The concept of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) was first proposed by J. Lemon at SDRC, and has been widely accepted in automotive industries. CAE numerically estimates the performance of automobiles and proposes alternative ideas that lead to the higher performance without building prototypes. However, most automotive designers cannot directly utilize CAE since specific well-trained engineers are required to achieve sophisticated operations. Moreover, CAE requires a huge amount of time and many modelers to construct an analysis model. In this paper, we propose a new concept of CAE, First Order Analysis (FOA), in order to overcome these problems and to quickly obtain optimal designs. The basic ideas include (1) graphic interfaces for automotive designers using Microsoft/Excel (2) use of sophisticated formulations based on the theory of mechanics of material, (3) the topology optimization method. Further, some prototypes of software are presented to confirm the method for FOA presented here.

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