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Different Prototyping Methods


In product development process, prototyping is a key part to balance the process. Designers can use a prototype to present their ideal design concept. All of this is designers’ toolkit.

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In plastic component design, advanced manufacture technologies create various quick turn, 3D CAD-based prototyping tools from that can choose 3D printing, CNC machining and injection molding. 3D printing, an additive manufacturing method, is commonly use SLA, SLS, FDM etc to build parts by joining, curing, extrude layer of material to build durable prototypes. CNC machining is usually used in fit, form or functional testing plastic prototypes. Rapid injection molding is another Prototyping Methods, it uses CNC machining to mill aluminum mold not steel to get efficiency in production time and cost, without losing much in part quality. Traditional injection mold is widely used for production but could also used to build prototypes, granted at potentially risky, tooling investment.

Each method has advantages and disadvantages. 3D printing is quick and can reproduce complicated shapes which are impossible by using traditional ways. It is unnecessary to invest upfront tooling costs. It is not that expensive because only a few parts are needed. But there is limited volume because costs can rise with quantity. And a limited range of materials are available. Rapid injection molding uses metal molds to build real functional parts. There is a wide material of resins and color options and multiple surface finishes to select, It is similar to tradition injection molding, and it more affordable and faster. Traditional injection molding is an ideal way when comes to complex parts and finishing. But it is slow and expensive for prototyping. It is usually used when the molds will go directly into high-volume production.

When choosing prototyping methods, people will need to consider many elements like from and fit, function, costs, volume etc. It is helpful to streamline the design process if you have different prototyping options. It will save time and money if you choose the right method at the right phase of development. You can reallocated saved money, and bring the products to market quicker. A best prototype means a best end product. At the competitive markets, speed, quality, and affordability are a combination of benefits to consider.

TEAM Rapid provides Rapid Prototyping Services and have rich experience in planning, product designing and manufacturing process. If you need any help on your next prototyping project, contact us at today!

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