With rapid prototyping services, a designer’s vision and the CAD files come into life. This manufacturing process involves the use of special manufacturing techniques to make high-quality models of 3D design ideas. These prototypes are useful in product development because they are the stepping-stones before going to full production and for engineers to test their viability.
This type of manufacturing process is faster and more economical because there is no need to invest in hard tooling. Many companies are also turning into rapid prototyping services to have a quick prototype to validate the design and to capture the window of opportunity for sales.
Due to its popularity and accessibility, rapid prototyping services are now widely used in different industries including automotive, electronics, aerospace, and medical, among others. Here are the specific details on the role of rapid prototyping in various field.
Rapid prototyping is used in cylinder, engine, assembly test, modification, interior parts, motorcycle, and automobile.
The automotive industry is developing very fast, and there are frequent updates implemented because the demand for safe, fast, trendy and comfortable cars is always on demand. Before, it takes more than five years to develop a new car. However, right now with the help of rapid prototyping services and rapid tooling the development cycle has changed to three years. It even continues to shorten because the process has accelerated even more.
In major car companies in the US like General Motors and Chrysler, the stereolithography is used in the product development in the assembly to the different phases of production. This means that there is an 80% reduction in the development time and savings of 50% on the cost while the quality has improved significantly.
With people clamoring for more improvement on the appearance of their gadgets and other electronic products, the pressure is on designers to come up with improvements faster. In addition, the cost during product development is high, and it will cost even more if there will be changes during production. The solution is rapid prototyping. If the defects are detected during the design phase through prototypes, it will save the company thousands of dollars before going into full production.
Rapid prototyping is the process of choice in the visual and structural design of many consumer goods. Moreover, it is also applicable in the assembly test and verification of functional parts, in producing molds for all types of home appliances.
The demand from air conditioners to water heaters and other functional products does not stop. The technology behind rapid prototyping is particularly useful in the verification of product design and sample production. It is also used to conduct a visual check on the product and for market testing. Low volume production allows companies to test the viability of the product in the market with samples and advertising.
The application of rapid prototyping services in the aerospace industry is unrivaled. This is because it offers the incomparable industry benefits with its capabilities for dimensional accuracy, fine structure, and high-quality surface finishing.
In the medical industry, rapid prototyping is used in the design of medical equipment, design validation and trials, production of structural forms from CT scan, simulation in surgeries and in preparation of artificial bones and joints.
The ability to produce simulation models help researchers conduct their studies, produce implants and allows doctors to study parts of human bones with surgery. This precise technique is helpful particularly in cranial surgery, orthodontics, and orthopedics, head and neck surgery and in neurosurgery to help the doctors plan their surgeries.
With its various applications, rapid prototyping has become an essential manufacturing process. Its versatile techniques allow many industries to adopt them and work on their favor.