Some Reminders When Designing for a Rapid Prototype

Rapid prototyping is the technology that brings people's innovative design ideas to life quickly and efficiently. It is the quick fabrication of physical models with the help of three-dimensional computer-aided design. The rapid prototyping process starts by reading CAD drawing data and laying them into layers of liquid, powder, and sheet material to build a physical model.

If you plan to create a 3D prototype soon, you need to know that it is a tedious process. Here are some of the things you have to be careful about:

Check your file format

Rapid prototyping requires a file in the .stl (standard triangle language) format. If you want a hassle-free procedure, you need to make sure that your file is in the correct format from the start. Some 3D applications use a different format, and some artists convert their files to .stl as they render and save. However, there are instances where the generated file will have some missing features or will encounter an internal error. To avoid this, make sure that you utilise a .stl file from the start. It will prevent any errors from occurring. 

Your design must only contain one shell

If you see that your .stl file has more than one shell, it could indicate potential errors for your design. Having more than one shell means that some of your design layers overlap or are disconnected from each other. Opening the file, primarily using different devices, can lead to errors or missing features. To avoid this inconvenience, make sure that you double-check your file first.

Indicate the correct unit of measurement

When you render designs using other measurement units, you will end up with a 3D design that is too big or too small for the actual prototype you need. Your printer will need to re-layout it, which will take up more, or you will end up readjusting it. Start designing your prototype using the actual measurements you require to avoid making edits later. 

Be clear with your instructions

Even if you make your design as detailed as possible, you still need to be clear about all your requirements. Do not trust that your 3D printer will immediately understand how you want your prototype to look like. Each layer of the design will need different material properties. No matter how obvious it is in your eyes, you need to provide detailed information to avoid errors that might surprise you during prototyping. 

Do not rush through the process

Make sure to allot enough time to review your prototype before you decide to finalise and reproduce it. Doing so may take some time, but it will save you from rendering and printing again, which also cost money. If you want to avoid the extra work and expenses, make time to review your prototype and don’t rush the modelling process.


Rapid prototyping requires experience and knowledge for it to be successful, quick, and useful. Some may finish their 3D models in a few hours, while others might need more time. Your .stl design is your key for a successful 3D prototype printing. Make sure to find someone who knows how to do it well. The printers will also need the same effort and time to produce the prototype you need. Make sure to find a printer that is willing to help you bring your design to life the correct way. 

Are you looking for a rapid prototyping or 3D printing service at cost-effective pricing? 3D Quick Printing offers these services, and we use only the best 3D printers available today. Upload your .stl file now, and we will give you a free 3D printing quote that matches your budget.

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