Application of 3D X-Ray CT Data Sets to Finite Element Analysis
Finite Element Modeling is widely used by the research community and industry in order to grasp a better understanding of real-world applications through computer simulations. This engineering tool is becoming more important as industry drives towards concurrent engineering. A Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is typically made up of three steps, namely the creation of a mesh, the computer simulation, and the post-processing of the results. A fundamental hindrance to fully exploiting the power of FEM is the human effort required to acquire complex part geometries. This preprocessing can represent up to 80% of an engineer’s time. Therefore, the need to minimize the amount of interactivity cannot be over stressed. Besides the need for a speed-up, the meshing should be based upon actual “as-built” geometries, which should be preferred to as-designed geometries from CAD models or generic descriptions. A CAD model may not accurately account for all the changes to the initial design that take place during the manufacturing process. A CAD model may simply not be available if the manufacturer has gone bankrupt or is part of the competition. In biomechanics applications, the generic descriptions of human parts are not precise enough, which limits the use of Finite Element Models.
KeywordsTomographic Reconstruction Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Metacarpal Bone Hexahedral Mesh Surface Extraction
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