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2D Elements

An irregularly shaped continuum defined by a boundary and areas of loading has to be subdivided into a mesh of finite elements. The size and shape of the element is chosen so that the approximate stiffness implied by the finite element is close enough to the actual stiffness of the continuum in that region. Thus the finite element size and shape will be determined by the type of element being used, the shape of the boundary if in a region close to the boundary, the loading applied and the experience of the user.