How does rapid prototype work ?
The world is quickly changing and new technologies are making everyone’s lives easier by providing efficiency and reducing costs as well as providing competitiveness for businesses to grow. The fastest changes that have come are in the industry of manufacturing and production. Companies are always trying to adopt new technologies to improve their services and products. Only those businesses can stay in the market, which continuously adopt new technologies in their work.
It is these technologies which help businesses in the long run. One of these technologies is the rapid prototype technology.
The Rapid Prototype technology is an advanced manufacturing technology which was developed just before the start of the 21st Century in the 90s. It is the key common technology which helps in the development of new products for the likes of manufacturing enterprises.
The prototype helps promote product innovation as well as reduces the development cycle for new products to be launched. It helps in increasing the product competitiveness which helps corporations increase their profits and remain in business.
The Rapid prototyping technology is a relatively new technology which integrates advanced technologies like Computer Aided Design (CAD), as well as Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Computer Numerical Control (CNC), laser, precision servo drive and materials sciences to provide the businesses with new opportunities for producing new unique products.
The prototyping is much faster and cost-effective as compared to the conventional prototyping. RP consists of a group of technologies which are used to fabricate a model more rapidly than compared to the normal prototyping process by allowing the engineers to trim a design and the development cycle.
Rapid prototyping is also thought of as a solid free-form of manufacturing, as well as computer automated manufacturing and layered manufacturing. The technology is classified as an additive process and based on the 3D model data, the materials used are combined from layer to layer to manufacture an object or rapid prototype design.
The materials which are used for the process can range from thermoplastic, adhesives to photopolymer.
A rapid prototype company uses rapid prototyping which is a combination of methods or techniques to rapidly fabricate a scale model of a physical part by using CAD. The rapid prototype manufacturer constructs the part usually by using 3D printing or either additive layer manufacturing technology.
Applications of Rapid Prototype
The applications of rapid prototyping are many. It is unique technique which can be used for various applications. Some of which are:
- It provides designers or engineers with the chance to both validate their assumptions or ideas that lie behind their concept models. The physical concept model is one of the best ways to search for a concept. It helps with demonstrating its viability for the users and those affected.
- As for functional prototypes, it provides the designers or engineers with the opportunity to understand the information which helps to provide the perfect picture of the finished idea and checking its validity before the idea or product moves on to the next level. It helps with the product being tested before it moves onto the manufacturing process which helps reduce costs significantly.
- It helps rapid prototype companies prove that a workable prototype would be economically feasible to manufacture which is one of the greatest application of rapid prototype technology.
Advantages of rapid prototype
The rapid prototype service allows rapid prototype manufacturers or rapid prototype suppliers with various advantages such as providing rapid prototype designs for their ideas. The prototyping helps the designers and engineers in the company with unique advantages which give them an edge:
- It can be applied repeatedly on designs and help incorporate change which will easily allow for evaluation as well as testing of the idea or product model. This helps the team of engineers or designers to continue developing the product and makes change to it to meet the demands of the market and satisfy consumers.
- It helps companies with exploring and realizing concepts much more quickly which improves efficiency and reduces cost and helps the engineers or designers move ahead with the ideas for the product model.
- It provides the team with the ability to easily test and refine the idea for the product or model. It aids in minimizing the design flaws whilst allowing a small volume of rapid prototypes to run which eliminates the costs associated with designs.
- It also helps with communicating the concepts both concisely and effectively. The rapid prototyping takes ideas, concepts and images from two dimensional visuals from clients and transforms them into the next big sellers for corporations.
- It helps save time and reduces costs from the beginning of the process, as well as keeping the time outlay at a minimum.
Disadvantages of rapid prototype
Even though rapid prototyping provides numerous advantages to the user, by providing the ability to detect and correct any flaws in the prototype design, there are a few challenges which one might come across such as:
- Possibility of Reusable codes: Some of the prototyping tools allow the user to reuse the codes, however, these produce user interfaces which may be difficult to revise later onwards. The code used by these tools is highly specialized and incorporated in various ways which prevent them from being effectively reproduced by the user.
- Possibility of slower development process: Having the client be directly involved in the development process may lead to new requirements for further coding. Every new specification instructed by the client would only delay the process. It may lead to extra time being spent on the development process.
- Possibility of stopping point: Designers who continuously add and make changes through the process may face the risk of creating an interface in which they will always feel the need to add or make changes. This only leads to more delays and increased costs. The product could possibly stay in the development stage and become a marketable product.
However, despite these disadvantages, the advantages out weight the costs and companies have started to use the rapid prototype technology so as to stay competitive.
Different types of rapid prototype process/ technology
There are many different types of rapid prototype technology and it is important for your business to choose the right technology in order to succeed and remain competitive.
The rapid prototype technology can be classified into three types, which are liquid based (SLA),Inkjet-Based type, (FDM) and as well as (SLS). The mentioned are just some examples.
Besides the mentioned specified types of technology, all of the mentioned types usually need the three dimension STL file in order for the fabrication to be done. Thereafter, these STL files are used to generate to 2D slice layers for the fabrication.
These different types of rapid prototype processes use different materials and provide an edge to businesses.
Liquid Based (Stereo Lithography Apparatus and Inkjet Based Printing)
The SLA rapid prototype has three main components which are a vat filled with ultraviolet (UV) curable photopolymer, as well as a perforated build tray and a UV laser.
As for the Inkjet based printing rapid prototyping technology, it is quite similar to the SLA technology, because both of these use the UV curable photopolymer as their build material. There are two types of UV curable photopolymer materials which are used: firstly model the act as the structure and then support the material acting as scaffolding for the object.
Solid Based: (FDM)
The FDM rapid prototype technology uses a type of thermoplastic which has a filament, and it is warmed up to the melting points and then the extruded-like form is added layer to layer which helps produce a 3 dimension object. The two types of materials are a model material and a support material.
Throughout the fabrication process, the filaments are fed to the extrusion nozzle which will unwind from the coil. Then, this nozzle is heated to melt the filament which is later extruded on to build the tray which forms a slice of the 3D as it cools and hardens. It is one the most used type of rapid prototype technology in the market as it is easy to use and provides many benefits for the user or business.
Power Based (S.L.S.)
The SLS is quite similar to the above from which it and it uses the laser as well as builds a tray; however, besides of having used photopolymer in liquid as its build material, it uses a powder build material. This powder used can either be plastic, cloth such as nylon or metal.
Companies need to understand the importance of rapid prototyping technology and take advantage of the technology to significantly reduce the development cycle for their new products and reduce the manufacturing time for their models.
It will help them with improving their ability with which they manufacture their complex parts and rather directly manufacturing the models which would improve their success rate for their products by a tenfold. With the technology, companies can expect to allow technological innovation and improve their product designs.
There are a few rapid prototype service providers out there but it is vital for businesses to choose their best option to order to succeed and become the next fortune company.
The best rapid prototype service provider out there is ESSAI, which has a vast experience and expertise in the field. It is one of the major leading rapid prototype manufacturer and supplier in China. They provide a vast selection of the best quality rapid prototype in the market which is most suitable for your varying range of needs. They provide support for customized production if needed.
Choosing the right rapid prototype service provider will help your business grow exponentially and reach its potential. There are many companies who provide the different kinds of rapid prototyping services and provide services for SLA, SLS, FDM prototyping services. Whereas a handful of companies only provide 3D Rapid prototyping services as well as drafts.
So why should you choose Essai as your rapid prototype service provider?
ESSAI was established in 2006 in Guangdong, China which is the leading center for prototype technologies. Offering a variety of manufacturing facilities which help with manufacturing and producing a range of parts including and not limited to metal parts as well as plastic parts through injection, molding and tooling, and as well as laser cutting.
They also provide efficient and effective conventional prototyping technologies like the SLA, SLS and as well as vacuum cast items which help produce various types of products and models.
Essai, being the leader in its field has four major production factories located within Dongguan and Guangdong province. They have continuously grown by following their original concept of quality, service and competitiveness since its inception which has led to increased sales and production.
They operate at a 24 hours three shift production system which helps provide a highly efficient, high quality and cost effective service to its valued clients. The clients are at the forefront of their corporate strategy and it is of utmost importance for their clients to be fully satisfied by the services.
The clients have learnt to trust Essai, knowing that their needs will be met. Their corporate philosophy is for their clients to benefit from their unique mix of quality, integrated services and reasonable costs. They help customers achieve their targets and provide a competitive edge to them.
They believe in constant improvement, following the Kaizan concept to fulfill their commitment to excellence in manufacturing, engineering, innovation, quality and affordability for their services.
In order to achieve this goal, they have reorganized their operations into independent business units. These units help provide their clients with the best one-stop convenience and faster response rate to their requirements. With this strategy in mind, their highly trained and qualified team continues to meet the needs of their valued customers.
It is suggested to give Essai a try and find out for yourself why they are the best rapid prototype service provider in the market. There’s a reason for staying at the top