View Full Version : Summery of Solid modelling and FEA programs

Julie Matthews
02-10-1999, 08:09 PM
Dear Biomechers

I would like to thank everyone for their fast responses to my question
about solid modelling and FEA programs.

The summary.

I had 8 responses
2 said the they liked Solidworks with COSMOS
2 said they would recommend ProE with ANSYS
1 sales man recommended ProE!
1 person felt that neither Solidworks or ProEngineer was good for
non-linear problems, but suggests ANSYS (with the necessary non-linear
options), Abacus, or Adina
1 person suggests ANSYS
1 person pointed out other options UniGraphics, CATIA, IDES, CADDS5, ANSYS,

Gu?jon G Karason reminds us that to get good and valid results from any
program, requires you to know what you are doing.

Naris Charoenporn suggest that www.wohlersassociates.com is a good site to
have alook at.

Thanks again

Julie Matthews

Below is my original post and the replies that I received.
We are currently considering buying some programs that will enable us to do
some prototype modelling and some finite element analysis of titanium screw
shaped orthopaedic and dental implants. We have looked mainly at
ProEngineer and Solidworks with COSMOS.

Do you have any suggestions of programs for solid modelling and/or FEA?
Are you using any programs that you can recommend for orthopaedic and
dental applications?

Trevor Hearn PhD
Mr Dan Barker in our group is working with various FEA packages as
part of his PhD concerning metacarpophalangeal joint biomechanics. He
recommends ProEngineer as a one-stop linear elastic package.

Hamid Katoozian, Ph.D
If you just want a solid modeling package, you can use ACAD.
For solid modeling and preprocessing prior to finite element analysis
PATRAN could be a good choice.
Selecting a good FEA code depends on the type of analysis that you are
going to do. For most orthopaedic applications particularly in case
of nonlinearity such as frictional interface or material nonlinearity,
I've used ABAQUS FEA code and I got very good results with a reasonable
convergence time.

Myles Sussman/ George Pappas
They could buy Pro/E and use Mechanica. It's more expensive but they
don't have to be FEA experts.

See this book, FEA made easy with Pro/MECHANICA, for learning how to do it.




amit roychowdhury
As far as my experience is concern you can go ahead with Proengineer and
ANSYS 5.5 .
I have modelled 3D dental implant and total 3d knee joint using
Ansys5.3. But modelling part of ansys is not very user friendly,
but you can generate any type of surfaces and volumes.

Gu?jon G Karason
I can not give any magic solutions regarding CAD and FEA software.
However, my opinion is that it is generally not the program the sets limit
to your work, but much rather your knowledge on the program used. I will
nevertheless try to give you some input on the subject.

Even though I have not done anything using ProE, I have heard some very
good comments on that program and its usability. It would be very
surprising if you wanted to do something beyond what the program is capable

I had some experience of Cosmos a couple of years ago, and even though the
program is most likely more than enough for your application I would chose
Ansys for FEA.

But like I said before, be sure that you have someone to use the programs
before you buy anything.

Sam Evans PhD
I have used Solidworks for a couple of years for designing
orthopaedic implants and it is excellent. It all works how it is
supposed to, it is clear and easy to use and even the manuals are
easy to read and tell you what you want to know. It is also
remarkably fast and powerful. I have found, though, that complex
screw shapes can be very slow to rebuild, and drawings of them in
particular can be slow and difficult to work on. Certainly you need
a fast PC with plenty of memory if you want to do this type of work.
Regarding FE software, I have used LUSAS in the past but this is
fairly limited in its solid modelling and irregular volume meshing,
although it is excellent for contact problems. I think now that
COSMOS/Works is probably the best bet for complicated 3D models and I
am trying to get a copy at the moment. Another option is MARC, which
is very good for bone remodelling or if you want to include your own
material models, because you can easily define your own subroutines.
Good luck!

Naris Charoenporn
In addition to the software you mentioned, there are other CAD and FEA
software for creating solid modelling and analysing it with Finite
Element method. For example UniGraphics, CATIA, IDES, CADDS5 and others
those are CAD software enabling to create solid models and to link with
some FEA software such as ANSYS, NASTRAN, ABAQUS etc.

It is not easy to creat complicated geometry of human body parts such as
bone via the CAD or FEA software mentioned above. I have known that some
medical software enabling to interface with data for CT scanner and to
select and converse that data to be 3D solid model of bone and other human
parts. These 3D solid model will be saved in format of STL or IGES file
and then transfer to FE software for meshing and analysing them.

A good website concerning with CAD/CAE in medical fields is

John Rasmussen
These options have the benefit that they easily model complex geometries.
Unfortunately, I am afraid that they will not do the job you are planning.

The reason is that an implant problem requires
- very complex anitotropic bone material data that vary from point to point
the structure
- contact problems
- dubious strain/stress ralations in the porous bone material

Neither of these facilities, I believe, are covered by the systems you
I fear that to treat the problem properly you have to go for advanced
like ANSYS (with the necessary non-linear options), Abacus, or Adina. These
among the most advanced systems in terms of analysis facilities, but they
much more difficult to use and effectively require expert users. The
modeling facilites of these systems are typically less convenient than for
Pro/E and SolidWorks.

In spite of what the FEA vendors will tell you, there is regrettably no
shortcut to accurate finite element analysis of bio-related problems.

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