In recent years, 3D printing has steadily risen in popularity because of its versatility in different applications, such as construction, healthcare, and design. It’s also a valuable asset for manufacturing companies because it allows them to create parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods. It’s also beneficial because of its ability to quickly produce exact replicas of products.
For manufacturing companies, the 3D printing method they rely on is known as rapid prototyping, which is used to create the first model of a product. It enables a company to see the first-draft product before any of the actual production starts. It also means they can create prototypes with a design that needs to be modified if the need arises. While highly beneficial, many manufacturing companies don’t utilise rapid prototyping much. For this reason, we’ll discuss the benefits of rapid prototyping for manufacturing companies, such as:
1 – Achieves the Design’s General Concept
When you begin creating a 3D model of a product, you’ll create a prototype that captures your product’s general design and concept. In the case of a manufacturing company, this allows them to see how the product looks before it goes into mass production. In short, rapid prototyping enables you to check the design of your product before any expense is made.
Let’s say your product is a medical device, like a hip implant. Using rapid prototyping, you can create a 3D model that displays the general shape and size of the hip implant. In the case of rapid prototyping, 3D printers can produce a prototype that shows a finished product with some details, but it may not be 100% accurate for the final product.
2 – Easier Implementation of Changes
You may be able to design an accurate product, but chances are this won’t always be the case. Sometimes, you may need to change the prototype if specific requirements aren’t met. This will require the creation of a second prototype if the changes are significant enough. Rapid prototyping enables you to change a product’s design significantly while only spending a small amount of money to create a second prototype.
This is especially important for manufacturing companies that need to test specific product requirements. For example, if your company creates a new forklift, you may want to try the product’s durability. Creating a prototype ensures your product is up to the task before you manufacture it.
3 – Saves Valuable Time and Money
Whenever you create your first 3D model of a product, with traditional methods such as machining, it can take several weeks to produce. The parts are also very costly because of the time spent producing them. In the case of rapid prototyping, 3D printers can print parts in mere hours, not weeks. Sometimes, you can even print parts overnight if you have the right equipment.
When rapid prototyping is utilised, manufacturing companies can spend less time and money creating prototypes. If a prototype takes a month to produce, your company spends a month on one product. If your company is creating a new product every month, you will spend four to six months on a product before it’s released to the public. However, if a prototype is created in just two weeks, you may be able to produce a second prototype of the product around the same time or even less.
4 – Minimises Design Flaws
Rapid prototyping means you can swiftly create a prototype free of design flaws. Your product can also be tested for weaknesses and durability before it’s released, which is a huge problem for manufacturers. Because of this, products would occasionally break during mass production or right before the final product hit the market.
If your company creates a product prone to breaking, the prototype will pick up the flaw before it’s too late. If the defect is strong enough to prevent your product from working, you’ll know before mass production begins, which means your product can be fixed.
Rapid prototyping has become a valuable asset for manufacturing companies because of its ability to create a product on a much faster and cheaper scale than traditional methods. If you have a product that requires extensive testing, rapid prototyping is a great way to ensure the product is suitable for mass production.
3D Quick Printing provides top-quality services for rapid prototyping in the UK. We provide comprehensive 3D printing solutions to ensure your products or prototypes are made of high quality, all for affordable prices. Simply go to our website to request a quote!