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Digital Twin & Virtual Twin

Bridging the gap between the real and the virtual

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.’


What is the difference between virtual twin technology and 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. 

Benefits of Virtual Twin Experiences

Boost Productivity and Product Quality

Accelerate critical processes by up to 30%. Reduce product errors through unlimited testing. Increase efficiency and enhance product outcomes.

Improve Business Resilience

Run unlimited planning scenarios. Understand risk exposure better. Enhance adaptability and robustness,

Facilitate Sustainable Innovation

Minimise waste and energy consumption. Continously improve without extensive physical resources. Promote sustainable innovation practices.

Enhanced Safety

Refine techniques safely before real-time application. Enhance outcomes of delicate or risky tasks. Practice extensively without consequences.

Cost Reduction

Test design changes without physical prototypes. Make informed decisions with real-time data. Optimise efficiency and minimise errors.

Early and Cost-Free Failure Identification

Identify and resolve issues digitally. Avoid costly mistakes in physical production. Conduct endless iterations at minimal cost.

Solutions for Converging Virtual and Real Worlds with 3DEXPERIENCE

Virtual twin technologies provided by Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE 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 Twins used for?

Virtual Twin for Manufacturing

Improving Product Sustainability in Manufacturing

Manufacturing industries are accelerating sustainable innovation initiatives. This creates significant demand for data-driven and model-based solutions that can simulate and evaluate impacts prior to production. A virtual twin 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.

Enhancing Clinical Healthcare

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.

Virtual Twin for Infrastructure

Optimising Infrastructure and Built Environments

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.

Discover the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a business and innovation digital software platform for product development that provides organisations with a holistic, real-time view of their business activity and ecosystem. It connects people, ideas, data and solutions in a single collaborative environment empowering business – from startups to large enterprises – to innovate, produce and trade in entirely new ways.


Get started on your Virtual Twin journey

Contact us to speak to an expert or book a demo