Importance of simulation in product design and manufacturing

Importance of simulation in product design and manufacturing

Importance of simulation in product design and manufacturing

1) Introduction to Design

  • What is a design?

The term design is widely used in various fields and domains, and it refers to the process of developing a solution to a certain request or demand. However, it is important to keep in mind the aesthetic and other requirements of clients or users. The person who designs or does the act of designing is called a designer. A designer must consider such issues as the clients’ demands, environmental factors, intellectual property laws like patent or copyrights, and his or her own skills and limitations. The following image shows what a designer should do.

designer's role

  • Main steps of creating a design

The main processes of creating a design are:

  • Defining the problem: the very first step for every designer is to objectively identify and define the problem.
  • Information gathering: the second step right after knowing what seems to be the problem is to gather enough data, whether by asking clients about their demands and requirements, or simply doing background research.
  • Specify requirements: this process consists of eliminating excess resources and only focusing on what the designer really need in order to be able to perform the “designing” process.
  • Brainstorm solutions: brainstorming is to put all the possible solutions on the table.
  • Choosing the right solution: it is obvious that after laying out all possible solutions, the best and ideal solution should be chosen.
  • Developing: this step consists of the use of a CAD software in order to create the design.
  • Building a prototype: after using a CAD, it is the time to proceed with building the real-life prototype and test it.
  • Redesigning: the final step is to gather the information provided by the testing team and to redesign if necessary.
  • What is CAD?

CAD Software

As stated before it is important if not necessary to use a CAD software, so what is CAD? The term CAD stands for computer-aided design which is the use of a computer system or a workstation in order be able to perform certain tasks such as creating a 3D model, analysis, and simulation which is one of the most important tasks to do before creating a real real-life prototype or making significant changes such as changing the material or changing the overall dimensions. There is plenty of CAD software that a designer can choose such as Solidworks, Catia, PTC Creo…

2) Introduction to Manufacturing

  • main steps of manufacturing a product


In order to manufacture a product these 4 steps are necessary:

  • Designing: before manufacturing anything, it is important to first create the design.
  • Manufacturing: after testing the prototype and drawing conclusions, it is now time to manufacture the final product using various necessary methods such as casting, machining, 3D printing…
  • Assembly: after manufacturing parts individually, the third step consists of the creation of sub-assemblies and the final assembly.
  • Feedback and outlook: it is important not to be 100 percent satisfied with the product and it is important to listen to the clients’ and users’ feedback and possibly make some changes to the product.


  • what is the relationship between designing and manufacturing?

There is an obvious relationship between designing and manufacturing in fact with making a design it is most likely manufacturing something is hard if not impossible, in order to manufacture a great product, we must first make a great design.

3) Introduction to Simulation

  • what is the simulation?


Simulation can be defined as the emulation and imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system. In order to perform the simulation, a model must be first created. Therefore, a CAD software is extremely important. But how does it work? In order to perform a simulation, the CAD software uses something called FEA or Finite Elements Analysis which can be simplified as a tool that will help designers create the right design, check the design, and understand why it fails when it does.

  • Importance of simulation in manufacturing and designing


As previously stated, in order to manufacture a perfect product, one must first make a perfect product. But how make a perfect design? The answer is to simply use simulation. Here are some of the major advantages of using the simulation:

  • Products are usually complex and when designing something from scratch, it is possible that the designer may get lost in which dimensions to use, or what would be the difference from creating a 25 mm diameter rod or a 10 mm diameter one. By using simulation, the designer will be able to see the impact of such differences and pick the right diameter.
  • Simulation provides the designers with practical and useful feedbacks. This tool allows the designers to make the necessary changes and have an objective look at their products.
  • Using simulation not only helps the designers and engineers to determine certain flaws and limitations to their product and model but also helps them build fewer prototypes thus making the overall design process a lot cheaper.
  • Some products and models are really complex, and performing simulation on certain levels and parts will help designers and engineers to better understand their working mechanism, and identify small problems that may lead to malfunctions.
  • The simulation may also be used as a demonstration tool in order to educate students or to simply represent a model of a product to the manufacturing team.
  • When designing a product, the question “what if?” will often pop up to the minds of the designers. The simulation will help to answer many questions and providing practical answers to many “what if” scenarios.
  • After manufacturing a product, engineers may want to try and add few things in their product. CAD simulations make it easier and possible to test the added features of the product without actually creating a real-life prototype, and thus saving a significant amount of time and money.

4) Conclusion

Simulation is a great designing tool that will help designers and engineers design a model and manufacture a good product without spending a lot of money and a lot of time. However, similar to any other tool, simulation is not perfect and it its own share of limitations. For example, due to its complicated mathematical calculations that needs a high processing speed, it requires a strong workstation; otherwise, it will take a lot of time, and the simulation results may not be as accurate as testing a real-life prototype. However, regardless of its setbacks, simulation is still one of the most important designing tools and features that a CAD software has to offer.

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