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What is Rapid Prototyping? Which Ways to Make My Prorotypes in China?

Rapid prototyping is a quick manufacturing process to fabricate a physical parts, model or assembly by 3D CAD. Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is the normal method to create the part, model or assembly.

There are various manufacturing technologies involved in rapid prototyping which includes layered additive manufacturing, casting, moulding, extruding and high-speed machining. The most commonly used technologies is layered additive manufacturing. Traditional manufacturing processes include subtractive and compressive. Subtractive is a process that use milling, grinding or turning to carved a block of material to manufacture the desired shape. Compressive is a process that uses casting, compressive, sintering or moulding to force a semi-solid or liquid material into the desired shape before it is solidified.


Rapid prototyping offers engineers, designers and development teams various advantages. Rapid prototyping is able to give manufacturers and designers a physical that how the parts will look or perform in the early stages. Modifications and improvements can be made in this early process. Rapid prototyping process is precise, it reduce material wastage with the help of computer aided design. It does not require additional tools to prototype new parts. Rapid prototyping process solves the problems quickly during the manufacturing stageswhich reduces the risk of costly mistakes. Designer presents rapid prototypes to show their new concepts to members, customers and investors. This action allows designers to get feedbacks from customers based on an actual physical part. Rapid prototyping process allows requirements to be added to designs very cost-effective which offers greater choice and flexibility to customers. Rapid prototyping allows designers to explore and realize concepts faster. This time and cost efficiency makes it easier to grasp the properties and design of a part. Rapid prototyping allows to evaluating and test a product. It offers a roadmap to develop and refine the end product. With a low volume rapid prototype run, design flaws can be minimized and cost design flaws can be even eliminated. As setup and Rapid Tooling are not necessary in rapid prototyping, time and money can be saved. The same equipment can be used to create prototypes with different properties and materials.

Different types of rapid prototyping include SLA, SLS, FDM, SLM, LOM, DLP and binder jetting.

SLA is the fast and affordable technique of 3D printing. It uses computer-controlled UV light to solidify layer by layer.

SLS is used to build metal or plastic prototypes. It uses a powder bed to create prototype by a laser to heat and sinter the powdered material. The strength of SLS parts not as good as SLA parts. SLS surface finish is rough so it may need additional work to work on it.

FDM is an inexpensive and easy-to-use process. The early result of FDM is not good but it has been improved rapidly. It is fast and cheap so it is an ideal process for product development.

SLM is an ideal process to make strong and complex parts. It is widely used in aerospace, automotive and medical industries. Stainless steel, titanium, aluminum and cobalt chrome alloys are the most commonly used material in rapid prototyping process.

LOM is an inexpensive process. It is less sophisticated than SLM or SLS. It does not need special controlled conditions.

DLP is similar to SLA, but faster and cheaper than SLA. DLP needs the use of support structures and post-build curing.

Binder jetting allows to print one or many parts at one time. Parts produced by this process are not as strong as SLA parts.

Cost for rapid prototyping are different depends on the volume of parts are going to be produced, surface finish requirement, material and additional treatment etc. TEAM Rapid, as one of The Largest Rapid Prototyping Companies, we have over 10 year’s experiences in 3D printing, additive manufacturing, rapid tooling. We also help customers with rapid prototyping technology and manufacturing. If you need help on your next projects, contact us at today.

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