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research-article

FEASY: A Sketch-based Tool for Finite Element Analysis

[+] Author and Article Information
Sundar Murugappan

School of Mechanical Engineering Purdue University West Lafayette, IN 47906
sundar.murugappan@gmail.com

Cecil Piya

School of Mechanical Engineering Purdue University West Lafayette, IN 47906
cpiya@purdue.edu

Maria Yang

Dept. of Mechanical Engineering and the Engineering Systems Division Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA 02139
mcyang@mit.edu

Karthik Ramani

School of Mechanical Engineering ME 3164 West Lafayette, IN 47907
ramani@purdue.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4034387 History: Received July 18, 2016; Revised July 31, 2016

Abstract

Freehand sketching is an integral part of early design process. Recent years have seen an increased interest in supporting sketching in computer-based design systems. In this paper, we present FEAsy (Finite Element Analysis made easy), a naturalistic environment for static finite element analysis. This tool allows users to transform, simulate and analyze their finite element models quickly and easily through freehand sketching. A major challenge here is to beautify freehand sketches and to this extent, we present a domain- independent, multi-stroke, multi-primitive method which automatically detects and uses the spatial relationships implied in the sketches for beautification. Further, we have also developed a domain-specific rules-based algorithm for recognizing commonly used symbols in FEA and a method for identifying different contexts in finite element modeling through combined interpretation of text and geometry. The results of the user study suggest that our proposed algorithms are efficient and robust. Pilot users found the interface to be effective and easy to use.

Copyright (c) 2016 by ASME
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