The successful use of analysis by design engineers during the product development process strongly depends on the choice of those analysis tools that offer easy integration with CAD and provide reliable results, while not requiring an in-depth expertise in analysis.
The intention of this paper is to assist in choosing those tools that are best suited for use by design engineers. We start with a summary of differences between analysis performed by a design engineer and by an analyst. Next, we discuss advantages and disadvantages of commercially available analysis methods, from the point of view of design engineers.
In conclusion we recommend that design engineers use either the p method of the Finite Element Analysis or the Precise Solids Method and offer hints as to which one is advantageous depending on particular analysis problem.