The boundary integral equation (BIE) method has emerged as a promising alternative to the finite element method because in many cases it may significantly reduce the generation and checkout time required to describe the geometry model. Structural analysis is simplified because only the surface of the component being analyzed needs to be defined.Advantages and limitations of the BIE method are discussed. Two example problems are modeled using both the finite element method and the BIE method. One problem is a planar analysis of a gear segment. The other is a three-dimensional analysis of a diesel engine piston.