Finite element method (FEM)
The finite element method (FEM) is used as a calculation method for solid-body simulations. It enables partial differential equations to be solved by approximation, with the precision increasing with the growing number of the degrees of freedom and the increasing calculation effort.
In the aircraft and automotive industry, this method is used for the calculation of forms and behaviours of vehicle components, from individual parts through to modules such as the engine and chassis, and for calculating the body shape, including the crash behaviour to be expected. This method is also used for topology optimisation in the design process, to calculate the materials required, the load-bearing capacity and shape of a component or tool.