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Digital MockUp or DMU is a concept that allows the description of a product, usually in 3D, for its entire life cycle. Digital Mockup is enriched by all the activities that contribute to describing the product. The product design engineers, the manufacturing engineers, and the support engineers work together to create and manage the DMU. One of the objectives is to have an important knowledge of the future or the supported product to replace any physical prototypes with virtual ones, using 3D computer graphics techniques. As an extension it is also frequently referred to as Digital Prototyping or Virtual Prototyping. These two specific definitions refer to the production of a physical prototype, but they are part of the DMU concept. DMU allows engineers to design and configure complex products and validate their designs without ever needing to build a physical model.
Among the techniques and technologies which make this possible are:
- the use of light-weight 3D models with multiple levels of detail using lightweight data structures such as JT XVL and PDF allow engineers to visualize, analyze, and interact with large amounts of product data in real-time on standard desktop computers.
- direct interface to between Digital Mockups and PDM systems.
- active digital mockup technology that unites the ability to visualize the assembly mockup with the ability to measure, analyze, simulate, design and redesign.
Methodology and process
The implementation of a DMU implies that specific methodologies and process are put in place. The methodologies contribute to transform the product in representation manageable by the organization. The process to put in place these methodologies requires to manage at the same time the organization of the company, the information technology solutions and the product representation. Usually two implementation processes are available in the market. Some best practice processes available through software suppliers, and some activity processes available through consulting companies.
- Reduce time-to-market by identifying potential issues earlier in the design process.
- Reduce product development costs by minimizing the number of physical prototypes that need to be built.
- Increase product quality by allowing a greater number of design alternatives to be investigated before a final one is chosen.
Share product design responsibilities with multiple functions within the enterprise.
- Product Life Cycle Management
- Large Model Rendering
- Interference Checking (aka Clearance Analysis or Clash Analysis)
- Measurement Tools
- Cross Sectioning
- Path Extraction & Swept Volume Analysis
- Constraint Management
- Product Structure Modeling
- Product Data Management (PDM)
- NX from Siemens PLM Software
- CATIA from Dassault Systèmes
- Gpure from DeltaCAD
- Patchwork3D Design from Lumiscaphe
- Orealia from Onesia for Interactive 3D Digital MockUp
- Showcase from Autodesk
- Creo from PTC