Five reasons to use 3D design and simulation in product development
Any engineer working with product design will recognise that the process of designing and testing prototypes can be slow and tedious. Many product developers have most likely tried to design and create a prototype before they find flaws and weaknesses in the product design. Consequently, they must go back and redesign the products and start all over. This is very costly and time-consuming. In addition, it can be draining for the creative minds trying to innovate and improve.
Luckily, there is a way to speed up the process, reduce costs and still create or improve innovative products: You must use simulation and 3D design.
Fast cars and aerodynamics
Take Ferrari, for instance. For race cars in general and Formula 1 in particular, aerodynamics is key. Even a minor adjustment may be the difference between winning and losing. Therefore, Ferrari is of course constantly working on ways to improve design and make their cars faster and safer.
Previously, Ferrari’s engineers relied heavily on testing their designs in wind tunnels. However, it takes about three to four weeks to set up a session in a wind tunnel. By using simulation on computational fluid dynamics, they can now perform more than 100 tests in the same period, which is an enormous advantage when implementing and testing lots of small iterations to the design.
The automotive industry is far from the only industry leveraging on the advantages of 3D design and simulation which is widely used across sectors. And here are five key reasons for that:
1) Lower your cost
Product development is expensive. According to our partner ANSYS, up to 80 percent of the costs of developing a new product is determined by decisions made early in the design process. One of the largest entries in the cost base is often testing and prototyping – sometimes resulting in incremental improvements and other times resulting in redesigning the product entirely.
Using simulation, you can make a digital prototype much quicker, saving valuable working hours and making better decisions in the early phase where the cost is determined. There are easy-to-use tools for the initial stage, helping you determine whether to move on with a project as well as more advanced and in-depth tools for the later stages of the product development process.
2) Reduce your time-to-market
Companies in every industry are digitising their processes in most areas or their organisations which is resulting in fierce competition. The speed of doing business today is simply increasing every day. Simulation will help you take advantage of this window of opportunity when it comes to developing new products at a much higher pace. And with real-time iterations, product development can be faster than ever.
3) Avoid product failure – test more use cases
One of the main benefits of validating your design with simulation is that you can test your product for many use cases and scenarios without having to build a new prototype for each scenario. This is particularly useful when designing advanced products with many features, because you can test all the features in the same prototype and discover if they work well together. Furthermore, many products are exposed to multiple physical conditions, so to create better products and avoid product failure, it is important to test how a product responds to all these conditions.
4) Test even the smallest ideas
Once you have a simulation tool, you can test as many products and iterations as you would like without any extra costs. This enables you to test a multitude of ideas and you need not discard potentially innovative ideas – before they have actually come to live – because of time and cost constraints.
5) Be an expert in your field, not in using a system
Previously, using simulation tools was a complex and time-consuming venture. Users would spend days, even weeks, on getting to learn the tools before they could actually use it. Today, you really do not have to be an expert in the simulation software. It is intuitive and user-friendly, so you can focus on being an expert in your own field and spending your time on designing and testing the products instead.
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