Design of a Knowledge Based System to Convert Airframe Geometric Models to Structural Models

by Brent L. Gregory,
Mark S. Shephard,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Expert Systems in Civil Engineering

Abstract: Airframe manufactures who use CAD tools to design airframes and finite element analysis software to analyze them, still generate the finite element models using semi-manual methods. Although the analysis can be carried out in one day, the semi-manual model generation process takes several months. Because of the time required for the generation of the analysis model, the analysis is used primarily for verification rather than for feedback to facilitate iterative design improvement. The purpose of this paper is to present an approach by which: the entire modeling process is carried out on the computer using a combination of interactive and automated modeling procedures; expert knowledge is used in the modeling software to increase the level of automation and to aid the analyst in making better modeling decisions; the analyst is relieved of the necessity of doing rudimentary calculations; and the analyst can ask 'why' the programmed modeling rules want to model a geometric component a certain way in the finite element model. This paper presents an approach by which the finite element modeling process is carried out on the computer using a combination of interactive and automated modeling procedures. The system described is called the Flexible Automatic Conversion System. The approach is to give the computer access to the extra information, beyond the geometric airframe description, that will guide and aid the user in the creation of useful analysis models.

Subject Headings: Finite element method | Computer models | Automation | Model analysis | Geometrics | Structural models | Computer aided design

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