In its simplest form, 3D rendering can be defined as the method of creating digital images based on 3D data stored within a computer. However, in mechanical engineering, 3D rendering is usually referred to as the process of converting mechanical 3D models (such as .obj, .max, .stl, .iges, .dxf, .dwg, etc) into photorealistic animation and/or picture as it is taken in real life.
Over 90 percent of the mechanical design engineers across the world today use 3D rendering to produce top-notch engineering designs for product manufacturing. This ever-rising popularity of 3D rendering is basically due to high resolution, perfection and unprecedented quality of product designs that engineers can dish out by resorting to these techniques. The clarity as well as the comprehensibility of the images created using 3D rendering is just perfect for mechanical engineers to materialize their imagination and skills. In addition to providing a supposition to all the procedures in details, 3D views in the product design also allow a sneak-peak into the final build of the product in its entirety.
In each step of the product development process, it is important to search for and weed out all imperfections plaguing the design. This method is particularly useful while designing something as complex as Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) - small boards that electrically connect and mechanically support the electronic components of a product. While designing PCBs, even the smallest mistake can have the worst impact on the product's performance.
Hence, it is really important that the design is thoroughly checked for any glitches even before the prototype stage begins. In such cases, 3D rendering is the most viable option to rely upon because of the detailed and crystal clear three-dimensional visual representation of the final product it brings forth. However, that's not all, there is much more to mechanical 3D rendering. For example:
3D mechanical rendering enhances the practicality factor of all dynamic and motionless mechanical engineering projects. Also, it takes care of their fundamentals such as isometric viewpoint, schematic viewpoint, assembly design, mechanical sections and perspective viewpoint.
Until last decade, hardware compatibility was the biggest hurdle in creating realistic 3D rendering with acceptable quality within given deadline. There were critical issues with the speed and overall efficiency of computer systems that often forced design engineers to compromise on the quality aspect.
For example, it was a common scenario where engineers had to wait for days, or maybe weeks to wrap up a given design. Moreover, if for some unfathomable reason, any flaw was detected in the original design, they had to redo it once again. However, that stopped being an issue ever since computers got faster and more powerful. Today's computing technologies are competent enough to turn 3D rendering into a fast and error-proof process, provided they are handled by experts.
The rapid advancement in the computing technologies also paved the way for new 3D rendering techniques to enter into the domicile of mechanical engineering. Some of the most commonly used advanced 3D rendering techniques used today are:
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