|April 26, 2017
J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng
, (2017); doi: 10.1115/1.4036556
Finite Element Analysis (FEA) has been one of the successful tools in studying mechanical behavior of biological materials. There are many instances where creating FE models requires extensive time and effort. Such instances include finite element analysis of tree branches with complex geometries and varying mechanical properties. Once a FE model of a tree branch is created, the model is not applicable to another branch and all the modeling steps must be repeated for each new branch with a different geometry and, in some cases, material. In this paper, we describe a new and novel program “Immediate-TREE”, and its associated Guided User Interface (GUI). This program provides researchers a fast and efficient tool to create finite element analysis of a large variety of tree branches. Immediate-TREE automates creating finite element models with the use of computer generated Python files. Immediate-TREE uses tree branch data (geometry, mechanical and material properties) and generates Python files. Files were then run in finite element analysis software (Abaqus) to complete the analysis. Immediate-TREE is approximately 240 times faster than creating the same model directly in the FEA software (Abaqus). This new process can be used with a large variety of biological applications including analyses of bones, teeth as well as none biological materials.