Solid Models & Modeling: Definition & Applications

The exponential growth of the number of research works and publications has quickly developed solid modeling into a large body of knowledge, and the technology that backs it is applied in lots of commercial solid modeling software systems which have greatly cut down maintenance and manufacturing costs, improved product quality, and enhanced design productivity.

Solid models and modeling play a significant role in the manufacturing and assembling of parts and are used in many industries, ranging from health care to engineering to entertainment.

What is a solid model & solid modeling?

A solid model can be defined as a digital demonstration or presentation of the physical geometry of an existing or conceived concept, image, idea, or object. Solid models are easy to evaluate and comprehend, and can replace physical models; plus, they are highly visual and accurate if modelled accurately.

Solid modeling can be defined as the process of demonstrating or representing the physical geometry of an existing or conceived concept, image, idea, or object—usually on a smaller scale. It can also be defined as the process of using a serialized set of additive and subtractive programs to construct a 3D model. Generally, the geometry is completely depicted in 3D space—hence the term “3D solid modeling”.

Solid models consist of common shapes such as cylinders, cubes, triangles, squares, or spheres that are made of 2D sketches; for instance, the solid model—or specifically, the “3D solid model”—of a cube consists of six flat square surfaces that are coupled or joined together.

However complex it may be, any 3D solid modelling can be disassembled into sub-shapes that comprise of/are formed with one or more 2D sketches.

Solid modelers usually specify points, lines, curves, dimensions, positions, and surfaces and assemble them together by using intersections, unions, or difference operators to define representations of the boundaries of objects.

Many solid modelers also store the mathematical processes or operations used to produce various features of a solid model or during solid modeling. This makes it possible to easily and quickly make edits.

Solid models store the edge and vertex information of a 3D wireframe modeler, information regarding the volume to be incorporated or contained inside an object, and the surface definitions of a surface modeler.

Solid models contain information about the volumes (of objects) which are very important in many engineering calculations. It’s possible to calculate moments of inertia, weights, mass properties, and centroid from a solid model, even during the refinement process.

The end product of any solid modeling process is a representation is a complete, detailed, and clearly defined or unambiguous digital estimation of an object’s geometry or assembly of objects such as a car, a vehicle’s engine, a propeller, or an entire aircraft.

Applications of 3D solid models/modeling

Generally, the applications of solid model/modeling include:

  • to interpret how designed products will actually look like, and acquire an in-depth understanding of design images
  • to visualize specific body tissues like blood tumors and vessels
  • to employ efficient facilities for graphically selecting or editing features of parts that are being designed
  • to obtain immediate feedback that can help perform and check each design step
  • to acquire information needed for other analyses such as Finite element analysis (FEA) method
  • to disassemble complex objects into smaller shapes that can enable easier calculation of stress, strain, heat transfer, etc.
  • to help incorporate changes and test new models with FEA analysis again
  • to design orthotics, prosthetics, orthotics, and other dental and medical and dental devices—this process is sometimes called “mass customization”
  • to produce polygon mesh models for rapid prototyping which can help surgeons prepare for difficult surgeries
  • to combine polygon mesh models with CAD solid modeling and design hip replacement parts
  • to carry out computational analysis of complex biological processes like blood flow and airflow
  • to conduct computational simulation of implants (in living organisms) and new medical devices
  • to create various characters and make movies in the entertainment industry

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