To help optimise structural performance of a product, we are able to use finite element analsis software (Cosmos 2005) to apply virtual forces to our 3D computer models and simulate deflections and calculate stresses.

The design can be alterered to optimise the shape for structural performance, cutting the cost of making physical models or prototypes and also reducing the amount of material used in the design. Investment in structural analysis at the start of the process can therefore reduce prototyping costs and materials unit costs.