Engineering Plans


FEAs are used to determine static loading, strength, and functional performance. More specifically it is defined as "The finite element method, is a numerical method for solving problems of engineering and mathematical physics. Typical problem areas of interest include structural analysis, heat transfer, fluid flow, mass transport, and electromagnetic potential."

Much like the FEA, the CFD is a computer analysis except it deals more with fluid dynamics. It's officially defined at this: "[CFD] is a branch of fluid mechanics that uses numerical analysis and data structures to analyze and solve problems that involve fluid flows. Computers are used to perform the calculations required to simulate the free-stream flow of the fluid, and the interaction of the fluid (liquids and gases) with surfaces defined by boundary conditions."

Topology Optimization is method for making a design more geometrically efficient for strength, durability, and reduced costs.  This can be a great tool to use when manufacturing thousands of parts. Every little bit of savings in material costs and reduced returns can really add up over time.

Generative design is an iterative design process that involves a program that will generate a certain number of outputs that meet certain testing criteria, and a designer that will fine tune the feasible region by changing minimal and maximal values of an interval in which a variable of the program meets the set of testing standards, in order to reduce or augment the number of outputs to choose from. GD can be driven by AI or engineering experience and it can be customized to several manufacturing processes including: 3D printing, CNC machining, and casting. An example of this can be found at:

T&M is used to demonstrate motion in CAD, usually between a joint and component. It's a way to simulate motion, check for rubbing parts, and to verify mechanical functionality. It's a great tool to use with complex machines that have a plethora of moving parts. Here's a link demonstrating what this is all about:


The BOM or otherwise known as a "Parts Listing" provides you a listing of your design parts. That listing can include quantity, material type, source, part numbers, and where it's sourced. It is also used to compile part data, part prices, and give a good estimate of how much the design will cost to manufacture.

A DFMA is used when an engineer studies your design with “how to manufacture it” in mind.  This analysis will include feasible points, obstacles to manufacturing, estimated cost, method of manufacturing, and more. DFMAs are typically done with high performance software but sometimes it's best to also have an engineer evaluate the design. Between a computer's precise analytical abilities and an engineer's experience you can usually locate critical issues in a design and address them proactively.

  • Facebook
  • YouTube

300 S Main St, Rochelle, IL 61068, USA

©2018 ISS Manufacturing

Created with