The best way to evaluate the product idea before investing in tooling and stock is by developing a prototype. Thanks to the new technologies available it is now possible to print the computer 3D models of the final design in order to test its performance, mechanisms, ergonomics and other factors that cannot perceived from a virtual model. The prototypes can be manufactured in a matter of hours or up to 7 day depending of the part. This means you can touch and feel a sample of your product in a very short period of time with a minimal investment.
Rapid prototyping processes and materials
There is an extensive variety of prototyping materials and processes available to produce parts in multiple colours, sizes and even with different surface finishes. Materials such as plastics, paper and metal are some of the most popular since their manufacturing processes involve large investment costs in tooling and minimum order quantities (MOQ’s).
There are 2 types of prototyping processes or technologies: The first one being additive and the second substractive. With additive technologies the part is created by adding very thin layers of material to create a 3D shape while the substractive consists of removing or machining out the part from a block of the required material.
Rapid prototyping cost
The costs of making a rapid prototype depend largely on the size of the part and quality of the surface finish. Based on your budget we can advise you on the best material and process to usein order to produce a cost effective rapid prototype.
As a rule of thumb we recommend using rapid prototyping with the lowest cost materials and processes to test fitment with other parts, ergonomics and even the look and feel of the product. If there is a need to perform any changes based on the prototype the second one can be made in a better quality surface finish.
Rapid prototyping suppliers
We have partnered with local and overseas prototyping companies to produce detailed prototypes of your product in a variety of materials and processes. The quality of our prototypes is superb and we can even elaborate hi quality mirror polished clear plastic parts such as PET bottles.