CAD Humor – How Teens Are Like FEA Models

By MarkBurhop

People say engineers aren’t funny (or maybe I just think this because when I give a presentation, my wife and kids tell me not to do any jokes). So, when you go to a presentation on “FEM and Test Correlation” you are probably not expecting too much entertainment.

Dr. Peter Avitabile from the Structural Dynamics & Acoustic Systems Laboratory at UMASS-Lowell gave a very entertaining presentation on just this subject at PLM World. I spoke with him later and he was nice enough to share some of his slides with me for my blog.

I tried to make an analogy between Machining and FEA in one of my last blogs. He made the analogy between FEA and teenagers and it is much better.

FEA/Test Correlation is just like teenager problems.





”Trying to update Model Teenager based on the Actual Teenager can be a chore!!! I just wish I could make all teenagers act like the model!!!”

Just like CAD tools, FEA tools for predicting how your CAD model will behave are getting easier, cheaper and faster to use. This makes them more and more valuable to companies wanting to cut cost, optimize the design and conform to regulations.

So, it is important we learn how to use and understand what these tools and models are telling us. I hope to keep blogging about this in the future. Let me know what you think.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at