Dynamic Mechanical Analysis

Written by Adam Blau
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The ability to see the functionality of a design system can be remarkably valuable to an engineer. It's all well and good to design a component or a machine, and to see how it looks from all angles. Computer-aided design (CAD) software accomplishes these tasks easily. To see how the component functions in context, though, is a completely different story.

Testing Your Designs with Dynamic Mechanical Analysis

By using mechanical analysis and simulation software, an engineer can effectively perform a number of tests on a given component without building the actual unit. That is, CAD software that makes use of mechanical analysis tools can subject the hypothetical unit to a number of proposed factors, all within the confines of the software. CAD programs are becoming significantly more advanced, and are beginning to incorporate algorithms which effectively simulate real-world conditions.

Even better, the more recent breed of advanced CAD programs allows you to perform dynamic mechanical analysis. This means that it is possible to change a component on the fly and watch how it interacts in the computer model. Without the aid of a computer to perform this analysis in simulation, it would be necessary to design the actual unit and subject it to real-world tests.

Dynamic mechanical analysis allows engineers to experiment with different features and components in a way that, several years ago, would have been prohibitively expensive. For little or no money, it is possible to design components and subject them to rigorous, realistic tests. Dynamic mechanical analysis also gives the benefit of flexibility to a system's engineers; several different components can be tried in the same system to see how each will operate. This can be done with only a small amount of extra work on the engineer's part.

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