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What is Virtual Modeling

Encyclopedia of Networked and Virtual Organizations
The procedure of creating a full model of a component, a part, or an assembly on the computer. The virtual model is a digital representation of the physical object and serves as a basis for simulating the fabrication process and the structural behavior of the part. The virtual model can also be used to prototype the object.
Published in Chapter:
Virtual Modeling and Prototyping in Collaborative Product Design
Ricardo Simões (University of Minho and Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave (IPCA), Portugal)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-885-7.ch240
Computer-aided design/computer-aided engineering (CAD/CAE) tools are a valuable resource in today’s product development process. Among other features, these tools enable collaborative development, reduce costs, and improve the efficiency of the development process (McGrath, 2004). Virtual and networked organizations should explore these computational tools to the utmost. Among CAD/CAE tools, virtual modeling and rapid prototyping are very pertinent for virtual and networked organizations due to the large impact those tools can have here (Wright, 2001). Adequately used, virtual modeling allows collaborative development to its full extent, either among team members inside a company or between companies involved in the development of a specific product. It is necessary to emphasize that CAD/CAE tools, particularly those for simulation of virtual models (either process simulation or structural modeling), can be very dangerous when used as a black box; a sensible analysis of results is a prerequisite to prevent complications in later stages of the process. This article starts by describing the main stages of product design and engineering. The concept of virtual modeling and a comparative overview to traditional product development methods are provided. The current rapid prototyping techniques and their advantages and disadvantages are described. Last, some of today’s main applications for CSCW within the framework of product design methodologies are analyzed.
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