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CAE - Computer Aided Engineering

Updated on February 22, 2010

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CAE (Computer Aided Engineering)

CAE (Computer Aided Engineering)

The competitive market of today, requires a quality product with reliability and durability. As a rapid response in terms of study and implementation of products.

The term CAE means a set of techniques that allow the assessment of aspects of a product generally designed by CAD

In any given stage of the process of research and development of a new product, the engineer is faced with the need to predict the actual behaviour of their project. We found this project when a new suspension of vehicle, a frame of bicycle, a metal structure under dynamic loads, and in many other cases. A traditional solution would be the construction of small models or prototypes for testing in laboratories, where measuring instruments gather data from strategically distributed tensions, deformation, speed, strength, etc.. However, the methodology of construction and testing of several prototypes usually consume more time and resources than would be desirable, and it would not be the ideal solution. The current state of technological development allows software platform based on PC / Windows simulate actual situations of physical rather complete, resulting in real virtual prototypes.

This chapter will be reviewed recent developments of the CAE. As the advantages of their use, particularly during the transition between the CAD and CAM, and the drawbacks inherent in the acquisition of such software. They will also be analysed some of CAE software, but also, some examples of its application.

linear static analysis of tensions by finite element

The CAE software for use digital models to simulate physical phenomena through real approximate numerical methods. The systems are currently broadcast more CAE based on finite element method, which separates a model of CAD in small parts, solving a set of algebraic equations to obtain the desired results, depending on the loads and conditions of contour applied. The CAE systems are reasonably distributed between the mechanical and civil engineers, particularly for the achievement of structural calculations involving tensions static linear. However, there are many more complex situations where this kind of calculation involves practical difficulties and inaccuracies important, as we can see from the example to follow. For example, to examine the mechanical strength of the framework of a bicycle with the use of a traditional system CAE, seguiríamos the following steps: designing the geometry of the bike, set the materials involved, define the external forces that the road carries on the bike while it moves to define the boundary conditions, the calculation process and interpret the results. This example shows a question inherent in this type of analysis - "What are the values of the forces exerted by the road on the wheels of the bicycle while it moves?" The answer to this question often is not readily available, requiring the achievement of practical experience or the adoption of assumptions generalizadoras. With the recent technology of mechanical simulation of events, no longer exists the need to find an answer to this question in order to perform the analysis by finite element of tension.

Simulation of mechanical events

The technology of Mechanical Simulation of Events (SSM) adds movement to traditional finite element analysis, with so prior knowledge of the forces involved. In other words, the operating forces are calculated internally by the software, so transparent to the user. Returning to the example above, would not be necessary to find out what are the external forces that the road has on the bicycle while it moves. It would be enough to introduce speed of the bicycle and the profile of the road (which parameters are known), and the software gave us the desired results. In addition to calculate the tensions and deformations, any failure of the material would be presented visually through animations fairly intuitive.

Evolution 3.4

The CAE has evolved at a rate appreciably, because the underlying methods are reasonably stable, the user interfaces with and / or with CAD / CAM systems have a huge progress, and facilitating the integration and interconnection, the computational requirements associated with CAE begin to be met in average cost of computing platforms.

Advantages and disadvantages


The main advantage of the use of CAE is the ability to test, simulate and possibly validate a product 3D without having to build physically.

As shown in the diagram above, the product is designed in CAD, is then endorsed in CAE. It is a process that may be several iterations, or it may be necessary to draw the piece several times until it meets the necessary requirements. At the end is machined through CAM.


The computational requirements of the CAE are still very high for applications based on PC platforms, which implies a high cost of hardware.

The software also has considerable costs, as well as the training that is needed to make be able to work with this type of application.

Some CAE Software


The tools of analysis and simulation of Catia, make the analysis of the behaviour of parts, and simulate the best of these is encaixarem in each other when fitted together, also making the optimization of parts in accordance with the specifications of the design. The objective of this module is to combine the processes of design and simulation in order to reduce the cycle time of product development. This solution provides tools for analysis and simulation, which can be used both by people in development, and the experts for analysis.

People who make the development of parts, can use the solutions Catia-cadam Analysis and Simulation, to the analysis of parts (surface, solid and assemblies), in a transparent can use the tools ranging from the creation of meshes automatic, to the solution and viewing, as the experts in question have at its disposal tools that are sophisticated structural analysis and tensions of materials.

The Solutions Catia-cadam Analysis and Simulation, also include other simulation tools, which allow the user to produce images of very real digital prototypes, the analysis of kinematics of the mechanisms, the simulation of movements automatic, and the fit of parts for assembly and maintenance .

The Solutions Catia-cadam Analysis and Simulation provide three specific solutions for Analysis and

Simulation, which are:

Part-Generative Stress Analysis;

Finite-Element Analysis;

- Kinematics.

Daystar Software-Steel Designer

The Daystar Software was founded in 1984. This company offers an application called Steel Designer, with special focus to work with the area of Civil Engineering and structures.


The Company ALGOR Inc., offers a product line includes tools for design, analysis and simulation they offer engineers the ability to predict the behaviour of products to be manufactured. They have solutions for mechanical simulation of events, finite element of electrostatic analysis of behavior of fluids and transfers of heat.

Srac - Cosmos

The Structural Research & Analysis Corporation develops and Sells CAE software, since its creation in 1982. The Company contributed innovations that marked the difference in the evolution of such programmes. They have solutions to most of tests and simulations needed ace various areas of Engineering, including the Mechanics.


Since its inception in 1978 to Moldflow, managed through its constant searches, the first to be able to create new applications. This company is dedicated to the plastics industry. It offers various programmes, in particular, the Moldflow Plastics Advisers and Moldflow Plastics Insight


The Elcad, Elcad Company, is a software CAE Professional whose purpose is to help the development of electric project, particularly in the construction of electrical schemes, automatic generation of documentation (lists and diagrams) and integration with other software tools. This software is based on intelligent symbols, ie, containing data and logic. This is intelligence that allows the construction of cross-references between the data, validation of errors and automatic generation of documentation.


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    • profile image

      Steve Roensch 

      5 years ago from Wisconsin USA

      Nice summary article. CAE is a difficult subject to pin down, because everything changes so rapidly.

      Steve Roensch

    • Greg Palmer profile image

      Greg Palmer 

      9 years ago

      The whole Product Lifecycle Management paradigm really empowers engineers to be more effective, from CAD through Product Data Management. An individual has the tools today that before required entire departments. Ultimately, this spurs innovation from smaller firms.


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