348-An Overview of Computer Aided Design and Finite Element Analysis
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This continuing education course is written specifically for professional engineers with the objective of relating to and enhancing the practice of engineering.
NOTE: This is a
course in Computer Aided Design (CAD) for professional engineers, not a
course in the related subject of Computer Aided Drafting.
Computer aided design
(CAD) is the use of computer software to assist the design engineer in the
overall creation and analysis of parts and assemblies. Finite element analysis (FEA) is a numerical
method used to determine approximate solutions of
physical problems. Proper use and
integration of CAD and FEA can greatly
improve efficiency of the design process.
This course provides a general overview of methods and
applications of computer aided design and
finite element analysis to expose the reader to the many design features of solid modeling software. The intent of
the course is to explain ways computer
aided design can improve the overall design process and allow for easier design changes. The course will
explain how to properly use computer
aided design and finite element analysis methods to optimization designs
and have greater confidence in how a design will
function. General knowledge of solid modeling software is helpful for this
course but not required. Though this
course discusses the general concepts of solid modeling, the course does not
teach concepts of computer aided
drafting. General understanding of the
equations of stress and strain would be beneficial for understanding the
applications of FEA.
The information provided in this course is not limited to
any single software package. This course
does not focus on teaching any single solid modeling software package and does
not provide step-by-step tutorials of CAD or FEA. Information is presented in a way to develop
concepts of computer aided design and
finite element analysis that can be applied
to any solid modeling software. Illustrative examples of CAD procedures are
given using Solidworks and Inventor, though the concepts would apply to any
software package. The same software
packages are used to illustrate the concepts of FEA, yet the concepts can be transferred to other FEA software.
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