We are all creative people. Throughout history, man has always tried to make this world a better place to live. We built tools from stones then steel then carbon fibre and even more sophisticated materials.
3D Prototyping is channelling our ideas into physical things that we can touch and feel. Man, has been doing this for years and we never stop because that is the spirit that drives innovation. With our 3d printing service, we can help you with your prototyping requirements.
What is a prototype?
Whenever an engineer or a designer decides to break the usual cycle of how a particular product is made, usually new ideas that have never left the pages of the engineering books in universities have to be tested with a prototype. A prototype is an early sample of a product built as a proof of concept and testing.
How prototyping has been used
With a prototype, various features and functions that both engineers and designers seek to achieve can be tested in real-world applications. At the rapid prototyping phase of the design process, the product does not necessarily have to look or perform exactly as the final product since only the core functionality needs to be tested.
One may be amazed to know that the renowned British inventor, James Dyson had to go through over 5000 prototypes within a period of five years before finally arriving at the final version of the bagless vacuum cleaner. This example throws more light on the importance of prototyping in product development.
A very large percentage of possible failures are eradicated during the series of prototypes. Moreover, at this stage, both engineers and designers do not only get to test what they know about the product but also realise what they did not know and would completely overlook.
In the aviation, automobile and construction industry where human lives could be at stake in a case of failure, a fully working and thoroughly tested prototype is a must.
Since these sectors deal with expensive products like a Boeing 737 or skyscrapers, scaled models are made for testing when a full-scale prototyping is virtually impossible. Nevertheless, some Aviation and construction projects require full-scale prototypes for various vital tests.
However, prototypes and the process of prototyping as a whole can be very expensive. It is a cycle of building, testing, modifying and rebuilding which does not end until the acceptable product is achieved or one gives up. It used to be even more expensive in those days when the prototype has to be made with the same methods and materials as the final product.
Today with the advancements in 3D printing, we are in an era of rapid prototyping in which an engineer, a designer or anybody at all with access to 3D printing can move from an idea to a fully working prototype in a matter of hours. It is really an era to be alive.
Both startups and big technology companies are taking advantage of this incredible technology in their prototypes and even final products. Swedish company Koenigsegg uses metal 3D printing in making some of the fastest cars of our generation. MD Chris Murphy of 3D Quick Printing says “Most of our clients are people who have tried other prototyping methods and want to upgrade to a better and more effective way of getting the job done”
3D printing being an additive process of manufacturing has an upper hand over subtractive manufacturing processes like CNC milling since less material is wasted in 3D printing.
Due to the amazing opportunities that 3d printing presents, it is even being used in unexpected areas like medicine and prosthetic making.
The technology continues to grow every year and with the rate of development of new materials, It is clear that that 3D printing for rapid prototyping is here to stay and will continue to be the go-to for engineers and designers as far as prototyping is concerned.