originally published at https://www.netans.com/2020/09/12/rapid-prototype-machining-options-for-new-inventors/, by Anand Narayanaswamy on September 12, 2020
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They are just everywhere around us. From automobiles, electronics, tools, to machines, we come constantly in contact with products designed and produced by these machines.
We are talking about Rapid Prototype Machines!
In this article, we will be discussing subjects revolving around the use of these machines. Are you an inventor seeking to get an idea into a finished product?
Then you should read on. Among many things, we will discuss various rapid prototype technology options available for your use.
What Is A Rapid Prototype Machine?
This includes any machine that allows designers to test the feasibility of their tangible ideas. It does this by quickly making scale models of products that will be eventually mass produced. The intent is to prove the product as able to function as it was theoretically designed to.
When an inventor conceives a technological or practical solution to a problem, s/he needs a way to test the feasibility of the idea.
Would it solve the problem?
Is it worth it?
To ensure that s/he does not waste time mass producing an unrealistic product, there is a need for a prototype.
The prototype is a test product that creates the look and feel of the eventual design. It however may not be functional. This is dependent on the kind of product designed. To know how these machines produce prototype products, you can check here.
At the prototype stage, items such as electronics may not be functional. However, it will give the inventor a look and feel of the product, as well as how it will work. It is at the prototype stage that certain alterations are made to improve the final invention.
To create both the test product and final invention, various rapid prototype machines can be used.
Technologies Available For Rapid Prototype Creation
It is important to note that the world keeps advancing with technological innovations. In this context, this is particularly true about rapid prototype machines.
Just so you understand, not every option available today was obtainable in the late 1900s. Machines such as 3D printers were not as common as they are now.
As things are, there are 3 major technologies used to produce test and final products. They include the following:
- 3D Printing Machines
- CNC Machines
- Injection Molding Mechanisms
3D Printing Machines
By attaching the raw materials bit-by-bit, 3D machines help inventors and designers produce custom made products.
These machines have changed and improved the healthcare system, the construction sector, and many more industries. For example, it has been proven to help in the production of custom-made prosthetic parts for amputees.
In the same vein, 3D is a feasible technology that can be leveraged by inventors. This is because it allows you to design unique and peculiar objects, producing the exact product as designed.
Furthermore, one edge 3D printing offers is promptness. You can get the designed product quickly, make slight or massive changes, and come up with the final piece.
Many clients need a quick turn machine shop where their designs can be quickly transformed into a tangible prototype and final product. For such, the 3D technology is a good alternative.
Talking about producing items that are functional and durable, this is one of the best options. With this technology, companies can manufacture components and intricate parts of automobiles, medical devices, and other products.
One great thing about these machines is the precision and durability. They offer the ability to pay attention to minute details and shape the product in ways that allow it to be as functional as possible.
Often, the raw materials used to make prototypes on these machines are durable. The same cannot be said of 3D printed items because the durability will be dependent on the raw materials used. However, with CNC machines, only durable materials are usually used.
Furthermore, this technology is a great choice for producing large amounts of the final developed product. In this regard, it is one of the most cost-effective options. However, it may not be so cost effective for producing prototypes.
Injection Molding Mechanisms
This technology involves a process where molten materials are injected into a mold. The process can be carried out with a wide variety of materials with metals being the most common.
As a result, this is one of the best technologies for producing prototypes that are made with metals. However, it requires a cautious design of the item, as not too many alterations can be made to a piece that has been produced.
How Can You Get Your Prototype Made?
Depending on the concept you intend to get a test product out of, you may not need to go to the manufacturer directly. If what you need is a simple 3D design, you can send the blueprint online to the manufacturer and get the result sent back to you.
However, if you need the involvement of CNC machines or Injection Molding mechanism, you have to get in contact with the manufacturer.
Also, you have to consider how many test products you plan on producing. This is because these machines are cost-effective when they produce a large number of products. As a result, getting a manufacturer to create just a few pieces can be difficult.
An approach may be to get the manufacturer on board by making them stakeholders in the product. As a result, they will be committed to the success of the product up till final manufacturing and sales.
This also means that you should deal with a company that can see you through from the prototype till the final production stage.
On A Final Note
Do you need clarification on how to manufacture your ideas? There are technological options that can help you achieve them. In this article, we have particularly addressed the 3 major technological options available for inventors seeking to bring their concepts to life.
So if you are looking for how to get a prototype of your invention out, leverage on any of the technological options shared here to bring your idea to life.