The importance of obtaining a physical prototype
In a technical project, a prototype is the link between the theoretical concept and the practical application. It allows engineers to have a closer look at how the part will be and behave in working conditions.
A prototype may provide:
- A general impression of the part;
- It can be tested in working conditions;
- Design errors can be corrected before mass production;
- Some connections and functionalities can be already tested;
Even if the digital prototyping has taken over in the contemporary world, holding a physical representation of the piece in hand may allow to draw some conclusions that would otherwise be difficult to obtain. To produce a prototype, many different approaches can be taken.
There are different levels of quality for a physical prototype. Starting from a so-called mock-up where, for the sole aim of seeing the dimensions of the piece, some functionalities are omitted from an accurate prototype which holds all the functionalities and qualities the final part needs to have. The range and level of detail for prototyping is limitless and needs to be chosen according to the desired functionalities and qualities that need to be tested.
Small batches production with traditional manufacturing
The traditional way to approach prototyping is simple. A prototype can be requested from an external source or it can be produced in-house. If produced in-house, then a production line is adjusted to produce it in a short run cycle. What sounds very simple in theory is not as simple in practice. An entire production line and all the necessary resources to run it need to be allocated without any immediate financial returns. These costs are hard to control as at the beginning it is not yet clear how many times a prototype needs to be changed in design and production. This makes prototyping a big commitment in terms of resources and thus not very attractive.
The advantages of additive manufacturing with Roboze 3D Printers
The specific process of prototyping with additive manufacturing methods is called rapid prototyping. As mentioned before, one of the biggest disadvantages of prototyping is its resources’ intensity. In this scenario, additive prototyping comes into play, offering the possibility to design a part from scratch and change the functionalities ad hoc since it is based on a digital model. It essentially removes the biggest disadvantage of traditional prototyping by removing its high intensity in terms of resources and time.
The machine producing the prototype is a single production unit that works independently from the other production lines. It allows for a design freedom in regards of the implemented functionalities, materials and dimensions, that can all be changed directly in the dedicated software. Thanks to the rapid prototyping approach provided by our 3D printers, the creation of prototypes has never been easier and resource efficient.
With this new freedom it is now possible to print multiple prototypes for different functions and quality checks. The collected data from examining the prototypes can be directly implemented in the Software and a new, correct one can immediately be printed. The main benefits we gather from this approach are:
- Design freedom
- Resource efficiency
- Quick action/reaction time for modifications of the part
- High level of flexibility
Roboze 3D printing solutions: from rapid to functional prototyping
Roboze printers offer you the highest level of precision, thanks to the patented beltless system, as well as repeatability and reliability at fixed production costs. Additionally, it is possible to print applicable prototypes in different high-performing polymers. This gives engineers and producers a never seen before advantage in prototyping. With the available high-performance polymers combined with the absolute design freedom that a 3D printer offers it is now possible to go from prototyping directly to mass production in one cost-efficient step.
Do not miss this opportunity and get in touch with our experts.