The technological era has seen many paradigm shifts under the umbrella. Globalization and liberalization have played a crucial part in innovating and introducing new technology every time, erstwhile people have been more inclined towards developing tools which aid the manufacturing sector in reaching a new height. Furthermore, services have also played a crucial role in achieving the highest values for installing new technologies. The manufacturing sector is completely associated with the production of goods while services provide support to goods and human. A hybrid model of manufacturing and services is the major reason for a country to develop at a peak rate. Now, this peak rate has been achieved due to the degree of automation which has been involved. This leads to optimal production with minimum wastage, thereby increasing efficiency. One of the major components of the modern era of production is the rapid prototyping services which have developed recently and transformed the conventional way of producing goods.
So, in this article, we will drive you through the main element of rapid prototyping and the features you must look for in a rapid prototyping service in the subsequent sections. Hence, buckle up and enjoy the journey.
As the name suggests for itself, rapid prototyping indicates creating prototypes before production process starts in a quick way. Every good that is manufactured should go through the chain of events which are sequentially designing, prototype creation, evaluation, actual product manufacturing, quality check, and dispatch. We can see here that prototype creation is the second step of the manufacturing process. So, it is essentially an important aspect of any product that a manufacturer wishes to produce. In simple terms, a prototype is a sample and a miniature model of a certain product after the designing phase. The prototype is scaled to smaller dimensions than what the product actually will be and is used for evaluation. The evaluation results help to form a basis of how the actual product will behave in an actual environment.
But, rapid prototyping services are more concerned with the creation of rapid prototyping equipment that helps to create prototypes for the firms. They are also associated with installation, commissioning, and after-sales support. There are many firms which provide these services with the help of various integrated techniques and computer-aided design to facilitate production. Now, with the working knowledge of CAD-CAM, one is able to create a prototype very quickly and test it within one year which shortens the time span of production. Many would relate rapid prototyping services to 3D printing services. Though the elements and techniques are quite similar 3D printing is a subset of rapid prototyping.
Things to look for in rapid prototyping services
If you are also planning to install a rapid prototype builder to accelerate your production schedule, there are certain features that you must look in companies providing rapid prototyping services and in details as they form the most intricate part of your firm’s economy.
- Know your requirements first. It is the most important element that a company or the owner needs to understand that why should you purchase the equipment. Focus more on the facet of values on earnings. It is also advisable to do proper pre-purchase approach and look for what you actually need than what the rapid prototyping services have to offer.
- The flexibility of the equipment and support services are also required to be considered. Since the new age machines are more complex than the traditional machines, there is a high probability that failures and breakdowns are very high. So, check on the additional value of services provided by the company. After all, what’s the point in buying equipment if you do not get proper follow-ups and maintenance?
- Ultimately, do have a look at the cost component. Rapid prototyping services are not easy to buy. The innovative thinking of creating a small version replica of an actual product might reduce the costs in long run but the initial investment is high. But, thanks to the competitive environment, there are many rapid prototyping services providing their product and services at an affordable rate.
So, these are the three factors which must consider before acquiring any of the 3D printers or rapid prototype builders. It is because once you have invested a chunk, you will have to keep adhering to that.
Future of rapid prototype services
It is very hard to say whether the rapid prototyping services have reached an impasse or not. Technological advances have been suggesting there is a huge scope of developing the equipment but some of the technical gurus believe that there is no more space for innovation as there are more firms competing against each other to acquire and retain their customer. Management gurus have a different perspective. They believe that pricing models and promotions cannot be the only way to create or retain customers. The drive for outperforming the competitors, rapid prototyping services have to pivot.
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