26 Jan The benefits of a 3D printed prototype
Taking your design from an idea on paper to a tangible prototype of the product is a vital part of product development.
There are many different ways to produce a prototype, but in recent years 3D printing has been widely accepted as the most cost-effective and efficient way. Nowadays, a wide range of industries choose this technology over injection moulding or subtractive manufacturing. Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of choosing 3D printing to produce your prototype:
Before 3D printing techniques became mainstream, producing a prototype was a time-consuming process. Every modification to the design potentially added weeks to the lead time.
3D printing has significantly reduced the time it takes to produce a prototype and has allowed designers to quickly test the viability of their idea and explore more creative options that can be customised with ease.
Reduced prototype costs
Traditional methods of prototyping are costly and require expensive machinery to manufacture a product. Add in the cost of the labour to run the machine and a prototype or smaller run of goods can soon become cost prohibitive.
The 3D printing process is far simpler, takes up less space, and does not require a specialised machine operator, making it a more affordable option for small businesses.
There is also less waste, as the product is printed from the bottom up, rather than machined and shaped from a solid block—making material costs much more competitive.
Gain a competitive advantage
Having a tangible product to show your customer is far preferable to showing them your design on a screen. It aids the early identification of any design issues which can be easily incorporated into the CAD file and reprinted quickly, reducing the timescales of the product development process.
Reducing the cycle time means businesses can be more agile and gain a competitive advantage to deliver prototypes and design changes efficiently and professionally.
The prototype can also be shown to investors and board members, which again is advantageous when compared to showing them a design on a presentation. A prototype brings the product to life, it is more likely to grab their attention, overcome any concerns they have, and ultimately gain sign off for funding.
Ready to push ‘print’?
As part of our product development service, we create prototypes for our clients, including 3D printed parts and products, which we can produce quickly and efficiently in-house. We also have a network of suppliers for producing more complex prototypes.
If you are ready to push ‘print’ on your prototype, contact our team on 01474 711189 or send us an email.