Executive Chronicles| How Rapid Prototyping is Changing the Manufacturing Process |Every product has to undergo a series of testing before they are ready for public consumption. The products we are using in our daily lives have a prototype before they are ready for mass production. The purpose of prototyping is to test the functionality of these products when used in the real world so they can function better.
How a Product Design Begins
The making of a product or part begins with the designer or developer’s goal to help the public and the reason why they need it. He or she will draw a sketch or drawing of this idea. Some of these designs are made on their computers. This idea will be reviewed, adding details and design alternatives before a final decision is made. The design will not be 100% to the finished product.
Instead, The designer will provide different examples of their idea with different details and alternative designs. The different design perspectives should cover the ideal features of their product and can be tested.
There will be a series of back and forth designing and raw prototyping before the designer decides on the prototype that will be the exact representation of their idea. The concept is now ready for the next stage that would be rapid prototyping.
The Rapid Prototyping Process
In manufacturing, rapid prototyping is a phase in product development where the physical or digital testing happens. This process answers how the product works and what would be their final appearance. Independent designers cannot do it alone, hence they outsource the process to a third-party manufacturer who can handle rapid prototyping.
There are different rapid prototyping techniques available that designers and product developers can use to create a prototype for their design. They can choose between stereolithography, selective laser sintering, additive manufacturing, and many others.
Rapid prototyping makes a big difference in product development because it gives the designers and product developers full control of their design. They can explore all the details of their prototype with speed and efficiency. The prototyping techniques help to hasten the product development process at its early stage.
The Benefits of Rapid Prototyping
Rapid prototyping has many benefits for product developers and designers. Here are some of them.
For the manufacturing industry, time is money. Rapid prototyping reduces the time required to make patterns, molds, and other special tools needed in conventional modeling. As a result, it reduces the time between design and testing.
At the end of the day, manufacturers have to take care of their bottom line. With rapid prototyping, it saves them the cost of product development and production. There are no special tools needed as modern types of prototyping can use the same CAD and equipment over time.
Offers More Flexibility
The best benefit of rapid prototyping is product developers can customize the products based on the requirements. It does not need complicated and difficult processes and tools when implementing design changes.
Manufacturers have a lot to be thankful for with rapid prototyping. It can bring forth innovative ideas into reality in the most accurate way to serve its purpose.