In this work a new graphically driven interactive stress reanalysis finite element technique has been developed so that an engineer can easily carry out manual geometric changes in a machine element during the early design stage. The interface allow an engineer to model a machine element in the commercial finite element code ANSYS® and then modify part geometry graphically to see instantaneous graphical changes in the stress and displacement contour plots. A reanalysis technique is used to enhance the computational performance for solving the modified problem; with the aim of obtaining results of acceptable accuracy in as short a period of time in order to emphasize the interactive nature of the design process. Two case studies are considered to demonstrate the effectiveness of the prototype graphically driven reanalysis finite element technique. The finite element type considered is a plane stress four-node quadrilateral based on a homogenous, isotropic, linear elastic material. Each case study considered multiple redesigns. A combined approximation reanalysis method is used to solve each redesigned problem. The first case study considers a plate with a hole with the goal to determine the hole shape that will minimize the stress concentration. The second case study considers a support bracket. The goal is to design the cantilever portion of the bracket to have uniform strength and to minimize the stress concentration at the fillet.

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