Aerospace & Defense
Innovation and collaborative, synchronized program management for new programs
3D CAD (3-dimensional computer-aided design) is a technology that engineers, product developers and designers use to create functional, virtual prototypes of three-dimensional objects. With 3D CAD, designers can dynamically create and modify every detail of a product, part or assembly. 3D CAD software facilitates and automates other aspects of product engineering, such as simulation testing, manufacturing, data management, computer generated animation, and more. These three-dimensional models can be used in simulation studies to predict how the object will respond to stress and environmental factors, they can be rendered to create a photo-realistic images for use in sales and marketing materials and/or detailed drawings can be sent to manufacturing for production (or, in the case of additive manufacturing, the CAD file can be sent directly to a 3D printer).
Traditionally, there are two main approaches to creating and modifying geometry in 3D CAD: history-based (also known as ordered or feature-based) modeling or direct modeling. In history based modeling, the structure and order of features control how models react to changes or edits. This creates predictable results from edits on underlying feature sketches using precise dimension changes. Direct modeling doesn’t maintain a history of features or record how a model is built. There are no sketches driving features that make up the part. Editing is done by simply selecting what you want to change and changing it.
In addition to these two approaches, recent developments in research have led to a unique “synchronous” approach, leveraging the strengths of both history-based and direct modeling in a single environment. Synchronous technology allows designers to freely make changes to design intent using the 3D model faces themselves, allowing for intuitive changes to designs. This design intent can be changed using 3D dimensions and face relationships and constraints.
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