There is considerable buzz these days about the use of Digital Twin technology for manufacturing, especially for additive manufacturing with 3D printing. By definition, a digital twin is the digital, virtual representation of a physical object. In nature twins are born at the same time, while in design one twin essentially begets the other.
Early use of digital twins was to create the digital/virtual twin as a descriptive version of the existing physical object. Now the focus is shifting to modeling the complete product and all processes in the digital realm first, then use it as the basis for manufacturing.
This shift means the digital twin has advanced from being a description of the physical object to being the dynamic representation of every design intention, guiding how the object is made.
In my first article as an expert contributor to the Dassault Systemes blog “Navigating the Future,” I explore the crucial factors for successful use of digital (or virtual) twin technology in additive manufacturing. You can read the article at https://blogs.3ds.com/northamerica/conceptualization-comparison-and-collaboration-the-three-cs-of-additive-manufacturing-and-digital-twins/