This paper introduces a design tool that provides customised engineering analysis functionalities for a manufacturer of metal frames. This work is motivated by the need for supporting small to medium scale enterprises (SMEs) with affordable computer aided analysis tools. The design process followed by a SME, Wright Metal Products of Simpsonville, SC, primarily depends on special expertise of a few key individuals who design products based on past experience, augmented by trial and error. Recognising that this is an inefficient, time consuming, and expensive way of designing products and evaluating their performance, a specialised, simple, and affordable design enabler for engineering analysis is developed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the design process. Copyright © 2012 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
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