BRep modeling, or Boundary Representation modeling, is, in CAD applications, the most common type of modeling. BRep is a mathematically precise representation of a 3D object. This representation defines the geometric boundaries between solid and non-solid geometries.
IN THIS ARTICLE:
- What is Finite Element Analysis
- Principles of FEA
- A General Process in FEA
- Type of Finite Element Method
- Application of FEA in CAD
- Why FEA is Useful
- The Bottom Line
Engineers have the unenviable position of being held entirely responsible for the integrity and safety of all the products and structures they design. Small mistakes in design often lead to imminent disasters (that frequently go to court and get litigated).
This is why products and structures go through an array of stress testing and optimization before being deployed in the real world. But doing so over hundreds of iterations (and to scale) can be prohibitively expensive. So engineers often look to simulation modeling techniques (like Finite Element Analysis) to automate and simplify this testing.
This helps to reduce the use of materials for iterative prototyping, which would otherwise be used in actualization.
Finite element analysis is one of the most common techniques used by engineers and CAD designers to simulate “stress” on their designs.
In the 3D printing and additive manufacturing space, the two leading 3D printing technologies are Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) and Stereolithography Apparatus (SLA).
As manufacturers begin to rely more and more on additive manufacturing (AM), moving from a few select piece parts that are 3D printed, to hundreds of assemblies in complex systems, a cohesive methodology is needed to manage this transition and associated workflows. Companies have tried to deal with these complexities and challenges with point and home-grown solutions, trying to adapt legacy systems to the new reality.
(Stratasys V650 Flex. Source: Javelin-Tech)
3D printing has emerged as a popular 3D model fabrication option. Be it prototyping or showing off proof-of-concepts, or using additive manufacturing at scale.
However, effective 3D workflows rely on several key parts. First, you’ll need to use the right 3D printing system for the task at hand (i.e., FDM vs. SLA). Second, the 3D printer must have the right programming in place to read/interpret the end-user’s 3D design files.
Effective computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programs include the following main components: the user-interface (UI) and the application logic.
In turn, the application logic of the CAD/CAM software itself consists of the following parts:
To the uninitiated, 3D printing may seem a simple process — download your CAD file and hit print. But the world of additive manufacturing is more complex. A manufacturer will have to contend with a range of data formats of varying quality (especially if a manufacturer is having to deal with multiple subcontractors for an assembly). This data needs to be correctly translated, made watertight, and made manufacturable — all while retaining design intent. Then a manufacturer needs to combine as many parts as possible to minimize both print time as well as wasted material.
It’s rare to find a building without at least a few mechanical systems. In fact, some mechanical systems -- such as HVAC -- provide crucial quality-of-life services, without which buildings may not be fit for habitation or work.
From being a best practice in the AEC space to a growing number of governments mandating it, Building Information Modeling (BIM) adoption is growing. In fact, the BIM market is projected to grow to USD $10.36 billion in value by 2022.