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Bridging the virtual and real: Benefits of a digital twin

October 24, 2019 in AEC | 4 min. read
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Get up to speed on how digital twin technology is changing how manufactured products and infrastructure projects are designed, brought to market, and maintained.

What exactly is a digital twin? A digital twin is a fully working virtual copy of a real-world system. It combines data sets across multiple sources, from design data (e.g., CAD) to Internet of Things data. Feeding these data into digital twin software built on top of a real-time 3D platform, you can create a digital system model to simulate the behavior of a system, exactly as it would perform in the real world. 

We recently teamed up with to host a webinar, “Real-time 3D and digital twins: The power of a virtual visual copy.” In addition to Unity experts, we were joined by Guido van Gageldonk, co-founder and CTO of Unit040, one of our Verified Solution Partners that provides Prespective, a digital twin platform for the industrial market.

Watch the webinar on replay to find out: 

  • What you need to build a digital twin
  • How to create a digital twin and use it across the product lifecycle
  • Real-world examples of digital twins in manufacturing and infrastructure


Watch the webinar


Before watching the whole thing, you may want a quick primer on digital twins. Here are some key topics covered in the webinar:

Where is a digital twin most beneficial?

A true digital twin is used across the entire lifecycle of a product or infrastructure project, from R&D and production/construction all the way through to training and maintenance. It unlocks synergies by providing a single source of truth across every department, from design to training to marketing.

What are the benefits of a digital twin?

  • Test and validate the product before it exists in the real world
  • Predict and show what will happen across various scenarios
  • Analyze how your product behaves and is used in the real world over time

According to Unit040, digital twin technology reduces time to market by up to 20% and reduces costs by up to 25%. Having better designs from the start pays dividends over a project’s lifetime, as 80-90% of costs incurred during the production, use, and maintenance of a facility are determined at the design stage.

What’s driving demand for digital twins in the industrial market?

Design and engineering teams across the industrial sector are increasingly using real-time 3D technology to design in more immersive and interactive ways. But once the product is manufactured or the infrastructure project is completed, these teams have very little visibility into the actual usage of their creations and whether their behavior follows the initial design intent.

A digital twin bridges the gap between design and usage in real-time to uncover a whole world of insight. These insights can inform the design of new products but also be used to update and upgrade existing products and services remotely based on ongoing consumer feedback. Ultimately, you can design better and operate and maintain your products in a more cost and energy-efficient way.

What’s an example of a digital twin?

Unit040 showcased a digital twin of a bridge in the Netherlands, which is operated by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. This bridge’s virtual counterpart is used at various stages of the project lifecycle. For instance, it is connected to the bridge’s real control software and Human Machine Interface (HMI) to verify the accuracy of their software across different scenarios (e.g., different times of day, weather, and traffic involving cars, boats, pedestrians, and cyclists). It is also used to train operators, including scenarios that are difficult to replicate in the real world. Finally, it provides an IoT container that can mirror the real-world behavior and status of the bridge virtually at all times.

Courtesy of Unit040



Watch the webinar

There’s a lot to be excited about with digital twins, and we’re committed to streamlining this process for our customers. Data is the lifeblood of a digital twin, and together with our partner PiXYZ, we’re focused on making it easier to bring any kind of data into Unity. We also partner with companies like Unit040 that augment our platform by providing a dedicated digital twin solution on top of our engine. 

Watch the webinar to learn more about the importance of digital twins.  

October 24, 2019 in AEC | 4 min. read

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