Interactive graphics is an aid which eliminates the data management problems that arise when manually preparing finite element models. Line and surface data representations of sheet metal automotive stampings are displayed on a cathode ray tube (CRT), and these data are then used for building finite element models. Elements are built by creating node points with the light pen or by using automatic mesh generating techniques. By using the interactive capability, the user immediately sees the results of his modeling decisions and can make changes in his model as a result of viewing his work.The interactive graphics system allows the user to define his elements, load cases, boundary conditions, and freedom sets without worrying about the grid point or element numbers. All information is communicated through the use of either the light pen or the keyboard. As information is supplied about the model, it is stored in a data base for review and possible change. After the structure is complete, the data base is processed and the information is formatted for either of three finite element codes.Use of interactive graphics has helped to produce low error data at a rate not possible by manually modeling from blueprint data.