"Those of us who enjoy observing nature or are of an engineering inclination are often likely to spot the natural nonlinearity in them, whether in structures or fluids. When we try to understand engineering though, we often seek to simplify the world around us to get useful and usable insights quickly. Ultimately, however, we do need to come to terms with the fact that structures are inherently nonlinear, either due to material or geometry effects or other multi-physics characteristics. As a result, engineering science needs to be non-linear too.
Over the last ten years, computer hardware capacity has increased in accordance with Moore’s Law, often driven by improvements in simulation software. Linearization of ‘real world’ engineering problems is no longer necessary as virtual Finite Element Analysis (FEA) simulations are increasingly being performed using nonlinear techniques. Companies in the automotive, aerospace, marine, naval, defense, construction, biomedical, consumer white goods, and packaging industries use nonlinear FEA techniques extensively today.
Virtual Product Development is already well established as a standard component in nearly every commercial product design-to-manufacture process today. Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) technologies are now widely accessible, infinitely variable, and highly cost-effective. They allow almost every aspect of design, performance, and manufacture, to be exhaustively explored by the manipulation of potential design variables. This can be done in a virtual ‘what if’ development environment."