Virtual Prototyping: Remove the Guesswork from New Product Development

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In the process of developing new products, one of the essential steps is called “Virtual Prototyping,” which is also known as “Computer-Aided Engineering” or “CAE.” A CAE Engineer analyses, tests, and improves product models. 

Through Virtual Prototyping, we have taken the guesswork out of traditional product development, located potentially problematic areas in advance, and fine-tuned our designs to achieve the highest possible level of performance at the lowest possible cost.

The best-in-class manufacturers can meet or exceed their revenue and cost goals, as well as their launch date and quality standards, for at least 86 per cent of their products, as stated in a report. To lower the time taken to launch a new product to market, reduce the amount of time spent on trial and error, and maximise the effectiveness of their products, it is even more critical for startups to make use of virtual prototyping.

Before committing to design intent, it is possible to test product variations, performance, and reliability using virtual prototyping considered the most cost-effective method.

  1. Minimum trial and error

Before even one physical prototype is made, a virtual prototype is tested. Therefore, it can help you develop a more focused product development strategy. While the importance of physical prototypes cannot be overstated, virtual prototyping can be a great starting point for reducing physical prototype cycles and saving money.

  1. Budget-Friendly

Virtual prototyping does not necessitate the purchase of prototyping and testing equipment or tools. Furthermore, a virtual prototype enables rapid design iterations and testing before prototype production. Design flaws can be discovered during the initial phases, providing a significant cost advantage. A correctly optimised design can save up to several hundred thousand dollars compared to a non-optimized design, depending on the product type and expected production volume.

  1. Improved Time to Market

The build-test-iterate loop in physical prototyping can take months. Virtual prototyping makes testing, changing, and meeting product specifications more accessible. We can use virtual prototyping to optimise the material selection, explore colour variations, and perform structural and dynamic analysis.

  1.  Understanding Product Characteristics

Virtual prototyping has the significant advantage of allowing for repeatable tests under real-world operating conditions that physical prototyping may make difficult to achieve. Temperature variations, corrosive environments, and failure modes are examples, giving you a better understanding of product attributes.

  1. Sustainability

Material waste can be significantly reduced by testing and iterating products before manufacturing prototypes, especially for large parts and products. Further iterations are performed by modifying existing simulations, and the total number of physical prototypes is reduced, reducing production scrap, resources, and time. This results in a low-waste, long-term product development process.


For a startup, time to market is critical, and virtual prototyping is a key enabler that can help you accelerate the product development process. Understanding materials, testing under difficult-to-simulate real-world conditions, and early detection of pitfalls all help to mitigate risks.  It also leads to more accurate design, resulting in significant cost savings and a shorter time to market. 

CAE is more complex than CAD involving many engineering principles beneficial in this field. Learn advanced CAE courses in Mumbai and skill up!

Read also: Product Design: Expectations vs Reality

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