FEAsy: A Sketch-Based Tool for Finite Element Analysis

by | Aug 6, 2016

Authors: Sundar Murugappan, Cecil Piya, Maria C. Yang, Karthik Ramani
Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering, Volume 16, Issue 3, September 2016

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 finite element analysis made easy (FEAsy), 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, multistroke, multiprimitive 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 finite element analysis (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.





Cecil Piya is a PhD graduate from the school of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. Dr. Piya received his BSc in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and earned his Doctorate at Purdue, while working as a graduate researcher in the C-Design Lab under Prof. Karthik Ramani. Here, his research explored novel Human-Computer Interactions and Digital Interfaces that leverage spatial gestures, tangible interactions, and pen-and-touch based media to support virtual 3D product design and shape modeling. In the past he also conducted research in areas such as digital shape reconstruction from 3D point clouds, geometric support for additive manufacturing, feature detection in 3D models, object identification in 2D images, and heat transfer.