Finite element analysis (FEA) is the practical application of a mathematical method called finite element method (FEM), and is used to model complex structural and thermal problems. 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.
The computed FEA results allow you to optimize your designs, by making changes and then easily re-running the various analyses. Incorporating simulation software early in the design process will help reduce the need for costly prototypes and late-stage design changes as well as improve product performance, longevity, and safety. FEA enables simulation and is especially useful for structural and thermal analysis, as well as modal, buckling, and dynamic analyses for both linear and non-linear problems. Basic simulation can and should be in the virtual toolkit of every engineer.
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.
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