MAE3426 - Computer-aided design - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Chris Davies


Associate Professor Wenyi Yan and Mr Louis Chiu

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


Must have passed 96 credit points (including MEC3455 or MAE2401 or TRC2201)




Finite element analysis (FEA) in computer-aided design; finite element formulation; first-order and second-order elements; stiffness matrix; integration points and stress recovery; convergence and mesh refinement; FEA of plane stress and plane strain problems; FEA of axisymmetric problems; FEA of nonlinear materials; FEA of contact problems; FEA of large deformation problems; FEA of dynamic problems; FEA of fracture mechanics.


On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the basic theories, terminologies and concepts related to the application of the finite element method in computer-aided design of structures, including aircraft structures.
  2. Select correct element types and designs proper mesh to obtain accurate results from a finite element analysis.
  3. Generate finite element models for truss structures, plane stress, plane strain, axisymmetric and general 3D structural problems.
  4. Apply a commonly-used commercial software to carry out finite element analyses on different structural problems.
  5. Identify the basic theories and concepts of advanced solid mechanics, such as nonlinear materials, contact mechanics, finite deformation and fracture mechanics.
  6. Use finite element analyses on advanced solid mechanics problems.


Continuous assessment: 60%

Final Examination (2 hours): 40%

Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component and at least 45% in the final examination component and an overall mark of 50% to achieve a pass grade in the unit. Students failing to achieve this requirement will be given a maximum of 45% in the unit.

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. Independent study may include associated readings, assessment and preparation for scheduled activities. A unit requires on average three to five hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study