Prototyping, 3D printing
After the 3D model has evolved into the exact right shape, and functions exactly as proposed, the product can be moved forward by the building of a physical prototype. There are many techniques to build a prototype; this depends on your product and its functionality. Nowadays, the most commonly used technique is Rapid Prototyping, also called 3D printing. We specialise in 3D printing, CAD design & consultancy. We work very close with our sister company 3DprintUK. Visit Luma3Dprint to learn all about 3D printing your idea.
Why do I need to have a prototype?
You might ask yourself why you need to do this?
-Detection of faults. The most important reason is for the detection of faults in design or functionality. If you find an error in your prototype it will cost you perhaps the cost of one prototype. However, if you detect an error in the first production run, you can throw away hundreds of products and possibly need to manufacture a new mould for your injection moulded parts.This would cost substantially more.
– Marketing, nothing speaks better to an investor than a functional prototype. It is the easiest for demonstrating to somebody: “This is what I am selling.”
– Although CAD modeling can teach us a lot about how the product will look, in real-life there will always be difference. One thing is that you can’t judge the “feel” of a product, for example, how heavy the hinge feels if you open or close a product. Another example is how the texture of a material feels.
– To assess the weight in combination with the volume of the product. Size on a computer model is always relative to how much you zoom in or out, it’s difficult to assess the real sensation of weight in combination with volume of how a product feels in your hands.
– Functional testing. You can have your product 3D printed with FDM, which prints in the final material. This has one great advantage, that you can functionally test your product on strength for example.