Rapid prototyping is a process that uses computer aided tools and techniques such as 3D printing and stereo lithography to create physical product models for production tooling and analysis. The process can be very helpful to product designers, component suppliers and even manufacturers and comes with a number of advantages, such as saving time, reducing cost, lowering error etc. It helps you build and test ideas for product development so that you know whether your idea can be turned into a good product in an efficient manner. Given below are 5 tips to help you build rapid prototyping models successfully.
Actually, the aim of this approach is to test the impact of different models on their performance. If there are lots of variables, you may want to be careful when combing them in the same breadboard. Moreover, if you have some difficult models, you should break them into different builds isolating complex systems. Then you can join them to simulate the actual product.
The role of rapid prototyping is not limited to finding out whether an idea can work or not. As a matter of fact, a good breadboard lets you know the variables that allows the process to work. What you need to do is design the system based on the variables that you think can have a great impact on the performance. And don’t forget to test.
3.Go for speed
At first, it’s not a good idea to get the perfect parts. Just go for what is good enough. What you need to do is get the maximum number of off-the-shelf parts. Actually, it’s faster, cheaper and gives you the freedom to change the parts when required. If possible, you may want to go for items with short lead-times and variety.
When using off-the-shelf components, you will find custom pieces as well. Fabricating these pieces yourself is also a good idea. Actually, this is the fastest way. You can also tweak them as you find out that your initial design was not the best one. For these parts, using rapid prototyping methods is not a good idea. At this phase, you don’t need to make custom injection parts, especially if rapid prototyping components get you what you want.
As far as rapid prototyping goes, nothing is worse than ignoring something that is part of your learning process. If you think that you may need a stronger component, you should take steps to make it happen. At this point, you should not worry about cost, design or simplicity. You can take care of that later on.
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