Traditional methods for applying boundary conditions in finite element analysis require the mesh to conform to the geometry boundaries. This in turn requires complex meshing algorithms for automated mesh generation from CAD geometry, particularly when using quadrilateral and hexahedral elements. The 3D extension of the penalty boundary method (PBM) is presented as a method that significantly reduces the time required generating finite element models because the mesh is not required to conform to the CAD geometry. The PBM employs penalty methods to apply boundary conditions on a simple, regular mesh. The PBM also eliminates discretization error because boundary conditions are applied using CAD geometry directly rather than an approximation of the geometry.

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