Virtual Prototype

Virtual Prototype Mechanical Modeling

In the modeling environment, the virtual prototype can lack realism. By that I mean, the colors and shadows don’t come through as they would in real life. Put in another way; it’s pretty darn clear that it’s not real. This, however, is the step that your virtual prototype is in when you perform stress testing and dynamic simulation. The models “lack of realism” allows the computer to think faster and therefore, not spend time on recreating shadows or color hues.

So the testing or modeling environment is sort of like the “repair shop” where you fix your car, but in this case, it’s your virtual prototype. So, just as you’d take a car into the repair shop to test and fix it, you would do the same procedure by taking your virtual prototype in the modeling repair area to do the same. After the model is tested, it is brought into the “paint shop” or software that brings realism to it.

Therefore, these images show a product or mechanism at a point where the design is complete, you’ve checked for part interference, proper function and stress concerns and now you’re ready to get some marketing pictures. The designer is now ready to move the virtual prototype into the next environment.

So What's the Point, You Ask?

Virtual prototyping is probably the biggest benefit that comes from using computer aided design. CAD allows for the creation of virtual testing environments where materials and finances can be conserved.

If the physical prototype were used every time there was a change, imagine the waste of materials and finances that would be unnecessarily consumed. The time spent in creating a physical prototype for every change to a model would also mount very quickly and time lost can mean the difference in getting a product to market by the appropriate season or time.

Stay Confident
“A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.”  Charles Brower