Finite element analysis (FEA) is a computer-based method of analyzing and simulating the behavior of components under a variety of conditions, including force, temperature, vibration and motion. FEA calculates  displacements,  strains,  and stresses under internal and external loads. These predictions confirm if a design is suitable or if modifications are required to prevent failure.

FEA results are presented as on-screen, digital models with color mapping for a visual depiction of the effects of applied conditions. These models may also show the resulting change to a component’s geometry as it deforms under the applied load.

To bring FEA results into the real word, PolyJet™ 3D Printers create physical models
that retain the FEA color mapping (Figure 2).  Rather than interpreting results from a
computer screen, designers and engineers can visualize the analysis with models that
are hand-held. The results can be printed in an “as-designed” or “load-deformed” state.

Common applications for 3D printed FEA results include:

•    Design verification
•    Failure analysis
•    Material selection
•    Design review meetings
•    Marketing presentation

For more information, download the full best practices document here.

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