Karthik Ramani, a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, poses the question that may intrigue anyone trying to work out a new idea: “Say I’m a design engineer working for an automotive company and I want to find out how much stress my conceptual part can withstand. I want to know where to drill the holes, and what kind of materials to use. I might have hundreds of ideas on shapes and so on.”

Ramani’s answer: It’s a new a new type of design program called FEAsy (Finite Element Analysis made easy) that was debuted Tuesday at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Design Engineering Technical Conference in San Diego.

In a news release about the design program, Ramani says, “Ordinarily, the designer creates the component and then it has to go to other engineers who use specialized analysis software to test the design. So the analysis gets done after many parts and systems are already designed, and it’s too late to make major improvements or change design concepts at this stage. The idea is to bring analysis into the sketching stage of the design process.

Check out this additional demonstration: