The Popularity of Rapid Prototyping and Its Techniques


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Rapid prototyping (RP) is used in 3D printing technology to produce testable prototype models. The technology uses an apparatus to fabricate objects into real life directly from digitization of 3D models. This does not require much planning or fancy tools and each machine used for RP can produce any kind of part needed. Production quality has increased since this came to be part of the manufacturing process, especially with the introduction of micro-scoping devices and microelectronics. This is used mostly in art, medicine, science and engineering. 

Why do We Need Prototypes? 

The 1980s saw rapid prototyping technologies advance to change the essence of manufacturing products. This had a certain economic backing, as there was the chance that physical models would be created for review at a very low cost. The central part of an engineer’s job is to make prototypes of a certain product design. Before an approved design can reach the development process, RP can be employed to make the cycle achieve a better result. Any component of the design can be repeated throughout the process to make it more streamlined. This can be used in software programming, app development and even semantics.  

Rapid Prototyping Techniques

Designers do not simply rely on design guidelines to create successful products. Rapid prototyping has some techniques that use a range of materials to give the desired result by various means. The communication of an idea into a specific design type is why prototyping is so valued since it forms the basis of a convincing sale. 

Techniques that can lead to a successful and marketable product are effective in nature. This means that a lot of focus is put on the process that leads to prototyping, as well as the tools and tricks used.

Additive Manufacturing 

3D printing websites now use a common form of the fastest technology used in RP, additive manufacturing. The efficiency provided by this process leads to more product development in less time. Since this technique is relatively cheap, it can be used to make small batches of the same item before it officially goes into production. The small parts are quite useful to understand what suits your final idea and how to bring it together in a cohesive form. 

It should be noted that materials should not be too important since hollowing can be expensive on its own. Thus, objects cannot achieve an absolute perfect aspect without special finishes which can hike up the price. If aspect is not a concern for your product then this is the correct technique since it gives an adequate preview and hence a satisfying result. 

Subtractive Manufacturing

There are certain perks of using subtractive manufacturing for RP. It offers the best precision out of all the available methods and has better tolerance value than ordinary 3D printing. The finish is excellent right off the bat and helps in any advanced prototyping needs. This is more expensive, however, due to its accuracy and will take more time to make sure machines are ready to go into production. Small batches have an especially high cost and it does not bode well with complex parts of an object. With specific functionality, it should be assessed whether this suits the selected design. 


With the rising popularity of different rapid prototyping techniques and their availability, it will not be long before this becomes part of many businesses in different industries.