What is Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and What is it Used For?

Create simulations, quantify effects of physical forces, and solve practical problems with finite element analysis.

Victoria Russman
Victoria Russman

Finite element analysis (FEA) is a computerized method used to simulate the behavior of materials and structures under different physical conditions. It involves breaking down a complex system or structure into smaller, simpler parts (called finite elements) and analyzing each part separately using mathematical equations and computer algorithms. FEA can be used to predict how a material or structure will respond to different external forces, such as stress, strain, heat, or vibration. This information can then be used to optimize the design of products or structures for maximum performance and safety.

3D FEA analysis max shear stress
3D FEA analysis: max shear stress

What does FEA analysis software provide?

The finite element method for modeling had beginnings in the 1940's picking up steam in the 1960's. Today, there are many software available on the market that incorporate the FE method. The main function of this analysis software is to provide an FEA simulation detailing performance of a given part or product. The software uses a finite element (FE) model or system of points to form the shape of the object. A mesh model containing structural and material information of the object is created from the points. In a virtual setting, different properties can be assigned, and various load types can be applied. It allows engineers to identify design strengths and weaknesses in a virtual prototype, avoiding costly re-engineering later in the product design stage.

Top FEA software used by engineers:


VG Studiomax







Industries that use FEA or finite element analysis services:

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) Services are a powerful tool that can be used in a wide range of industries to simulate and analyze the behavior of complex systems. Some of the industries that commonly use it include:

  1. Aerospace: design and detailed analysis of aircraft structures, engines, and other components.
  2. Automotive: simulate crash tests, optimize vehicle structures, and analyze engine components.
  3. Civil engineering: analyze the structural integrity of buildings, bridges, and other infrastructure projects. Loading conditions are often a part of the analysis on larger structures.
  4. Manufacturing: optimize manufacturing processes, improve product quality, and reduce costs. Common for plastic injection molding of parts to check for porosity or deformation.
  5. Medical devices: design and test medical implants, prosthetics, and other medical devices.
  6. Oil and gas: simulate computational fluid dynamics of oil rigs, pipelines, offshore platforms, and other equipment in harsh environments.


What are FEA services commonly used for?

Finite element analysis (FEA) services are commonly used for simulation and modeling in product development, design optimization, fitness for service, and failure analysis. They support the testing of products and are an efficient way to optimize products and improve their quality. Whether you need help with generating high-quality models or fully integrated project solutions, there are a variety of analysis services available to meet your needs.

Structural Mechanics Simulation:

Provide a simulation model that is particularly suitable for highly complex structures such as foams, lattice structures, or components with micro-porosity.

  • No geometry conforming mesh is needed.
  • Results of a porosity analysis to simulate stress concentration around defects can be included.
  • Results are validated against experimental tests and classical FEM simulations.

Mechanical Simulation on CT Scans:

  • Apply static mechanical loading by choosing between directed force, torque, and pressure.
  • Simulate material probes as well as components for both mono- and multi-materials with linear elastic material properties.
  • Build simulation models even for highly complex structure including biomechanical.
  • Sub-voxel accurate, local adaptive surface determination.
  • Calculate stress concentration around micro defects.

Stress Concentration at Hot Spots:

  • Detect and visualize local maxima of Von Mises stress, maximum shear stress, maximum principal stress, and detect magnitude of displacement.
  • Identify and visualize connected areas in which the selected stress component or displacement exceed your specific threshold.

Comparison with CAD-Based Simulation:

  • Simulate both the CAD model and the actual part with all its discontinuities and shape deviations.
  • Automatically compare two simulation results on the same or similar object for Von Mises stress, maximum shear stress, or magnitude of displacement.
  • Calculate the difference of the respective values for each point of  the structure and visualize the color-coded results on the part.
Von Misses stress distribution
Von Mises stress distribution
Von Misses stress CAD compare
Von Mises stress CAD compare

What are the benefits of FEA Simulation?

Some potential benefits of using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) Services include:

  1. Improved product performance: It allows designers to test and optimize their designs before they are built, leading to better performing products that meet or exceed customer expectations.
  2. Reduced development time and costs: By simulating product behavior of a design before it is built, engineers can identify potential problems early in the design process, reducing the need for costly rework or redesigns later on.
  3. Increased accuracy and precision: Highly detailed simulations take into account factors such as material properties, load conditions, boundary conditions, and heat transfer resulting in more accurate and precise results.
  4. Enhanced safety and reliability: By simulating the behavior of a structure or system under different conditions, engineers can identify potential failure points and design solutions to ensure the safety and reliability of the final product.


Overall, finite element analysis (FEA) services are a valuable tool for any engineer or designer looking to improve the performance, efficiency, and safety of their products.

Are you looking for structural analysis, stress analysis, porosity analysis, durability, or validation?

Contact Nel PreTech to find out about our extensive experience in inspection engineering services.

Download our FEA brochure here.


Let's get started solving your 3D & CT Scanning Challenges

Download icon
Download a Brochure to See What's Possible

You'll find all the detailed service information you need in one brochure.

Download Brochure
Get a quote icon
Get a FREE No-Obligation Project Quote

Get a quote within 24-hours and keep your project on schedule.

Get a Quote
Ask a question icon
Discuss Your Project With an Expert Engineer

Our Nel PreTech engineers are ready to get started on your product challenges.

Ask an Engineer