Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE)

Computer-aided engineering (CAE) is the use of computer software to simulate performance in order to improve product designs or assist in the resolution of engineering problems for a wide range of industries. This includes simulation, validation and optimization of products, processes, and manufacturing tools.

A typical CAE process comprises of preprocessing, solving, and postprocessing steps. In the preprocessing phase, engineers model the geometry (or a system representation) and the physical properties of the design, as well as the environment in the form of applied loads or constraints. Next, the model is solved using an appropriate mathematical formulation of the underlying physics. In the post-processing phase, the results are presented to the engineer for review.

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)

  • 1D CAE, or mechatronic system simulation, for multi-domain mechatronics system design

  • Mechanical event simulation (MES)

  • Control systems analysis

  • Simulation of manufacturing processes like casting, molding and die press forming

  • Optimization of the product or process

Benefits of CAE

The benefits of CAE include reduced product development cost and time, with improved product quality and durability.
  • Design decisions can be made based on their impact on performance.

  • Designs can be evaluated and refined using computer simulations rather than physical prototype testing, saving money and time.

  • CAE can provide performance insights earlier in the development process, when design changes are less expensive to make.

  • CAE helps engineering teams manage risk and understand the performance implications of their designs.

  • Integrated CAE data and process management extends the ability to effectively leverage performance insights and improve designs to a broader community.

  • Warranty exposure is reduced by identifying and eliminating potential problems. When properly integrated into product and manufacturing development, CAE can enable earlier problem resolution, which can dramatically reduce the costs associated with the product lifecycle.