Parametric virtual concepts in the early design of mechanical systems: a case study application

  • Alberto Vergnano
  • Giovanni Berselli
  • Marcello Pellicciari
Original Paper


Virtual prototyping enables the validation and optimization of mechanical devices similar to physical testing, saving time and costs in the product development, especially in case of heavy machines with complex motions. However, virtual prototyping is usually deployed only at the end of the design process, when the product architecture has already been developed. The present paper discusses the introduction of virtual prototypes since the conceptual design stage as “Virtual Concepts”, in which coarse models of machinery design variants are simulated to interactively evaluate several solutions and support best design choices. Virtual concept modeling and interactive preliminary validation, along with its later integration into a virtual prototype, are expressly investigated using multi body dynamics software. A verification case study concerning a large vibrating screen is presented, in order to demonstrate that dynamic virtual concepts can enable an easier and effective interactive evaluation of the design variants, thus increasing the design process predictability. Finally, current challenges to be solved for the practical adoption of virtual concept simulations as an integral part of the industrial design process are critically discussed.


Virtual prototyping Virtual concepts Design process CAD based simulation Vibrating screen 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Engineering “Enzo Ferrari”University of Modena and Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Mechanics, Energetics, Management and TransportationUniversity of GenovaGenovaItaly

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