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Advantages of Mechanical 3D Product Animation in Product Development

What is Mechanical 3D Product Animation?

Mechanical 3D product animation is the process of creating realistic three-dimensional CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) animation to visually represent the configuration, assemblies and modus-operandi of various mechanical products and their components. With the rapid evolution witnessed by CGI animation technologies in the recent decade, 3D product animation has emerged as a benchmark for the mechanical engineering community worldwide. It is increasingly being used to test products and implement real-time changes for maximum performance and efficiency.

How Does It Help In Product Development?

3D animation of mechanical products enables easy monitoring of kinetics, precise wire-frame geometry creation as well as easy verification of designs as per the design rules and specifications. Such product simulations also provide a better overview of the final product, its performance and overall efficiency.

More importantly, mechanical design engineers prefer resorting to 3D product animation during the early designing phases, when the design concept is still pretty abstract. These intricate and detailed animations are propitious for visualizing a concept or product even before the project goes into the potentially expensive prototype stage. Doing so also helps designers mitigate the tedious and at-times annoyingly repetitive task of product redesign during the later stages.

Mechanical 3D product animation is also an ingenious way to demonstrate a virtual prototype to potential clients and help them understand the modus-operandi of a product and its features. It gives presentations an added flavor of reality which is otherwise downrightly impossible by the conventional methods.

Visual graphics enable viewers to comprehend the core concept and features behind the design, even if they are not from a technical background. Having an operational virtual prototype, when the product is still in the design and development stage, helps engineers bring the process to manufacturing stage in a comparatively much shorter span of time. But the most intriguing aspect of mechanical product 3D animation is that it allows the engineering team to design multiple prototypes within minimal cost and maximum efficiency. Before the era of 3D animation, mechanical engineers mostly resorted to traditional prototyping techniques which, needless to say, were costly, time and resource consuming and prone to errors.

Here's a rundown of some of the key benefits of using 3D animation for mechanical products:

  • Highly effective 3D virtualization technology that allows full-fledged mechanical drawings
  • Quicker verification of product design against design guidelines and specifications
  • Simpler design of assemblies and subassemblies
  • 3D sectional view enabled
  • Convenient monitoring of kinetics, clearance and interference in the assemblies

Mechanical Product 3D Animation Procedure

Mechanical product 3D animation techniques need to be of the highest quality to ensure that the end-result is realistic and error-free. Also, it is pretty important that the progress is closely monitored at each and every stage throughout the project cycle to rule-out any scope for imperfections.

In most cases, 3D animation procedures commence with an input from the client that may include animation narration or a storyboard. At times, these inputs may also be accompanied by hand drawings and/or 2D CAD models. The animation team first creates 3D models as per the client's preference, following which they apply the material properties to these 3D models. In the next stage, the animation team defines all the camera angles and sets the lightning. The completed composite is then dispatched to the client for approval. If approved, the team along with the design engineers renders final 3D product animation.

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