Mechanical engineering emerged as a powerful field during the industrial revolution which took place in Europe sometime during the 18th century, although its development dates back to thousands of years before that. In the 19th century, developments in physics led to the advancement of mechanical engineering as a science. Since then the field has continually evolved to incorporate advances. The latest of these advances is 3-D modeling.
What Is 3d Modeling?
Presently, product engineers are designing, developing and marketing products at a faster pace than ever before, thanks to advances such as 3-d modeling. 3D modeling tools have increased the speed at which product engineers can generate tooling, prototyping, patenting, marketing and manufacturing models.
Key Advantages of 3D Modeling in Mechanical Engineering Design and Prototyping
3D modeling poses a number of advantages for mechanical engineering design and prototype engineers. Listed below are the top reasons for an engineer engaged in mechanical engineering design to adopt 3D modeling.
Drastically Improves Design Quality
The use of 3D modeling allows designers to use already existing templates, thus ensuring design accuracy while also significantly reducing design time.
Amplifies Designer Productivity
3D modeling helps designers visualize the mechanical component in 3D right from the stage of conception and then make changes accordingly, if necessary. This improves the designer’s productivity as there is no need for reviewing the design later on.
Traditional modeling methods involve tedious manual documentation. 3D modeling facilitates this entire process as most tools often come preloaded with flexible documentation options, including those for documentation of
- product geometries and dimensions,
- material specifications,
- bill of materials, etc.
Compatibility WIth Prominent International Standards
Designing with 3D modeling ensures compatibility of designs with international standards including ANSI, DIN, GB, ISO, BSI, CSN, as well as GOST modeling platforms.
Automatic Remodeling Features
Remodeling the hidden parts of mechanical components is a tedious task for designers, especially when using traditional modeling techniques. In case of a design change, 3D modeling tools can automatically redraw lines and dashes, eliminating any and all risk of error.
Reduced Design Time
Creating a virtual 3D model in the design phase accelerates development and helps mechanical engineers complete design much quicker than with traditional modeling techniques.
Offers Superior Visualization For Clients
3D modeling offers the best possible visual representation for all mechanical components. Visual graphics and animation can help clients gain a concrete understanding of the features and properties of components.
Backing Up Data and Drawings
Drawings created on most 3D modeling tools can be easily saved for future reference and also reused later on.
3D modeling tools include templates for many standard components, eliminating the need for a design engineer to construct them again, thus saving a whole lot of time and money.
The Best 3D Modeling Tools Available Today
Listed below are the best software 3D modeling tools that exist in the market today.
One of the most sought-after 3D modeling tools out there, this software has a number of advanced features that allow designers to work advanced projects incorporating solid, mesh, parametric modeling, and more.
KeyCreator is a 3D geometry-centric modeling software which is ideal for creating robust 3D design concepts offering direct CAD modeling, 2 and 3 axis machining and also facilitating flexible design strategies.
This tool offers various modeling options and excellent simulation tools. Using this tool, design engineers are bound to improve their performance levels drastically.
Developed by Siemens, this tool is the perfect 3D software for engineers working on complex projects.
Another popular 3D modeling tool from Siemens is NX, which guarantees seamless design, simulation, and manufacturing of mechanical components.
This is a powerful and comprehensive tool capable of aiding designers and engineers in creating innovative and durable models.
Catia is a professional software tool developed by Dassault Systèmes and it is primarily used for aerospace projects, as it is easy to construct for complex and detailed designs using this tool.
This tool offers advanced features such as 2D and 3D data visualization, function and geographic visualization as well as animation tools that are particularly useful for scientific, mathematical and technical projects of any scale.
Alibre is a parametric CAD software tool used for creating fairly complex mechanical components. This mechanical software tool also has a good rendering tool.
Acquiring an understanding of 3D modeling techniques and tools is guaranteed to stand every design/prototype engineer in good stead as they help not only in increasing levels of productivity but also creativity, which leads to innovation.