Learn about the benefits of incorporating 3D modeling software into your product design workflow, including real-time collaboration and more.
With advances in design and 3D CAD software, prototypes can now easily come alive on a computer screen. Modern workflows have ushered in a new class of richly functional applications, which have redefined what can be designed in a given length of time. 3D modeling has resolved many shortcomings associated with outdated processes and has increased functionality across design teams. Let’s explore a few ways in which 3D modeling and 3D CAD software have vastly improved the design process.
3D Modeling is often the precursor to formal prototyping, which included the manufacturing of physical iterations years ago. Traditional 2D modeling makes it difficult to get a true feel for a design’s form factor. This forces designers to manufacture prototype after prototype to reflect every noteworthy design change. Thus resulting in heavy resource costs, which magnify at scale when developing multiple products simultaneously. Ultimately, companies would likely prefer to save these raw materials for actual production. Not replenish them over time.
Modern 3D modeling breathes life into concepts. Designers can manipulate their models and inspect them from every angle. Teams are no longer restricted to “flat” design, making it much easier to evaluate tweaks without expending resources.
Easier Flaw Recognition
Building upon easy manipulation and spotting design weaknesses becomes much easier when people can apply other layers (and tests) to designs. Take stress mapping, for example, where colored topography highlights areas of concern. This is key for products exposed to different stressors like heat, pressure, and torsion. Today’s designs incorporate a variety of different geometries — complex shapes are the new norm. Unfettered inspection of models allows designers to inspect every nook and cranny of a design, ensuring each imperfection is identifiable and correct for the next iteration.
Ease of Use and Efficiency
Digital design makes it easy to quickly apply a host of changes to each iteration, which usually involves only a click, selection, or toggle. The improved visualization offered through 3D modeling allows the user to preview these changes from all perspectives, making it easy to verify physical changes, functional changes, and sharpen aesthetics. While traditional designs are cumbersome and take longer to make, 3D modeling allows the production of newer versions in under 15 minutes. The exceptional user-friendliness of leading 3D design platforms reduces the software learning curve, keeping teams agile, and reducing training time.
Unparalleled Detail and Accuracy
3D models let teams construct any shape imaginable while retaining production capability and help visions come together with relative ease. Modern 3D modeling provides a level of design depth that rough sketches or 2D designs cannot, such as improved control over details. It also lets engineers explore the physical aspects of a design without surrendering to physical limitations.
On the collaboration side, meticulous details make it easier to convey the specifics behind a given design. Design teams are no longer in silos. They can easily communicate with other teams and stakeholders. Going to bat for a design necessitates that all crucial elements can be present in the schematic. 3D models let teams inject more detail, thus helping everyone stay on the same page.
Why Fusion 360?
3D tools are inherently modern, and remote work is the hallmark of the modern age. Intuitive, user-friendly solutions like Fusion 360 allow team members to communicate from afar — via real-time collaboration tools like commenting, annotations, and more. Being out of the office doesn’t mean team members have to be out of the loop. Cloud software lets you pump out design after design without being constantly at your desk.
Fusion 360 is for professional product designers and hobbyists alike. In addition to standard modeling tools, Fusion 360 offers an extensive list of features. These include parametric design, electronics design, generative design, 3D printing capabilities, and more. It also offers a variety of plugins and extensions to make your 3D modeling workflow even more seamless.
Looking for free 3D modeling software? Download a free trial of Fusion 360 today, and check out our vast video tutorial resources for beginners over on our YouTube channel.
autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/free-trial(opens in a new tab)