How 3D models are used in engineering?

Digital mock-up tools used widely in industries like automotive, aerospace and nuclear, also in medicine, entertainment and media!

Characterized by being a Heavy weight and complex CAD system, can they be operational to the degree of displaying an entire car DMU from a personal computer?

The story began with the computer-aided design (CAD), but it was so hard to use, took so much space and need so much computer power, and then come the digital mock-up (DMU).The DMU come also to solve industrial issues related to externalization activities and decentralized team workers.

To simplify the definition of DMU:

  • It is the 3D visualization of parts and assemblies using the computer.

To have definition that is more academic: Digital Mock-Up (DMU) is a concept that allows the description of a product for its entire lifecycle.

Using the DMU tools, you can visualize, animate, dimension, manipulate and check the clearance and interference of part and assembly designs. Etc.….

DMU tools allow an important functionality: ”decoupling “which allows users to do useful things:

  • Give Access to non CAD-users to DMU capabilities
  • Speed design analysis and problem solving
    • You can assign constraints and play with model.
  • Apply DMU capabilities to part and assembly files created by different services within the enterprise
Different types of modeling
Different types of modeling

Level of details

the quality of modelisation depends on the degree of tessellation , if you increase this degree this will increase the quality of the model, but also the metadata.

level of details of a  geometry model
level of details of a geometry model

Communication with ERP

The DMU includes assembly trees, geometry, part names and layers, and product lifecycle management (PLM) attributes that are extracted from native CAD and interchanged with other data system like enterprise ressources planning  ( ERP).

This way, users can create and update parts catalogs and Bills of material ( BOMs), those ones ( BOMs) are crucial elements for ERP systems.

This interference permits a level of decentralization without chaos because you can share in real time technical data and accurate tools to solve problems.


Part, assembly and tree

Helping management

The DMU capabilities help to master project management data, for instance:

  •  Master geometry tool allows different people to work on the same project
  • Space allocation mock-ups allows different systems and team to work on the same model without crash risk.

Other capabilities of DMU

The DMU capabilities did not include only mechanical systems, but also, electronics ones, see below Eagle,  (3d design software) features for electronics purposes. The DMU tools combines mechanical parts with electronic components.

The DMU capabilities include kinematic, in fact, users can do simulations of Interface detection between one moving and one static part or assembly.

The DMU tools provide stress analysis on components and assemblies using Finite Element Analysis.


Analysis and solving design problem

Who are using DMU?

As viewers, anybody can use DMU capabilities even non-CAD users, but engineers can:

  • design and configure complex products
  • validate their designs
  • visualize and communicate their concepts

Managers can

  • verify the comprehension of specifications and requirements
  • derive collaboration/team structures from the future product structure
  • track project progress

Before inventing the CAD systems and DMU tools, Designers used to draw 2D drawings, so if you are good at drawing you have a good chance to be a good designer, and you have just to learn about CAD and DMU tools.

Free DMU tools

Here bellow some free DMU tools:


For personal use, Sketchup was developed by google and sold to Trimble. But, the free version has limitation.

Draft sight

For personal use, you must activate the free version by a valid email.

Draft sight use the same type file as Autodesk, which allows sharing files with both of them.


FreeCAD is an open source, for building information modeling ( BIM) ,it’s similar to CATIA and creo,…

And there’s Autocad from Autodesk and CATIA student free version.

Media DMU tools

Illustrator and after effect were developped by Adobe and they are used for media design and simulation purposes.

Maya, a solution developped by Autodesk, offers simulation,animation and 3D studio.

Autocad, developped by Autodesk can be used also in media in addition of it application in industry and BIM.

Electronic Modeling

Eagle developped by Autodesk offers features like a set of PCB layout and schematic editing tools and so on….

Discover 3D design

Gearbest Merchant Stores From Just $0.99

EAGLE shematic editor
EAGLE PCB layout editor



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.