Quote from a Ford brochure:
In 1908, the perfection of the assembly line enabled Ford to revolutionize the automotive production forever. Now, 100 years later, Ford Motor Company is reinventing the assembly line to once again revolutionize the automotive world. With the introduction of CATIA, a state-of-the-art 3-D form of CAD, Ford is rolling out vehicles on a virtual assembly line -- and getting real worlds results in the process. CATIA allows engineers to create highly detailed, animated renderings. Analysis of every conceivable component from cylinder heads to circuit boards, can then be conducted on these virtual vehicles long before a single piece of sheet metal is stamped or bolts are tightened. Ford is "building" vehicles before it builds vehicles.
Think about the difference between an RC airplane and a Boeing 787 airplane. We want to be closer to the Boeing airplane. If people want to take this and build toys, they can just chuck a bunch of the complexity.
We must do this in crawl, walk, run, but we must keep the goal in mind.
Let's build a space elevator simulator if it serves as a mechanism to model and solve problems, not because it would create a good video. The first would make the second automatically.