How to start working on any Finite Element Analysis projects ?.

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How to start working on any Finite Element Analysis projects ?.

Today, I will be going to answer very important questions asked by many aspiring FEA learning students. In this blog, you will find steps by steps point that you need to consider while working on any new Finite Element Analysis projects as per our experience.

So let’s start.

Step-1.Study the problem, the Physic behind the problem, Components roles, Assembly, How it functions, Animations, and check more details at:  

Never start a project in hurry, you are not a superhero who knows about all products exits in the world, give respect to design, understated from the start of products making process, visit the shop floor (if this option is available), observe manufacturing process, assembly process and how it going to use at the customer end, Spent sufficient time in studying the problems first. A clear understanding of the assembly process will help you in deciding the proper contact behavior formulations, Also clear understanding of functionality is essential for applying appropriate boundary conditions and help you in removing the unwanted part from assembly for FEA modeling.

Step-2. Go out of the comfortable zone, Consult and gather further information from service, check with physical test data, warranty yard, speak with design if any specific feature in design:

Feel free to approach anyone related to your projects, This is a very important point, you might be holding a postgraduate or doctorate degree from a renowned university in India or abroad with an excellent academic record but never make the mistake of not consulting people having years of experience related to the products, components. Many times best design solution advice for carrying out future iterations comes from shop floor people or illiterate workers.

Step-3. Understand the scope of work, Methodology presentation and define the objective of analysis:

It is very important to cleanly understand what customers need from us and what you will going to deliver the client, So after your initial study start preparing a methodology ppt that included what inputs you received from the customer, Any doubt you have mentioned in the files or any assumption you will going to take for analysis and what output you will provide to your client. For example:

The objective of the project:

To carry out the Finite Element Analysis of a 2000 kg single axle design.

1. Study geometry and project.

2. FE model preparation

3. Loading and boundary conditions.

4. Linear static analysis for the given load cases.

5. Results interpretation and report generation.

Type of Analysis

Static structural Analysis, xxxxxx loading condition

Inputs received:

1. Geometric model.

2. Material data.

3. Load data.

Software used

Ansys, Hypermesh 


A detailed report containing stress and deformation plots. 

Step-4. Available time duration for the project:

a). If the appropriate time is allotted for the project– The results are good quality (accuracy) of the results.

b). Time is very short – Results in compromise with results quality. Based on previous experience in analyzing similar components and relative design concepts CAE engineers could still contribute in a major way.

To cut short analysis time preference should be given to:-

– Auto/batch meshing over manual or semi-automatic techniques

-Tetra elements over hex/ brick meshing

-Linear meshing order

– Relax mesh quality criteria

c). Time is short but the company does not want to compromise on the quality of results: Meshing consumes most of the time. When the allotted time is very less, request the management to involve more engineers in the projects & split the job. If no extra manpower is available within the group, consider outsourcing the meshing job to several service providers at a time. Splitting the job among several agencies ensures confidentiality and maintains secretes of the design (since no one would have all the design details).

d). Time is short, high quality desired but no additional manpower or outsourcing allowed. – Please inform the management in clear and straightforward words that it is just not possible. Do not bother about losing the job or poor appraisal if you are honest and speaking based on facts. Infect good management would always appreciate this kind of information at the beginning of a project rather than at the end when things have gone out of hand. CAE engineers by accepting pressure, extended work hours, and holidays put on the job.

Step-5. Study the CAD file(.igs/.step/x_t): 

Before starting the project, CAD data should be thoroughly studied. Open surface, free edges, duplicates surface, interference, and missing parts should be studied carefully and reported for clarification immediately.

Step-6. Planning meshing work :  

Depending upon the geometry of the components and analysis requirements decide the type of element and modeling strategy for the bolt, weld, bearing, press-fit, joint, etc. Extracting mid-surface for complicated parts (in particular plastic comports with complex ribbing patterns and variable thickness) could lead to additional meshing efforts.

Step-7. Inputs – Material data sourcing:

Basic material properties details like young modulus, Poisson ratio, density, yield strength, ultimate strength or S-N curve, etc.) should be collected from appropriate sources.

Step-8. Test report failure data:

Visit to warranty yard/dealers/client end to see failed components otherwise, photos/movie, region-wise failure report (say for example due to bad road conditions failure are reported only form a certain part of the country) visit to the shop floor to understand various operations/process involved in manufacturing of the parts, etc.

Step-9. Deciding boundary conditions:

A clear understanding of the functionality of the components and problem would help in deciding appropriate load cases and constraints due consideration should be given to all the possibilities like overloading, gravity, temperature, wind load, pre-stress, vibration effect, surface finish, and process-induced stress (fatigue analysis), etc.

Step-10. Check the mesh model thoroughly. Never take it for granted that the meshing submitted by a colleague or vendor is perfect:

Properly checking work done by somebody else is not easy. There is a tendency of negligence when things checked, in the beginning, look correct. Pay attention to all the minute details and model by checking with the same interest and patience till the very end like checking our salary slip, bank passbook, or journey reservation ticket! Even a small mistake (like dof or properties of connection elements not defined properly) could lead to a substantial difference in analysis results.  

If you want to start your career in FEA and want to learn a combination of FEA practical theory with Industry-based projects then do apply for our first basic internship course.

Start your career as a simulation engineer.


I hope you found this article informative and useful. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you so much for reading!.

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