How Rapid Prototyping can be usefull
Rapid prototyping service has tremendously evolved those last years due to the increasing presence of hardware development via crowdfunding, hacker space, and this is particularly true for electronics items. Electronic product development and electronic product design usually need to bring product to market as fast as possible and this is where rapid prototyping services can be very usefull. It allows to reduce the product development time.
Rapid prototyping is a good way to test your concept and validate your engineering before entering into mass production. Most of Chinese manufacturers use rapid prototyping services to develop product, verify mechanical engineering, prepare tooling, but also to demo their product on tradeshow.
Different process to perform rapid prototyping
There are different types of process to perform prototyping for plastic part : Cnc machining, sla, sls, vacuum casting, rapid tooling. How to choose which technics is most adapted to your need depend on a set of parameters
Depending on your which mostly are the following :
- part material physical acceptance (physical requirement such as stress constraints, density, color etc...)
- part shape complexity (what are the thinnest wall, does parts irregular)
- part size (as some process have limitation)
- tolerance on dimensioning
- quantity of prototype to make
Based on all those parameters you will choose one of the following processes:
Quite often you will complement one of those process with a rapid prototype finishing such as polishing, painting, coating plating, anodizing, and marking.
In another post I will explain which prototyping methodology is usually used for which case.
Have you already used rapid prototyping services for verifying your engineering during product development or to showcase your product to piratical customers or investors ? If yes, what did you learn from it ?