Follow SolidWild on Twitter

World Wild Web

Bookmark and Share

Welcome to All the Wild 1`s

Follow Solid-Info!... for High Tech News , CAD, Design, 3D Innovations, Web updates, Gadgets, best groups, sites & links!..Wild1`s Feed ya !

Sunday, February 21, 2010

What Do You Call Physical Models?

Form models? Prototypes? Function models? Something else entirely? What are the differences between the terms, in your eyes? Do you believe there is a standard, recognized vocabulary for any of these terms? 

It really depends on what you are looking for. "Model" suggests scaled representations used for simple testing or to get design feedback. For the most part models or mock-ups are made of simple materials used to demonstrate form or simple functions like clay-forms automotive engineers use to demonstrate styling for cars. "Functional models" are on the upper end of this scale. Usually made of somewhat more intricate material and used to demonstrate simple mechanics like miniature airplanes used for windtunnel testing. "Prototypes" are beyond functional models. Prototypes are usually made fullscale using some production materials. Prototypes are used for full-scale testing and to help manufacturing personnel prepare for production. 

Some companies use different terminology such as alpha-, beta-, and gamma-build. An alpha-build would be a preset number of early prototypes built from concept drawings and used for demonstrating "proof of concept". A beta-build would be closer to a standard set of prototypes where most of the design is complete. Beta-builds will often be updated or rebuilt as more of the design becomes final. They may be used for full-scale testing, field testing, and even select customer demonstrations. Gamma-builds are usually pre-production builds. They are built using production parts on a full assembly line to assess any production problems. Gamma-builds are as close to production-style as possible. Barring any last minute changes, gamma-builds can be used for any final testing or customer demonstration. Some companies may even sell the Gamma-builds as discounted or used.


I would think that most would agree on the differences between model/mock-up, prototype and production, but different engineering groups use different terminology depending on the NPD process being used.

Contract Engineer for BeaconMedaes at Aerotek

Posted via web from SolidWild's posterous

No comments:

Post a Comment