and irregular shapes. FEM is a way of subdividing complex geometry with unknown structural behavior into a finite number of simple geometric elements with known structural behavior, known as a FEM mesh. At the element boundaries, the displacements are equated with the neighboring elements and a matrix equation is developed. The equation is numerically solved, and you can see the results graphically using a post-processor. The results displayed show you the computed stresses, strains, and displacement that occur in your model when forces are applied.

Benefits of finite element analysis

Digital prototyping

Creating a physical prototype to see how an object might react under real world stresses gets expensive. FEA allows you to digitally examine the stresses on the object and can let you run analysis on the digital prototype.


When the interiors and exteriors of an object are modeled engineers can easily spot points of vulnerability and run studies on the model to visualize stresses and course correct design flaws as they see them.

Boundary Conditions

Boundary conditions such as point forces, distributed forces, thermal effects (such as temperature changes or applied heat energy), and positional constraints can be used as inputs in studies to see how the digital prototype responds to these conditions.


Calculations done by hand using a physical model could never match the accuracy of using software to model stresses; especially if the model is complex.

Applications and use cases

Structural Analysis

Structural analysis is the determination of the effects of static and dynamic loads on parts, assemblies, and mechanisms in order to avoid failure in the intended use.

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Modal Analysis

Modal analysis is the determination of the effects of vibrations. This type of analysis uses the mass and rigidity of a structure to find at which points the component naturally resonates. Find Out How

Thermal Analysis

Thermal analysis is a group of techniques that looks at how the physical properties of materials change with changes in temperature. Find Out How

Computational Fluid Dynamics

Computational fluid dynamics is a field of fluid mechanics that uses numerical analysis to study and visualize the flow of fluids in real-life. Find Out How

Simulation solutions for finite element analysis

Whether you are a design engineer or an analyst, PTC has solutions that fit your needs.

Simulation and analysis are critical to the product development process and PTC’s best in class solutions use computer power to help you ascertain how a designed component might behave in the real world.

Simulation and Analysis Solutions