Design visualisation is a crucial element in the field of engineering, particularly for aerospace engineers. By visually observing the creation process of a component, they can identify areas of improvement. With the help of advanced, functional, and user-friendly visualisation tools, communication and learning can be enhanced among aerospace engineers, leading to increased collaboration within the industry.
What is 3D Visualisation?
3D visualisation is a process of creating three-dimensional models of products or components, which are then represented in a realistic and detailed manner using computer graphics. It involves the use of specialised software and computer-generated imagery to create a visual representation of the product or component, including its physical features, textures, and materials.
In the aerospace industry, 3D visualisation plays a vital role in the design and development of new products, as it allows designers and engineers to visualise their ideas more realistically and accurately. By creating a 3D model, they can easily test the functionality, performance, and durability of the product before it is actually manufactured.
Moreover, 3D visualisation is also useful for showcasing aerospace products to clients and investors, as it provides an engaging and interactive visual representation of the product. It enables them to better understand the product’s design and features and helps to attract potential customers and investors.
Benefits of 3D Printing for the Aerospace Industry
The aerospace industry places great importance on the weight of components, which is a key factor in enhancing their strength and durability. To achieve this, the industry constantly searches for components that are both strong and lightweight.
Fortunately, with the advent of 3D printing technology, new possibilities have arrived to address these challenges. Additive manufacturing has freed manufacturers from the constraints of traditional manufacturing methods, which are often time-consuming and limited by the raw materials available.
This has opened the door to a variety of design improvements for aircraft engineering which we expand on below:
The aerospace industry is set to make great strides in reducing the weight of aircrafts by leveraging a range of new technologies and materials available in the 3D printing field. One such technology is metal powder-bed-based additive manufacturing systems that can significantly decrease the weight of titanium parts, which make up around 15% of an aircraft’s total weight. In addition, a new generation of composite materials has been engineered for 3D printing using extrusion and plastic powder-bed fusion technologies, with mechanical properties that are either comparable or superior to milled aluminium. These advancements are making it possible to manufacture aircraft parts more cost-effectively. This is due, in part, to the increasing adoption of metal powder-bed technologies with very high deposition rates and hybrid CNC capabilities, which allow for faster and more efficient manufacturing processes.
Improved Aircraft Design
Another advantage that 3D printing provides to the aerospace industry is the ability to improve aircraft design. As 3D printing software becomes more advanced, engineers can now optimise designs that are specifically tailored to take advantage of additive manufacturing processes. These design improvements can help reduce the overall cost of the aircraft over its lifespan, by increasing engine efficiency, minimising drag, and decreasing the overall weight of the plane.
Improved Supply Chain
Developing and producing an aircraft is a massive undertaking that requires a lot of time and resources. The demand for aircrafts is characterised by long lead times, production schedules, and backlogs that can last for years. However, with 3D printing, it is now possible to produce a wide range of components using various raw materials, which can help improve production efficiency and reduce supply chain lead times. This means that manufacturers can produce aircraft parts more quickly and efficiently, which can help them keep up with the high demand for aircraft.
Price and Cost Estimation
Engineers rely on 3D models to estimate the cost of an aircraft or aerospace project. These models contain information about the materials, labour, and other expenses associated with the project. Additionally, 3D models provide detailed plans and specifications for the project, which help manufacturers build the final product to the correct specifications and ensure that all necessary materials are available.
When presenting the project to investors, the 3D model can help explain how much money is needed to complete the project. Engineers can break down the steps taken to create the model, how they plan to achieve the final project, and what other requirements are needed to complete it. This gives potential investors a better understanding of how the project will use their money and what the final product will look like.
Enables Comprehensive Reporting
3D models can provide comprehensive reports about an aircraft or aerospace project by storing a lot of data about the different parts and components. For example, a 3D model of an aeroplane engine can include information about its power output, fuel efficiency, and emissions. Engineers and manufacturers use this data to compare different machines or track a particular engine’s performance over time.
The granular analysis is a process of breaking down a 3D model into its individual parts and components. This helps engineers better understand how a particular feature works and identify any potential design problems. For example, if an engineer wants to understand how an aeroplane’s landing gear works, they can use granular analysis to break down the landing gear’s 3D model into its parts. They can then examine each piece to see how it works and identify any issues that may arise.
Designers and engineers often use this analysis to create 3D models of complex objects. By breaking down the object into its individual parts, it’s easier to create a 3D model that’s accurate and realistic. This type of analysis is especially important when creating 3D models of objects that are too large or too small to be printed, ensuring that the model accurately represents the real-world object.
The aviation and aerospace industry heavily relies on 3D modelling as it offers many benefits such as saving time and money, improving the supply chain, and creating accurate models. If you are in this industry, it is important to consider using this technology to gain an advantage over your competitors. By creating a 3D model of your product, you can see what it will look like before you even begin manufacturing it. This can help you make improvements and ultimately lead to a better final product.