Rapid prototyping is a prototyping service used to create product simulations. The products are used for testing and validating the product to make sure that it will function as it is designed to. The process also aims to ensure that a product will solve the problem it was designed to solve. In this write-up, we discuss the process of rapid prototyping.
The process of rapid prototyping
Below is a step by step guide for rapid prototyping
Step 1: Brainstorming
The first step of rapid prototyping is brainstorming. Here, you have to come up with the most effective way to build the product. Here, you have to develop the product design. Note that you have to create the prototype based on the design ideas. This step of the process is prone to a lot of mistakes. However, the entire point of prototyping is to find solutions to the problem.
Step 2: Choosing the proper rapid prototyping service
There are several rapid prototyping processes to choose from. Some of them are:
- Additive manufacturing– this is where methods like SLA and SLS 3D printing methods are applied to create plastic prototypes and various parts.
- CNC prototyping– this is an ideal way to manufacture high-quality, on-demand plastic and metal prototypes. This method produces parts with high tolerance and better surface finishes.
- Vacuum casting– this is a rapid prototyping technique used to produce functional plastic prototype parts. The downside is that it is a low-volume technique.
- Rapid tooling– this is an injection molding technique used to make flexible and reliable prototype parts. This method can be used to make fully functional parts fit for testing. The method can also be applied to a wide range of market applications.
- Sheet metal prototyping– this method involves bending, spinning, punching, and cutting sheet metal to make product prototypes for testing.
- Metal casting prototyping– this method of making product prototypes using metal casting technology. This method uses a wide range of metals like aluminum, zinc, and magnesium.
When choosing between the various types of prototyping techniques, you should consider the type of product you want to make. It would also help if you considered the benefits and downsides of each technique.
Step 3: Prototyping
This is where the product prototype is made. The way the process is conducted depends on the type or technique of rapid prototyping that you choose.
Step 4: Evaluation
This is the step where you evaluate the product to see if it meets the required needs. Most of the time, the product is shared with users who assist in the evaluation process.
Step 5: Improvement
After the process of evaluating, necessary improvements are identified. The next step is working on these improvements. Here, user feedback is used. The product may have to go through the manufacturing process from the beginning. Sometimes, you may have to repeat this step severally until you get the perfect product.
Rapid prototyping services help companies develop the best products for clients by eliminating issues before they are placed on the market. Once prototyping is completed, the product is sent to the maker for final development.