Rendering and Product Development

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This article is a guest post from Pivot International

How Can Rendering Amp Up Your Product Development?

Just about every product ever created begins with an image, some concept of the finished product. With today’s technology, it’s a fairly simple process to create a virtual 3D model with a CAD program to develop a perfect image, inside and out, of any conceivable invention. Often, these renderings are only used as marketing materials, largely to impress potential investors. But rendering can be used for so much more than that.

A rendered object is more than just a photorealistic impression of a product. Product engineers can build the virtual object with all the specific qualities of the actual object. The CAD design mimics the components perfectly, including strength, flexibility, weight, and tolerances to various external forces, all without ever having to build a prototype. It doesn’t take an expert in computer science to create these images anymore — those who actually design the products can put together a virtual prototype design and test it without ever having to go through an expensive trial-and-error process.

Selling a Concept

It’s easy to get a picture drawn, or even to have a 3D photorealistic representation of an object created. Rendering can be so much more than that. It can be very much like having the object right there, long before development is finished, thanks to the extremely detailed simulation of all the qualities the product or part might have.

Yet even just the image can have remarkable effectiveness. The instant a final design is thought of, the product is ready to be sold, even if the actual product is months away. For many people, seeing is believing, and being able to see a product and exactly how it will work is a big benefit. It can be the difference in convincing a reluctant buyer to take the plunge and order the product before production has even begun.

Thanks to the ease of use of CAD programs, this kind of future marketing has become a great boon, especially to small businesses which often have to play a fine balancing act with available capital, potential sales, and development costs. It doesn’t take much technical computer skills at all to create beautiful renders to give that first marketing pitch a little (or a lot) extra appeal.

Greater Understanding

Usually, there’s more than just an engineer involved in the creation process of a product. It is often necessary to bring people in essential to the functioning of the company who may not understand the finer technical points of the project at hand. Management or marketing executives are not always mechanically inclined, and trying to explain the new concept with a long, many-worded document is doomed to only confuse the matter further. A rendering can show exactly how the product will work, including a clear depiction of moving parts and how it all fits together.

Sometimes, the product in question is something so incredibly new that words can’t possibly suffice. A sketch or a drawing would not do such an idea justice. The photorealism of a rendering can offer motivation to take a product in a fresh new direction and even spark ideas in the non-engineering components of the business to make the product the best it can possibly be.

Eventually, the product will have to be manufactured. Rendering can help there, as well. Having an image of the finished product, exactly as it should look, along with similar images of the component parts and how they fit together will minimize mistakes or miscommunications between workers on the factory floor and others involved in product development.

From Concept to Physical Reality

3D rendering accelerates and enhances the development process from start to finish. Virtual testing allows you to troubleshoot and create “new and improved” versions before the first version is even produced. Since everything is a simple image, everyone can potentially offer ideas or lend a hand. Furthermore, they’ll be prepared for the product itself as the development project reaches its end.

Rendering is a tool that does far more than make the lives of engineers easier. Just as drawing a picture can sometimes make a complex idea incredibly simple, a rendering of a product in development can do more work than pages of explanation and specifications.

These models, especially the more detailed of them, do have their drawbacks, especially the computational time and horsepower it takes to create them. Fortunately, even that is easily mitigated through the use of cloud technology. If off-site computers are doing the work to build your renderings, it leaves your on-site computers available to continue working, further streamlining the process.

Just as any technology, the process of product development is evolving, practically on a daily basis. Use that evolutionary momentum to your advantage by embracing the value 3D rendering can bring to your product, no matter what phase of development in which you are currently involved.


Laura O’Donnell writes smart content on behalf of the industrial design experts at Pivot International. As an avid writer and learner, she loves to use her skills for engaging others in important topics in creative and effective ways. When she is not working, she loves meeting new people, traveling, and bringing her Pinterest dreams to life. Find her on LinkedIn.


Electrical Engineer and business owner from the Nashville, Tennessee area. I also play music, Chess and Go.