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How Finite Element Modelling Makes The Impossible Possible

Finite element analysis (FEA) is a computerized method for predicting how a product reacts to real-world forces, vibration, heat, fluid flow, and other physical effects.

The Structural team is producing rapid design solutions from pre-existing models to show whether a product will break, deflect, or work the way it was initially envisaged to work.

“We use Strand 7 by importing geometric data from Revit,” explains Ali Kanaani, Structural Engineer. “We only need to embark on a little tweaking to give us enough confidence in the refined model to get results out.”

The designs of a floating staircase for the Waigani Law Courts Complex in PNG by architects Peddle Thorp shows the process in action.

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Simple planar analysis of the design initially presented failure due to excessive deflections. Finite elements modelling allowed us to pass the design through and create a conceptual stair that appears to be unsupported and deliver on the architects’ vision.

“The benefits for architects are obvious,” says Paul Doody, State Manager of Meinhardt Queensland. “This FEA approach allows us to say ‘Yes, we can.’”