Good point. It's the process of using the full-scale CAD models to create the 100% accurate scaled, representative models that was interesting in terms of potential for unearthing design problems much earlier in the process without going through the pain and expense of creating a full-size, and in this case, humongous, physical prototype. As it is, the scaled model is over 28 feet.
What a great and amazing story. Although this is clearly not a toy, it's a labor of love -- a project that's rooted in his passion for building model ships. The engineering community could learn lessons from his use of SolidWorks on this project.
Actually, this is nothing like a toy. This is years worth of painstakingly recreating the battleships in professional 3D CAD tools and then building scaled, but still pretty significant, physical models using steel and other real materials. The idea is these models will be museum quality and will be used to showcase to the general public how these ships functioned.
I too found the idea of building a full size 3D digital model and then scaling it down to create a representative physical model an interesting technique. One of the gentleman involved in the project who spent his career in aerospace engineering said it's a process that is starting to take root in product development, but not yet on any wide scale.
What a fun use of 3D modeling tools. But I also found interesting the mention in the article about "leveraging a full-scale CAD model of a complex assembly like a plane or ship to create a representative model form", for the purpose of making design mods, to help reduce cost and time. Any idea if this is being done yet?
Nice story, Beth. For a kid who liked building models as a kid, this would be the perfect toy. This reminds me of James Cameron building a large replica of the Titanic for the movie. I would imagine these 3D CAD model tools will become useful in the movie and gaming industries.
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