Rapid Prototype Machining Explained

rapid prototype machining
February 8, 2019

Rapid Prototype Machining at NAMF

It is no secret that a lot of work and time goes into producing a new product for your company. Part of the design process is creating a prototype. The creation of a prototype allows your company to put hands and eyes on the physical product. This allows your team to determine which aspects are perfect and which ones need to be changed and altered. There is often a big difference between what looks perfect on paper and how it works in reality.

Prototypes are a chance to tweak the product before mass producing it, only to discover changes that need to be made. The conventional method of creating prototypes involves several different machines and tasks in order to create the prototype. This method can often take a great deal of time, financial resources, and effort. Rapid prototype machining is the newest and most innovative way to create prototypes that cut down on time and minimize waste material produced. Let’s take a look at how rapid prototype machining can help your company become more efficient in the product design phase.

What is Rapid Prototype Machining?

You’ve probably heard of rapid prototype machining but may not know exactly what it is. Rapid prototype machining is the process of quickly assembling prototypes for new parts and products before your company releases them for mass production to sell to the public. This type of prototyping is achieved using a 3D printer.

How Does a 3D Printer Work?

The first step to utilizing a 3D printer is to create the design. The design can be created on pretty much any modeling software program. The 3D printer will then read the file that contains the design and create the product layer by layer. This is referred to as additive manufacturing. Plastic is the most common material used to create prototypes, but different options are available. For instance, 3D printers have been used in both the culinary and the medical industries. The fact that one machine can create complete prototypes provides huge advantages to companies.

Benefits of Rapid Prototype Machining

The use of rapid prototype machining is revolutionary to the design process of new products for your company and offers a myriad of benefits.

Time is Money

As the saying goes, “time is money.”  The longer it takes your company to take a product from start to finish, the more money it costs. Rapid prototype machining cuts down on how much time the design process takes. For starters, your team can create a prototype quicker utilizing this method, than with conventional modeling methods. Secondly, once your team has determined the changes that need to be made, your team can make the changes within the file on the software and send it back to the 3D printer.  The bottom line is you are able to reach your final design quicker because you are able to make changes and recreate prototypes at a faster rate than using conventional methods.

Increase in Cost Efficiency

The use of rapid prototyping increases the cost efficiency of designing new products. It takes more time to set up the equipment and produce a prototype using conventional methods. There also tends to be more waste materials associated with conventional prototyping because products are carved and shaped out of a large block of material. In Rapid prototype machining, the printer uses the exact amount of material needed so there isn’t material wasted. The decrease in the amount of time needed and material wasted means your company saves money.

Easier to Sell Products

When presenting your new product to potential investors or the board, it is easier to sell a product that people can hold, feel, and see in person how it works. The ability to quickly and efficiently make prototypes makes it more of a reality to be able to present an actual prototype of your product during a presentation as opposed to a model on a screen and asking your audience to be able to visualize what the product will be when it comes to fruition.

True to Size

A lot of things can change when you change the size and scale of a product. The best way to evaluate a new product is in its actual proportions. With rapid prototype machining, you can evaluate your product in the true size and scale as the actual product will be manufactured.

Test Out New Ideas Quicker

When you use rapid machine prototyping, you can test out ideas more easily and quickly. Where you might be hesitant to test out every single theory or idea using conventional modeling methods due to the time and cost, with rapid prototyping it is much easier to see your ideas come to life and figure out whether or not they actually work.

Utilizing rapid prototype machining in your company will streamline your design process and cut down on time and costs for your company.

Leaders in the Industry

New Age Metal Fabrication, prides itself in being the industry’s leader in custom aluminum fabrication. Providing services to companies all over the country and even internationally, we can make your ideas and designs a reality. Whether you know exactly what you want or need a little help in the design department, we have you covered! Contact us today for all of your fabrication needs!

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