Computer-aided engineering (CAE) is the broad usage of computer software to aid in engineering tasks. It includes computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided analysis (CAA), computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM), computer-aided
Computer-aided engineering (CAE) is the broad usage of computer software to aid in
engineering tasks. It includes computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided analysis
(CAA), computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM),
material requirements planning (MRP), and computer-aided planning (CAP).
Software tools that have been developed to support these activities are considered CAE tools.
CAE tools are being used, for example, to analyze the robustness and performance of
components and assemblies. The term encompasses simulation, validation, and optimization of
products and manufacturing tools. In the future, CAE systems will be major providers of
information to help support design teams in decision making.
In regard to information networks, CAE systems are individually considered a single node on a
total information network and each node may interact with other nodes on the network.
CAE systems can provide support to businesses. This is achieved by the use of reference
architectures and their ability to place information views on the business process. Reference
architecture is the basis from which information model, especially product and manufacturing
The term CAE has also been used by some in the past to describe the use of computer technology
within engineering in a broader sense than just engineering analysis. It was in this context that
the term was coined by Dr. Jason Lemon, founder of SDRC in the late 70's. This definition is
however better known today by the terms CAx and PLM.
 CAE fields and phases
CAE areas covered include:
• Stress analysis on components and assemblies using FEA (Finite Element Analysis);
• Thermal and fluid flow analysis Computational fluid dynamics (CFD);
• Mechanical event simulation (MES).
• Analysis tools for process simulation for operations such as casting, molding, and die
• Optimization of the product or process.
In general, there are three phases in any computer-aided engineering task:
• Pre-processing – defining the model and environmental factors to be applied to it.
(typically a finite element model, but facet, voxel and thin sheet methods are also used)
• Analysis solver (usually performed on high powered computers)
• Post-processing of results (using visualization tools)
This cycle is iterated, often many times, either manually or with the use of commercial
 CAE in the automotive industry
CAE tools are very widely used in the automotive industry. In fact, their use has enabled the
automakers to reduce product development cost and time while improving the safety, comfort,
and durability of the vehicles they produce. The predictive capability of CAE tools has
progressed to the point where much of the design verification is now done using computer
simulations rather than physical prototype testing. CAE dependability is based upon all proper
assumptions as inputs and must identify critical inputs (BJ). Even though there have been many
advances in CAE and it is widely used in the engineering field. Physical testing is still used as a
final confirmation for subsystems due to the fact that CAE cannot predict all variables in
complex assemblies (i.e. metal stretch, thinning).
 See also
Computer representation of surfaces
Electronic design automation EDA
Finite element analysis (FEA/FEM)
Multidisciplinary design optimization
1. ^ Laplante, Phillip A. (2005), Comprehensive dictionary of electrical engineering (2nd
ed.), CRC Press, p. 136, ISBN 9780849330865, http://books.google.com/books?
2. ^ Kreith, Frank (1998), The CRC handbook of mechanical engineering, CRC Press,
p. 15-1, ISBN 9780849394188, http://books.google.com/books?
3. ^ According to Daintith it does not usually include software engineering.
4. ^ Meguid, S. A. (1987), Integrated computer-aided design of mechanical systems,
Springer, p. 7, ISBN 9781851660216, http://books.google.com/books?
5. ^ Matthews, Clifford (2005), Aeronautical engineer's data book (2nd ed.), Butterworth-
Heinemann, p. 229, ISBN 9780750651257, http://books.google.com/books?
6. ^ Daintith, John (2004), A dictionary of computing (5 ed.), Oxford University Press,
p. 102, ISBN 9780198608776, http://books.google.com/books?
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removed. (February 2009)
 Further reading
B. Raphael and I.F.C. Smith (2003). Fundamentals of computer aided engineering. John
Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-48715-9.