The Merits of Using Surface Models

One outstanding quality of surface models is the improved appearance of their surfaces and the ability to use its [appearance] complicated definitions for computer-aided manufacturing (CAM).

Evidence proves that customers purchase products, not only based on how they function, but also on their styling or how aesthetically pleasing they are, with or without visually expressing how their back edges actually appear.

By using lighting and different materials in most surface modeling softwares to create and present a realistically shaded model of a product to potential customers, you can actually evaluate their [customers’] reaction—pleasure, displeasure, or otherwise—to seeing it.

Many real-life consumer products often start out as a surface model and their interior parts are engineered to accommodate or somewhat conform to the shape of the exterior part(s).

Using surface models is cost-effective and could increase savings when used in place of physical prototypes or in place of actual products for promotional purposes. The cost-effectiveness of surface modeling depends on the complexity or difficulty of the surface, the level of accuracy it requires, and the potential purpose of the modeling.

The surface definitions of surface models eliminate the ambiguity that is inherent in some wireframe models: they make it possible for you to view the front edges or surfaces and holes by hiding the “invisible” parts of the model.

It is true that complex surfaces can be difficult to model, but it is possible to manufacture irregular shapes that are difficult to document systematically in 2D views if their complex surfaces, which are defined by a surface model, can be exported to numerically controlled machines.

Surface models (and solid models too) can be used to assess interference and fitness before a product is eventually manufactured. Oftentimes, solid models can be changed into surface models and vice versa.

Although surface models define surfaces and often provide information about the surface area of a part of a product, such information can save time, especially when a complex surface is involved. However, the accuracy of calculations in surface models may depend on the method employed by the software to store product surface data.


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