Virtual Product Modelling
Converting ideas into design – that is what Virtual Product Modelling is all about. What was a long drawn out and tedious process starting from paper sketches and drawings converted first into 2D drawings and later 3D models is now brought together in a single process for prototype development, which not only simplifies the task but more importantly, saves time, helping companies on the most significant front – reducing time to market.Professional 3D modelling services help companies integrate virtual prototype with rapid prototyping to create virtual or digital prototypes to facilitate product development.
How Virtual Product Modelling Works
Virtual Product Modelling is a computer generated 3-dimensional image of an object, usually a product, building or any physical object that can be worked upon for purpose of testing and validation through simulation and a digital prototype developed quickly. It can be created on a computer by using a special software. Once created, the virtual model can be saved, worked upon, dimensions altered, additions and deletions made and the 3D virtual prototype is ready. Imagine creating a design of a portable fan with three blades, add one more blade to make it four, or remove a blade and just leave two, run it at various speeds and measure the airflow and decide the final design based on the result. All this and more can be simulated, the material strength calculated, and depending on it, appropriate gauge of sheet used. Once the design is frozen, a physical prototype can be made, by 3D printing or other methods.
While there are several benefits of Virtual Product Modelling, the key benefits may be summed up as:
Better, more functional designs
Faster time to market
Apart from these key advantages, there are several others like better control and accuracy, wider design choice, greater customer satisfaction and keeping with the current trends, mass customisation as opposed to mass production.
Ideal Application Areas
In the era of Digital Twins, 3D product modelling can be applied not just to products but also entire systems. Singapore, for example, has a Digital Twin of itself replicating the complete Nation State, e.g., testing the viability of a new pedestrian bridge to fit into the existing landscape before deciding the exact location on actual crowding of people. So from a small product that can fit into the palm of the hand to an entire city, VPM has millions of applications.
From miniature motors to large power turbines, all types of products can be designed from scratch through Virtual Product Modelling service as the process is basically the same, only the scale is different. The design process starts with a shape with parts added and removed as the design progresses. Compared to traditional methods, VPM is much faster and versatile, the digital storage making it convenient to store and retrieve designs at will. Virtual prototypes are also convenient to store and transferred online.
For Industrial Machinery – machines manufactured as products as well as those used in production – Virtual Product Modelling facilitates multiple designers to work simultaneously. These machines comprise of different parts and assemblies – pumps, motors, generators, machine tools, special purpose machinery to quote a few examples – and the designs call for collaboration in the virtual space, each designer working on a different part or sub system, which are later put together as a whole in proper digital prototypes.
There is a wide range of supporting equipment deployed in a typical manufacturing – trolleys, stands, and a whole range of fabricated equipment that calls for regular manufacturing with precise dimensions. Designing such equipment is easy through Virtual Product Modelling and digital prototyping before actual production. Any type of industrial equipment can be designed and optimised based on drawings and sketches, and virtual prototypes made for testing and validation.
Virtual Product Modelling is not restricted to design of products, machinery and equipment. Complete industrial facilities – assembly lines, paint shops, tool rooms, welding bays, generator rooms, AHUs, Cooling Towers, Heat Treatment Facilities and Boiler Rooms – the list is endless. Virtual prototyping and digital manufacturing makes these tasks easy as the designs can be customised to exact requirements, the entire complex with all facilities checked for correct layout and measurements, all emergency routes checked and validated before a ground breaking happens in case of green field facilities.
Customers usually have a clear idea of what they want so as long as it is communicated effectively, the project can begin. Since this is not a simple buying of an off-the-shelf model, it will need the basic information and the size and dimensions, materials to be used, the product attributes, special requirements if any, among other things. Based in this, the 3D virtual prototyping company can start the work and communicate with the customer at each stage, right from the first draft to the final product, getting approvals, making changes, etc., till the final result is approved.
3D product modelling services are manned by domain experts familiar with most of the design inputs ranging from paper drawing or rough sketches or 2D drawings in any of the popular file formats and extensions, or a sample of the product, photo or a picture – anything that conveys the appearance and basic dimensions required. A project, once accepted, is allotted to a dedicated team and there will be a constant communication channel established with the customer’s project team for consultations during the work in progress for clarifications in case of doubts or to effects changes of modifications.
EAXPRTS has over 20 years of experience in the field of 3D Engineering Animation Services and has done extensive work for global clients in the field of virtual prototyping and digital manufacturing and prototype development. The company has a professionally qualified team of experts with years of experience working on customer projects with an enviable track record of successful delivery. Quality is the defining parameter of success in this.
As for the cost, conventionally any outsourcing of services happens primarily because of the cost factor; or the load factor where companies having in-house teams have to outsource work due to sheer workload. There is no ideal cost comparison template in such cases, but by and large, the cost depends on the volume of work and for the same type of work, outsourced services have the cost advantage.