This paper examines an integrated CAE environment which provides design engineers with a computational laboratory: an environment where an engineer is free to experiment and gain a greater understanding of model behavior. Its tools include 3D solid modeling, analysis modeling, finite element analysis, results evaluation and engineering animation. The concept of a computational laboratory, its current components, and future trends are discussed.
The computational laboratory concept represents a unified approach to the design and analysis process, with all capabilities available on an immediate, interactive level rather than existing as separate utilities. The net result is not only productivity, but greater insight and intuition in the design process.