Have you heard of digital twins? The idea was first developed in the 1960s as a way to create a living model of the Apollo mission in order to help evaluate its failure through a physical model of the vehicle with digital components. The concept has understandably grown since then, but the core stays the same. In essence, a digital twin is a virtual model that has been designed specifically to accurately reflect a physical object. Not only that, but according to IBM, a digital twin could be considered as “a virtual representation of an object or system that spans its lifecycle, is updated from real-time data, and uses simulation, machine learning and reasoning to help decision-making.” Though it is often confused with just modeling, digital twins go beyond that. The use of algorithms and mathematical workings in digital twins are an important part of allowing users to predict behavior of the parts, such as those made with 3D printing.
They have found their place in a variety of applications from manufacturing to medical to even interior design. Furthermore, they are increasingly being used in additive manufacturing.
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