What is a digital twin?

Digital twins represent the shape of physical objects in 3D. Gartner defines a digital twin as a ‘virtual representation of a real-world entity or system’, which comes in the form of a ‘software object or model that mirrors a unique physical object, process, organization, person or other abstraction.’

Dassault Systèmes solutions help bringing these software models to life, but we go further, by offering virtual twin experiences. 

Meet Your Virtual Twin - Dassault Systèmes

What is a virtual twin technology vs a digital twin?

Unlike a digital twin prototype that focuses on one specific object, virtual twin experiences let you visualize, model and simulate the entire environment of sophisticated experience. They facilitate sustainable business innovation across the full product lifecycle.

A virtual twin experience starts with designing a 3D model that represents the shape, dimensions and properties of a physical product or system. Simulations are run on that virtual model to explore how the product will behave when assembled, operated or subjected to a range of events.

The number of tests is limited only by imagination. Testing help optimize and validate the design, materials and production processes – and because this is all done virtually, it makes your entire lifecycle more sustainable

What does a virtual twin experience enable?

The continuous cycle of information between the virtual and real worlds achieves a closed loop supporting the following benefits:

Boost productivity & product quality

  • Accelerate critical processes by up to 30%
  • Run unlimited tests to reduce product errors

Improve business resilience

  • Better understand risk exposure by running unlimited planning scenarios
  • Explore more options and increase collaboration

Facilitate sustainable innovation

  • In silico development reduces waste and energy consumption
  • Continually feed usage data back into the design process, without needing physical testing and prototypes

Dassault Systèmes' solutions for converging virtual and real worlds

Virtual twin technologies provided by Dassault Systèmes' platform solutions enable businesses, consumers, patients and citizens, to solve the biggest sustainability challenges and drive innovation by:

  • Designing innovative, visionary models and objects
  • Accelerating cross-team collaboration and managing product creation from early planning to final release, including all developmental milestones
  • Using digital twin simulation in the design process to assess performance, reliability and safety

As the physical product advances through its lifecycle, so too does the virtual twin. New sources of data are added, such as operational data from sensors, performance measurements and maintenance records. When combined with the original requirements, design decisions and simulation results, the virtual twin has its own lifecycle: the twin of the ‘as-made’ and ‘as-used’ product.

The virtual twin is both the digital replica of the product itself and of its history and evolution.

What are virtual twin experiences used for?

Virtual twin experiences are used to improve products sustainability in manufacturing industries, transform the life sciences and healthcare sector and optimize the built environment of cities.

Virtual twin Manufacturing Dassault Systèmes
Virtual twin Manufacturing Dassault Systèmes

Improving products sustainably with virtual twin for manufacturing

Manufacturing industries are accelerating sustainable innovation initiatives, ranging from defining the future of mobility to developing packaging that is less reliant on plastic.

Improving products used in everyday life – and the equipment that produces those goods – creates significant demand for data-driven and model-based solutions that can simulate and evaluate impacts prior to production.

A virtual twin does just that: establishes a digital model of a product that can be tested ad infinitum on a computer and fed back data from a deployed product for a constant cycle of improvement.

Digital transformation and the business of healthcare - Dassault Systèmes®
Digital transformation and the business of healthcare-Dassault Systèmes®

A renaissance in clinical care with virtual twin intented for Human

Combining virtual technologies, analytics and artificial intelligence creates the conditions to revolutionize how the human body is treated.

It ensures researchers have a visual approach to study what can’t be seen, such as the molecular structure of a virus. It leads to innovation in clinical trials, and to new approaches to deliver positive and predictable outcomes for patients.

An enhanced understating of the human body’s complexity – from DNA to tissues, organs and the organism as a whole – shapes a more patient-centric healthcare model. Virtual twins can also be applied to imagine, test and manufacture better medical devices to help practitioners prepare for and execute new surgical techniques.

Corporate cities - Dassault Systemes

Optimizing the built environment with virtual twin for cities

For governments, non-profit organizations and private businesses who are tasked with understanding how things behave in buildings and cities, a virtual twin takes knowledge gathering to the next level.

Having a digital model that’s constantly being fed data from sensors as well as input from both officials and citizens holds massive potential to make conditions more environmentally-friendly and effective.

Designing disruption to accelerate sustainability

Digital twins eliminate the need for physical prototypes.

They provide safe testing environments for radically disruptive green and circular innovation.

By modeling entire value chains, virtual twins can improve the sustainability of products and services across the lifecycle, cradle to cradle: from designing for reuse to minimizing material use during manufacturing to estimating carbon emissions to modeling reverse logistics for circular economy systems.

The Four Building Blocks to Unleashing Continuous Innovation

Digital twins, AI, and embedded analytics are the keys to leveraging an abundance of data and contextualizing it for purposeful and strategic decision-making to improve current practices and predict the future state of the business.

Discover more about the power of virtual twin experiences


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