Important Considerations While Choosing a Rapid Prototyping Process

November 18, 2021

Your choice of quick prototyping procedures for product innovation will determine whether a prototype succeeds or fails. Technical product design models can be manufactured in various methods, ranging from basic cardboard mock-ups to completely machined metal sub-assemblies.

Prototyping is essential in the design of any technical item, particularly new product creation. It is the procedure of creating crude prototypes of a product to evaluate its functioning, shape, size, and other characteristics.

It is critical to choose the correct fast prototyping technique because it will influence whether your product succeeds or fails. Prototypes are manufactured from a selection of items and creative parts, and each type follows a unique method. Before deciding on a method, evaluate the following criteria.

Quality

It’s important to assess the prototype’s quality in comparison to your finished product or subcomponent. Because high-fidelity prototypes are more expensive, their ROI should be examined. For instance, if a component has a thread capability, SLA is superior to FDM, although it is more expensive.

When choosing a technique such as rapid CNC machining, the prototype’s life is equally vital. Machined or metal inserts, for instance, are a preferable solution than 3D printed threaded or self-tapping perforations if the components feature screws which will be utilized regularly.

Material selection is also important when it comes to the prototype’s quality. If the operational aspects are dependent on particular material attributes like surface smoothness and durability, additive-produced parts may not be the ideal option.

If the prototype consists of multiple elements, the tolerances of the prototyped components must be taken into account for simplicity of integration.

Product’s Goal 

As a product progresses through the phases of Product Innovation, the objective of the product shifts. There are four steps, each with its own set of functional requirements for risk elimination: conceptual design, task definition, design embodiment, and the final stage, detailed design.

Verification of concept prototypes, demo units, and design models are all required in the first stage. The second stage necessitates a scale-able user interface and layout assembly.

Prototypes are examined in the third section to confirm that all details are correct. Whenever a model enters the final stage, it is ready for testing before being provided to a customer.

Cost

The available resources would determine the prototype’s goal. When picking a prototyping technology, take into account the amount of time, money, and person-hours required to have the prototypes created and functioning.

Consider the following:

  • Most of the time, the time spent on post-processing or getting a low-quality prototype to function will be greater than the time spent on high-quality prototypes.
  • Certain technologies, such as 3D printing, may require some post-processing time, but they are generally faster and less expensive. In contrast, vacuum casting produces components nearly comparable to injection molding and can be utilized without post-processing. Nevertheless, due to the cost of manufacturing, this will be more costly.
  • CNC costs are proportionate to the part’s multifaceted design, though AM expenses are relative to the volume and size of the part.
  • Due to the expanded set cost of a strategy like CNC, the general cost would be more firmly associated with the amounts.

Complexity

The rapid prototype method will also be dictated by the part’s refinement and the intricacies of the parts. A 3D printing service is great for making extremely complex little parts; however, the ultimate version should be carefully evaluated because complexity equals costly mass manufacturing.

Kindly recall that these resistances and insignificant divider thicknesses are determinant factors that will change depending on the material utilized and the part’s plan.

3D printing can be utilized to model infusion-shaped parts and different sorts of castings, while machined parts can be 3D printed or made utilizing customary framing or subtractive assembling methods.

Quantity 

After you’ve determined however many products you’ll require, consult with a developer. The amount and approach employed in product development vary. When producing a small number of things, some processes are less costly, while others are more pricey, and vice versa. The volume has an impact on the time it takes to complete the process.

Since some prototyping processes are just practical for little numbers, the required model parts are basic in deciding the strategy. With regards to added substance production, part volume is additionally significant because bigger parts take more time to print than more modest parts.

Bottom Line

Each product designer, as well as the products themselves, compel a rapid prototyping selection procedure. The procedure will establish whether or not your products are worth launching and how precisely your model imitates the completed form will significantly affect the nature of your evaluation and elective choice. Top-notch models will bring about an enduring completed item with a more prominent probability of progress. To streamline the procedure and faster, get guidance from the manufacturer.


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