Computer modelling programs are often associated with architecture and the entertainment industry. Today’s 3D animation programs are typically used to design video games, create some of Hollywood’s most exciting CGI effects, and even to design building structures. Yet these types of programs are also frequently used by engineers and inventors in other industries, to conceptualize and test new products. Digital prototyping is a useful way to cut corners when budgets are tight, and this process may even yield more accurate results for designers and engineers. It’s helpful to take a closer look at the features provided by 3D modelling software to see how they can be applied.
Software Used for Digital Prototyping
Typically, 3D design programs like Autodesk Inventor or Solid Edge are used by engineers to create lifelike models of their designs. These combine features like 3D modelling, rendering, simulation, and data analysis to allow engineers to fully explore a concept before it goes into production. One feature to look for in this type of software is a bi-directional data flow between the mechanical engineering tools and the simulation tools. This helps enable communication during different stages of design and testing.
Benefits of Digital Prototyping
There are numerous benefits associated with the use of digital prototyping in business. This process allows designers to flex their creative muscle and create more innovative concepts with less risk. When creating physical models, designers may normally be hindered by the realities of transforming a concept into a model. Yet when this model is rendered digitally, it allows designers to perform simulations and streamline the design process to help optimize the final product. This entire process requires far less time and money, leading to more unique creations and optimized designs. Potential products can be visualized using computer animation and run through market testing or safety simulations as needed. This allows a full analysis of products before any real world prototypes are constructed, reducing the chances of major design flaws.
A further benefit of using digital prototyping within a business is that it can improve communication between designers and workers on the actual factory floor. Mechanical engineers can see the finished concept on the screen, allowing them to build it accurately. This is also useful when showing prototypes to investors, who can see a complete visualization of the finished product in advance.
Further Applications of Digital Prototyping
The benefits of digital prototyping can be applied through many different departments of a business. By adding graphics, animation, and other details to the model, it can be used as presentation material for the sales team. This is also useful for marketing purposes, as the marketing team will have solid analytical data at their disposal from a very early stage in the development of a new product. With the use of rendering software, realistic images can be created for promotional materials before the finished concept goes into production mode.
Overall, the use of digital prototyping software helps reduce the cost of production. It can be applied in many different ways, allowing each department of a business to work with greater accuracy. When comparing the cost of software to the benefits that digital prototyping provides, it can be a solid investment in many industries.