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Industrial 3D printing

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Prototyping

Prototyping for Product Development

Prototypes accompany each stage of product development, they are the physical deliverables of the design results and serve to validate and improve the design.

Is it necessary to make such a number of prototypes? That’s based on how many details you need to verify, and the engineer’s experience to solve these problems efficiently. Our engineers have worked in the top 500 companies and are excellent problem solvers, generate good ideas and iteration through prototyping, then put your idea quickly into production.

There are the main kinds of prototypes in the product development process:

Prototype assembly of the medical cart in the workshop

Functional Prototype

A functional prototype makes a “proof of concept” or proof of the design, before diving into the details about its materials looks, etc. Or you have many ideas to test which is the best one. For example the connection structure design of the cat scooper, we make more than 6 sketches for brainstorming to find the approach, select 2 of them to make a mechanical engineering design, then prototyping, and finally test the ideas.

Design Case: Mechanical engineering design of the connection method
Connection method 1 of the handle and shovel

The round tube link method can hide the structural details in the tube, and the appearance is more concise, but the volume of the shovel head will be larger, and the mold cost will higher

VS

Connection method 2 of the handle and shovel

The buckle structure is the opposite, the structure is exposed, but the volume is smaller, and for consumables, it can better save the packaging size and production cost.

If you are already sure about the function, for example, you just need a new look for a product, you can jump into the next step – a visual prototype.

Visual Prototype and 3D Digital Model

The visual prototype is used to make communication and decisions about the look and aesthetics of your design. Nowadays the computer aid design(CAD) can make many 3D digital prototypes and renderings before making the physical visual prototype, which makes the process more efficient. For most projects, the function will influence the appearance, so we tend to make the prototype with both function and visual, we can call it a presentation prototype or directly make the engineering prototype. Whether to combine the two phases depends on the complexity of the project and how many details you want to check.

Engineering Prototype with CAD Support

The engineering prototype is the mock-up that marries visual, function, material, and manufacturability. We build all the details in the CAD software and assemble the parts and components in the virtual environment. Then the CAD data will be produced with the exact or approximate materials, to validate the design, and be tested in the operational environment. Until everything is done, these CAD files can be used for tooling and mass production.

CADmize is expertise in engineering design and prototyping. Our engineers will brainstorm to make an engineering insight, find the key point, and make reliable solutions. That can greatly speed up the process of production.

On-demand Engineering Support for Prototyping

Select the Right Prototyping Methods

CNC machining and 3D printing are the most popular prototyping methods. We should consider what our prototype is and what it is used for.3D printing can produce more complicated geometries, and it’s more suitable for artwork. For most industrial products that require high precision and toughness, it’s better to use CNC methods. If the part could be produced both by 3D printing and CNC machining, we could choose the more economical methods.
This diagram could help you make a choice of types of 3D printing and CNC machining.

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)Stereo Lithography (SLA)Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
CNC Machining
Surface Finish★★☆☆☆★★★★★★★★★☆★★★★★
Accuracy★★★★☆★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★
Ease to Use★★★★★★★★★★★★★★☆★★★☆☆
Complex Designs★★★☆☆★★★★☆★★★★★★★★☆☆

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