A prototype is an important element of a product creation process. It is the early manifestation of the idea, which you could also use to see how your idea will turn out in reality. However, creating a prototype based on your idea could be a difficult task to do. So, you will need help from the expert in making your prototype. That is where the service from a prototyping company comes in hand. They provide a rapid prototyping service that will help you to get what you need.
What is Prototyping Service?
A prototyping service or rapid prototyping service is a service to create a physical model based on the data. The process is faster than the actual production or manufacturing process to create a ready-to-sell product. This service utilizes high technology to do that, which mostly is 3D printing technology. Therefore, people often mistakenly see it as a 3D printing service. But, it is more than a method to build an object using a 3D printer.
The rapid prototyping service provider needs to understand the idea of the clients that they want to visualize. Without proper understanding, the result will be different than the idea that they used as the base. Therefore, you can’t achieve the purpose of creating the prototype. For that reason, you can find many experts in various disciplines in a team of rapid prototyping services. They help the company to improve the visualization accuracy of the result.
Furthermore, 3D printing is a part of the manufacturing process. On the other hand, rapid prototyping is the stage where the result has been created. From this perspective, we can see that 3D printing is also one of many parts or stages of prototyping. So, calling rapid prototyping a 3D printing service is too simple. This service has more stages and processes than using the material to print a 3D object.
Rapid Prototyping Techniques
The rapid prototyping company uses several techniques to create the prototype for their client. Each of the techniques has its benefits. Moreover, they also have a significant role in the success of creating the prototype. Therefore, if you want to use the prototyping service, you must know this matter as well. It allows you to choose which company with the best techniques for your prototype.
Now, if we have to mention the types of techniques used in the rapid prototyping process, we can classify them into two categories. They are additive manufacturing and the other one that doesn’t use additive manufacturing methods.
Additive manufacturing is also known as the 3D printing method. That is why we mentioned earlier that 3D printing is also one of the elements of rapid prototyping. However, additive manufacturing itself has several types or categories of techniques, which are:
- Stereolithography (SLA)
It is a technique to create a prototype by using liquid material. The 3D printing device builds thousands of layers based on the 3D data of the prototype. It uses the photochemical process that causes the chemical monomers and oligomers to merge to create polymers or solid forms. Guided by the prototype design, it will build the prototype object from scratch.
- Selective laser sintering (SLS)
SLS is a method that uses powder material in a chamber. The laser will heat the powder material. Then, it will be hardened by the heat and form a solid object. The prototype design will guide the laser head movement to create the prototype that you want.
- Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS)
DMLS is a similar method to SLS. However, it uses a more powerful laser that produces more heat. Therefore, the rapid prototyping company uses it to work on an object made of metal. On the other hand, they use SLS to work on a project made of other materials, such as plastic, glass, ceramic, and many more.
- Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)
FDM utilizes thermoplastic material filament to build each layer of an object. Because it is not suitable for producing objects in large numbers, this technique is a perfect choice for prototyping. Furthermore, it uses the tiny filament to build every fiber of the object, allowing it to create high detail on an object. That is another reason why it is a perfect prototype, as it will create the best detail that closes to the real product that will be mass-produced later.
- Binder jetting
Binder jetting utilizes two different types of material, liquid and powder material. The print head of the 3D printer will apply the liquid material to the powder material. Then, it will bind them to create a solid form of an object. It is the best technique to create a prototype that requires good enough strength for testing purposes.
- Poly jetting
Poly jetting is one of the best prototypes making methods in the industry. Its ability to print a microscopic layer resolution allows you to create every detail of the prototype you want to make. Its accuracy can even reach 0.014 mm.
The other techniques that rapid prototyping companies used are CNC Machining Prototyping, vacuum casting, and investment casting. However, you will find most of the company uses the additive manufacturing technique because of its effectiveness and efficiency.
Rapid prototype technique will have a role in your business. Therefore, the best service from the top prototyping company is something you must put in your business plan. It helps the company’s growth and the product manufacturing process.