Updated: May 16, 2020
Virtual prototyping consists of turning the design into a three dimensional (3D) model that is depicted in a Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) software program. That model is considered a “Virtual Prototype” because it’s not a physical model, but a model depicted in a computerized program. There are various CAD programs out there, but ISS works with Fusion 360, which is considered the most popular nowadays.
Optimizing the design
Generative Design, Finite Element Analysis, Topology, and Data Science are tools that engineers can use to optimize a design. All of the listed examples are computerized methods of improving designs.
Generative Design uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve the design.
Finite Element Analysis (FEA) relies on computerized mathematical models for assess strength, durability, and other calculated properties of the model.
Topology allows the computer to use FEA results to trim a model so it’s still strong but uses less material for production.
Data Science uses scientific methods, processes, algorithms and systems to extract knowledge and insights from structured and unstructured data.