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Rapid Prototyping: What You Need To Know

Rapid Prototyping: What You Need To Know


In the new product development process, one of the prominent challenges for designers is that they cannot make customers, colleagues, stakeholders to realize how the final product will look, feel, and function actually. Of course, you can see the CAD files and then picture what the final product looks like in your mind. But there are lots of uncertainties. 

Have you ever get your final product that simply didn’t fit your project as they were of the wrong dimension? Or did you find the design just didn’t cater to the market, but you had already put it into production, causing significant loss of time and money? Or maybe your final product just is not what you or perhaps what your customers “thought” it would be, based on what was communicated, in words or pictures?

If your answer is “Yes,” then you do need to manufacture a prototype of your design before production to prevent all these possible circumstances.

Tuowei-Rapid Prototyping: What You Need To Know

Why do you need the rapid manufacturing of a prototype?

A rapid prototype allows you to feel, test, and verify your design for fit and function. It also enables to you timely detect all design errors before you go to the point of having to spend more time and money to “fix” the design.

In addition, rapid prototypes allow you to communicate your design and intent to customers, team members, and stakeholders straightforward and immediately, without language barriers deviation in imagination. Whether it is to someone in your office, to your customers across the boardroom table or to whomever in the exhibitions, prototypes remove the guesswork and promote efficient and correct communication. Therefore, you will never end up with “can you prove it” question anymore.

What are you going to use your prototype for?

There are various rapid prototyping services on the market, such as 3D printing, CNC machining. Different prototyping techniques create different prototypes. Each method will use a different material, have its unique way of building a prototype, and vary on sizes, geometry complexities, details it can capture. And each technique has its own strengths and disadvantages.

It is the most important thing for you to know clearly the purpose of your prototyping. A good understanding of your prototyping intention is critical to making the right decisions on the technology applied, the materials used, the post-processing needed, resulting in the successful prototyping.

If you didn’t accurately convey your purpose to your prototype manufacturing partner, then you would be very likely to get an unsatisfying prototype, which will waste you both time and money.

How to compare prices?

As the rapid manufacturing methods of prototypes are various, the quotes are different, too. One process may appear to be cheaper, but it might not give you prototypes that meet your intention. Among many rapid prototyping services, you should get the one that meets your purpose even though it might cost higher.

It is important when you review multiple quotes that you are also keeping in mind your project purpose. Not only will it help you get the best value for the money, but it will also make sure you get the right prototypes that promote your project to succeed.

Here are some main checkpoints you should consider when you compare quotes of manufacturers?

1. Does the cheaper quote produce a prototype of your desired features? What is the post-processing included in the quote?

2. Are the prototypes being built of the same quality, dimensions, and features?

3. Are they quoting using the same materials? And does the material fit for your project?

4. When looking at a quote, it is important to calculate the total cost. What are the shipping costs?

5. Time is of great importance. Can their delivery time meet your needs?

There are many rapid prototyping services for you to choose from. Remember! Do not always put the price at the topmost priority. Otherwise, you are just missing the forest for the trees.

What are the pros and cons of every available technology?

You should take some time to learn the strengths and weaknesses of each rapid manufacturing method of a prototype. It helps you make the right decision and get the best value for money.

Different prototyping techniques have different prices, materials, the ability to catching details, and production times. And each has advantages and disadvantages. If you understand them and clearly know what the usage of your prototype will be, you can save yourself plenty of time and money by choosing the most appropriate prototyping process.

What do you need to offer to have a rapid prototype made?

Whether it is brand-new product design or a modification to an existing product, you should offer a high-quality and accurate 3D CAD file of your design to your prototyping partner for a quote or building a mold. You should make sure they are enough facets and accurate dimensions. Your CAD file should present as many important details of your design as possible.

None of the processes improve on the geometry you send to them, so it is essential that you provide a high quality CAD file. It will save everyone a lot of time and ensure you get the most satisfying prototype.

In Conclusion 

Rapid manufacturing of prototypes is a very ingenious production service. It is an invaluable time-saver and disaster avoider for new product development. With dependable feedback from functional tests, from users, experts, and stakeholders, designers have qualitative validation of their ideas to correct and modify the design. It dramatically helps reduce the risk of the final product failing to cater to market demand and meet expectations.

Raid prototypes break down communication barriers efficiently. They also ensure the R&D team and designers deliver exactly what they envisioned. It is a critical link in the overall product development process. It helps many companies bring the best possible product to the market and generate considerable profits.

Serious manufacturers, designers, or architects always take advantage of this useful and cost-effective technique to reduce risk and maximum value. Are you ready to enjoy the benefits of rapid prototyping services? We can help!

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