June 15, 2021

Use 3D printing to speed up your design process

Prototyping provides real insight in to the effectiveness of your product. The faster you can iterate, and the more materials you can test, the faster you can get to the perfect design. 3D printing is the key to a rapid process. 

3D printing started out with a sole purpose of creating fast prototypes. Since its invention, the technology has been used in a massive variety of applications. From dental retainers to vehicle parts, but prototyping remains the number one use.

And it’s no longer only a tool for large companies with large pockets. The cost barriers have been dramatically reduced providing accessibility to companies of all sizes. 

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF 3D PRINTING PROTOTYPES?

Fast Turnarounds

Prototypes can be manufactured on-demand within a few hours (depending on complexity), to quickly produce small volumes in a range of materials.

An Array of Materials

The range of materials available today is vast! PETG, Nylon Carbon Fiber, PC-ABS, and many others find mainstream use in 3D Printing. The Makerbot Method X is ideal for producing high quality carbon fibre designs.

Lower Costs

Labour time and costs of traditional prototyping can mount up. 3D printing prototypes are far cheaper than the traditionally manufactured ones.

Rapid Iterations

Prototyping follows a standard, looping process, (design-prototype-evaluate-iterate-design modification). With 3D printing, you can check form, fit, and function much earlier and more frequently to reduce cost and delays further down the production line. 

Screen Shot 2021-03-19 at 2.43.21 PM

What are the different ways to use prototyping?

There are a number of reasons to prototype, it’s about finding the best one to fit your process.

Design

Product development begins with the design. rapid 3D printing can provide multiple options to test colour, finish and use.

Marketing and Research

Creating a physical object to touch, feel and look-at is ideal when testing with research groups to get feedback on early designs.

Function

Testing the strength, range of movement and accuracy of operation can be vital in eliminating early limitations that compound development further down the line.

Simulation

Simulations, such as placing models in wind tunnel testing, are crucial to test products before they move to the production stage. 

Summary

Prototyping is one of a variety of uses for 3D printing where cost and time can be saved. for more information on machines and materials visit our 3D printing section.