Three dimensional modeling is the backbone of most engineering designs. Creating accurate component CAD models allows us to virtually assemble your product, ensuring it all fits together and achieves the required design goals. We can pull various parameters from the CAD model before any prototypes are built including weight, center of mass location, moments of inertia, and more.
Feature Based, Parametric, Associative Modeling
Most 3D CAD is feature based, parametric, and associative. Feature based modeling refers to a method of building the geometry using “blocks” of geometry. For example, a simple model may start with an extruded shape, have a hole added, and finally rounded edges (fillets) added to the corners. Each one of those items, the extruded shape, the hole, and the fillets, exist as distinct features in the model’s history tree. Each one can be edited independently or even removed entirely while keeping the other features intact.
Parametric modeling refers to the features being based on parameters like dimensions for size, equations to drive a geometric shape, material density to drive mass, and much more. These parameters are easily adjusted at any time to update the design as it matures. Finally, associativity refers to features and models that depend on one another. An assembly is associated with the parts it is made up of. A drawing is associated with the part that is being represented. Any changes made to the part model will automatically show up in the assembly model and drawing.
Leveraging the power of feature based, parametric, associative modeling allows for creating advanced designs in far less time and cost than what could be done in the past, however, it does not come without its perils. It is easy for an inexperienced designer or engineer to create a mess of the feature history, references, and files. At Luxon, our engineers are highly trained to eliminate these issues. All of our models are created using a clean and efficient style; notes and comments are added where necessary to a neatly organized feature tree. If applicable, skeletons and/or equations are added to facilitate design and configuration changes. Assemblies receive the same treatment with the addition of exploded views where applicable. With 1000’s of hour’s experience creating 3D models, we always deliver high quality and error free CAD models.
Advanced Surfacing and Continuous Curvature
For a many designs, particularly industrial products, a simple prismatic model is adequate. For more consumer-targeted and aesthetic products, though, or products that require human interaction, a smooth continuous surface is required. For example, a cell phone’s internal structure should be a basic prismatic design as very few people will ever see it and it results in a more cost effective design for manufacturing. Contrary to that, the exterior surfaces of a cell phone should be complex surfaces with continuous curvature. These surfaces result in a smooth, coherent aesthetic for the product while also resulting in a pleasant feel to the product. Non-continuous surfaces are clunky and not smooth to the touch while also reveling their transitions from one surface to another. Modeling an appealing and continuous surface is far more complicated than a prismatic model resulting in a trade off for time and cost. Our engineers are well versed in the benefits of both design approaches and will utilize the appropriate approach to meet your product goals.