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Mastering Autodesk® Inventor® 2012 and Autodesk® Inventor LT™ 2012 by Curtis Waguespack

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3D Models vs. 3D Virtual Prototypes

Starting out, you may simply be interested in learning how to create 3D models, but as you progress you should understand the concept of 3D virtual prototypes and how they differ from a simple 3D model.

What Is a 3D Virtual Prototype?

So, what is a 3D virtual prototype? Put simply, it's a prototype that functions (and malfunctions) just like the physical prototype that has not yet been built. It is far more than a just a 3D model. The virtual prototype consists of a main assembly that contains many subassemblies that have individual parts. All these components are constrained in such a way that the fit and functionality of all parts and mechanisms can be visualized, tested, and proven before any parts are manufactured. ...

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