Modern technology has changed the world for the better in a lot of different ways, and we can examine countless industries across the globe to see how new technological innovations and developments have streamlined and simplified day-to-day processes for all.
In the manufacturing industry, for example, 3D modeling has completely changed the game. In the past, manufacturers and product development specialists were forced to rely on rudimentary sketches when planning out their products.
Entering the prototyping stage, these manufacturers and designers would have to actually make physical prototypes of their products to test them. But now, thanks to 3D computer-aided design, it’s possible to create virtual, digital prototypes that can be adjusted and enhanced in mere seconds.
There are so many different benefits of virtual prototyping, and manufacturers across the globe are constantly seeing new ways in which this technology can improve and enhance their daily operations. Here are just some of the biggest benefits.
Streamlining the Process
One of the first and most obvious ways in which virtual prototyping and 3D design are enhancing the world of product design and manufacture is by streamlining the key processes involved in creating new products. In the past, this could be a long and laborious process, with sketches, spreadsheets, and physical prototypes that could be costly and time-consuming to make.
Now, thanks to modern technology, the whole process is infinitely simpler. New products can be designed and prototypes can effectively be produced and tested in the digital world with ease. It’s far simpler than ever before, and today’s CAD programs are becoming even more advanced and precise in their functions and features, giving manufacturers so many options to experiment with.
Saving Money and Time for Maximum Efficiency
Following on from the previous point, it’s also clear to see that 3D design and virtual prototyping can save companies enormous amounts of time and money. Creating a physical prototype can cost a lot, especially when you’re working with high-end materials and premium parts, for example in the automobile industry.
Creating virtual prototypes, on the other hand, is quick, easy, and affordable. The only costs to worry about are the fees for the CAD software and salaries for designers and developers. What’s more, entire prototypes can be put together in minutes, without the need for actual materials and physical spaces. Everything is done digitally and efficiently.
Clearer Communication Between Teams
Communication is absolutely of the essence in the manufacturing industry. It’s vital for different teams operating throughout the manufacturing and development processes to be able to communicate clearly and effectively, getting their needs and messages across to one another without any errors or misapprehensions. Again, CAD can help with this.
When using 3D modeling for designing products and parts, it’s a lot easier for teams to actually show one another what the final part should look like, with precise dimensions, detailed annotations, and more. This makes it a lot easier to actually send out communications to suppliers and producers who will put your parts together or use them in additional projects later on.
Much Simpler Revisions
The whole point of a prototype is that it’s essentially a “first try” for a new product. Prototypes rarely remain as they are on that first try. They usually need to be refined, with little changes made here and there, measurements adjusted, shapes altered, and so on, in order to make them better suited to their purpose, and final products can often be quite different to the prototypes on which they were based.
Since refinement and revision are huge parts of the product development and manufacturing processes, it’s important to find ways to make revisions as easily as possible. Again, CAD and 3D virtual prototypes can help with this. When you want to make revisions or changes to a 3D prototype, all you need to do is log back into your usual CAD software, open up the saved file for your prototype, and start adjusting sizes and shapes on the fly. It can all be done in seconds, with minimal risk of error.
It’s clear to see that CAD and virtual prototyping are transforming the manufacturing world for the better in more ways than one. These modern tools are making it easier, safer, and more affordable for companies to design and create new parts and products, improving communication, reducing the risks of errors, and simplifying processes that have been quite challenging in the past. Any manufacturing business wanting to keep up with the competition, therefore, has to invest in computer-aided design.