What is CAE – Introduction To Computer Aided Engineering

What is CAE ? 

Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) is a fast emerging field that takes CAD to another level.
While CAD is useful in creating 2D and 3D models of a product, CAE software allows a deeper engineering analysis of objects.

CAE thus finds applications in engineering fields like fluid dynamics, kinematics, stress analysis, finite element analysis, etc., typically where product development is concerned. CAE encompasses not only CAD, but also Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Finite Element Analysis (FEA), Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and some other aspects of engineering. Simply put, you can create 2D and 3D objects using CAD, while you can analyze how that object will behave using CAE tools. The automated design tools provided by CAE have transformed engineering analysis from a ‘hands on’ experience to virtual simulation.

Computer-aided engineering (CAE) is the broad usage of computer software to aid in engineering analysis tasks.

CAE areas covered include:

  • Stress analysis on components and assemblies using Finite Element Analysis (FEA);
  • Thermal and fluid flow analysis Computational fluid dynamics (CFD);
  • Multibody dynamics (MBD) and Kinematics;
  • Analysis tools for process simulation for operations such as casting, molding, and die press forming.
  • Optimization of the product or process.
Introduction To Computer Aided Engineering
Introduction To Computer Aided Engineering

Software used to analyse CAD geometry tools that have been developed to support these activities are considered CAE tools. CAE tools are being used, for example, to analyze the robustness and performance of components and assemblies. The term encompasses simulation, validation, and optimization of products and manufacturing tools. In the future, CAE systems will be major providers of information to help support design teams in decision making. Computer-aided engineering is used in many fields such as automotive, aviation, space, and shipbuilding industries.

Three Steps in CAE  -Computer Aided Engineering Process 

In general, there are three phases in any computer-aided engineering task:

  1. Pre-processing – defining the model and environmental factors to be applied to it. (typically a finite element model, but facet, voxel and thin sheet methods are also used)
  2. Analysis solver (usually performed on high powered computers)
  3. Post-processing of results (using visualization tools)

Benefits of CAE

  • Since simulating reality is less time consuming, CAE processes save on time and money
  • CAE reduces the errors in design and drawing process
  • The impacts of changing parameters on a system can be studied with more accuracy
  • Robustness and performance of components and assemblies can be analyzed
  • CAE allows for easy visualization and improves designs
  • CAE aids ease of manufacturing

Applications of CAE
CAE applications support a wide range of engineering disciplines or phenomena.

  • Stress and dynamics analysis on components and assemblies using finite element analysis (FEA)
  • Thermal and fluid analysis using computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • Kinematics and dynamic analysis of mechanisms (multibody dynamics)
  • Acoustics analysis using FEA or a boundary element method (BEM)
  • Mechanical event simulation (MES)
  • Control systems analysis
  • Simulation of manufacturing processes like casting, molding and die press forming
  • Optimization of the product
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