Graphics Programs Reference
Analysis, Virtual Simulation and CAD Intelligence Advantages -
Specialist Detail Design Benefits
• Analyse and test parts and assemblies prior to cutting metal. Review fits and toler-
ances. Test for clashes of moving or rotating parts. This is far quicker and cheaper than
proving ideas with physical parts only.
• Detailed engineering analysis and simulation can be carried out on components and
assemblies to optimise their design before manufacturing starts. The purpose is to enhance
and validate product performance, with less reliance on costly physical prototyping or dis-
ruptive design changes at a later stage.
• Analysis and simulation based on 3D CAD includes finite element analysis (FEA) to
see how parts and assemblies behave when dynamically loaded. Examples include stress,
strain, structural and vibration testing.
• Another related field of analysis and simulation is computational fluid dynamics
(CFD) for examination of fluid flow. This encompasses thermal management, aerody-
namics and hydrodynamic testing.
• Other 3D CAD-based analysis and simulation includes plastic injection mould flow and
• CAD models are increasingly intelligent, where features and attributes can be attached
to components and assemblies you design. This data can then be used to enhance testing
or product development further downstream.
• Intelligent CAD attributes include assigning material properties to parts and as a res-
ult, calculating mass and the centre of gravity for both components and assemblies (cru-
cial for things like planning lifting and transportation of large items). Other intelligent
features include sustainability, energy and carbon footprint impact of CAD models, based
on material choices. Alternative intelligent CAD attributes include design for manufac-
ture (DFM) rules and ergonomic guidelines, both of which validate designs at the digital