NEi Software‘s upcoming FEA application will put analysis at your fingertips, literally. Developed for iPad and iPhone, the software takes advantage of remote computing clusters and hosted software to let you conduct simple FEA tests on basic shapes, then retrieve the results in a combination of statistics and graphics — all done over the internet.
In this debut release, you may select the basic shape you wish to analyze (cube, tube, cylinder, or flat plate), enter its dimensions (length, width, height, and radius), specify force or pressure, specific the direction of the force (by selecting a surface or edge with your fingertip), specify material, then let the application run.
The application uses the computing horsepower and solvers hosted elsewhere, allowing you to access and run it from an iPhone or an iPad. But the technology working behind the scene is the same NEi Nastran software you’ve come to know and respect. This could be the beginning of a new wave: FEA on demand, accessible from mobile devices previously considered unsuitable for analysis.
Mobile devices are still too lean and limited to run computing-intense applications like FEA or CFD. Nevertheless, using the web-enabled device as a portable terminal to communicate with remote servers, you may bypass the need to process FEA and CFD algorithms on your local hardware.
With this version from NEi, you cannot upload your own geometry or mesh model to solve in the cloud. But I’m willing to bet NEi — or someone else — is already working on such a solution.
When the application becomes available publicly may depends on Apple, the custodian of iPhone and iPad apps. The program must go through Apple’s review and QA process before it appears in your iTune app store.
This week, NEi will demonstrate the application at Pacific Design and Manufacturing Show (Feb 8-10, Anaheim Convention Center; Anaheim, California). For more, you can visit NEi’s dedicated site for the mobile app here.