The key to successful product development is speed. That means the sooner your product can reach the market, the better is your opportunity to capture that market. However, during product development, you need to produce a prototype to test its viability. Traditional prototype process requires time to make, not to mention it is expensive. The solution is rapid prototyping services.
What is Rapid Prototyping?
Rapid prototyping refers to a group of manufacturing techniques employed to produce a scale model. It has revolutionized product development in the way that no other manufacturing process has done before. This is because this process uses computer-aided design (CAD) and additive manufacturing process in the production of a prototype. This technique has revolutionized many industries due to its low costs and technological advances.
Product Development and Rapid Prototyping
When product designers are presenting the look, feel and performance of a particular design, they used digital models. This method does not entail a cost, but it is also not convincing enough for the design to get the management’s approval. This is because the decision makers need to see the product physically and not virtually.
Producing a scale model is time-consuming and expensive. Many times, the design flaws are found after producing the prototype, and they have to go back to the drawing table to redesign and alter the product before going into full production. This is where rapid prototyping comes in.
Rapid prototyping can offer many benefits. It is faster and more cost effective than the traditional methods of producing prototypes. It is also efficient as it used only the materials needed in building the prototype. In rapid prototyping, the changes can be done without modifying the entire process, and these changes can be done quickly.
There is also no need for molds and tools to make a full-scale model in rapid prototyping. Even if the design is complicated, the highly precise technology can turn these ideas into a product. With a three-dimensional model, identifying design flaws will help save thousands of dollars before going into full mass production. This prototype production also helps in product testing because it will resemble the finished product.
To some companies, producing a prototype to determine the product viability is not practical. However, with rapid prototyping, it has address the cost and operational issues of traditional prototyping. The waiting time to produce a full-scale model is reduced, it even allows designers and decision makers to have the prototype in as short as two hours. This technology has also cut down the labor costs needed to produce the prototype.
Another issue that rapid prototyping has addressed is the traditional way of producing many prototypes. Today, low volume production has made producing prototype more affordable. With a prototype, precision manufacturing of a particular product can be achieved.
Rapid prototyping is the best option compared to the traditional approach in creating prototypes. It allows both the designer and the end user to validate the product in terms of its assembly, functionality, and dimension. There is no need for special tools and special skills to produce a full-scale model faster and cheaper.