When you look for the definition of rapid prototyping, you will find out that it refers to the production of a scale model, which is called a prototype. This prototype is the physical part of the product itself, and this is produced using computer-aided design software or CAD.
The actual production of the prototype is done by the rapid prototyping company using 3D printing or a manufacturing technique called additive layer manufacturing. This technology is often referred to as three-dimensional printing or additive manufacturing to describe the rapid prototyping process.
Purpose of Producing a Prototype
The most common reason for manufacturing a prototype is for the product designers to show to the stakeholders how the new products will look like, how it will feel, and how it will function. Although they can demonstrate it through digital models, and it is an inexpensive way, this model is not conducive to gain approval from the clients or the management.
Producing a prototype is time-consuming and expensive. All the more if it is found out that the prototype needs further improvement before going into mass production. The answer to this dilemma is rapid prototyping.
Advantages of Getting a Rapid Prototyping Company
Rapid prototyping offers many benefits. Among them are the following:
- It is faster and provides a more cost-effective method instead of constructing a full-scale model
- It also eliminates the time and cost to develop unique tools and molds to make a model
- It can minimize waste because you will only be using the materials you need
- You will be able to manufacture minuscule parts and complex geometries that other prototype manufacturing techniques cannot do
- A 3D design is more realistic than the digital image model
- It allows the designers and engineers to identify the flaw before going into full production
- The designer can modify the design without altering the entire manufacturing process
- It facilitates easier testing because the material resembles the final product
- You can implement the changes immediately
There are many types of rapid prototyping that companies offer but to be able to determine the right manufacturing technique to use, you need to consider several factors. Among these factors include the volume and speed of production, the budget, the geometry and complexity of the product and lastly, the intended use of the product or part.
To appropriately align the cost and production-related factors and find out the right process to apply, the designer should consult the experts from the rapid prototyping company. The people behind these companies have experience in producing intricate parts and large-scale models that meet the expectations, specifications, and business requirement of their clients.