Mechanical engineers at Purdue University have developed software that promises to increase the efficiency of creating parts for everything from cars to computer hardware by making it possible to quickly evaluate and optimize complex designs.
The new approach integrates the design and analysis processes, which are now carried out separately. Currently, the geometry of a part is first created using computer-aided design, or CAD, software. This geometry is then converted into a mesh of simple shapes, such as triangles or rectangles, which, when analyzed using a computer, indicates the part’s strength and other characteristics. The painstaking procedure, called finite-element analysis, is extensively used in industry.
"It’s like taking a continuous curve and breaking it into pieces," said Ganesh Subbarayan, a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue. "Otherwise, the form is too complex to analyze."
Emil Venere | EurekAlert!
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