Why You Should Consider Building a Functional Prototype
What’s The Functional Prototype?
Rapid prototyping is rapidly picking up in the product development industry. Manufacturing lines often end up spending a lot of capital. This is especially the case when coming up with a new product. Moreover, new products take up a long time to refine them in readiness for the market. This is the stage where functional prototypes play a critical role. A functional prototype is central to design evaluation and troubleshooting. There are a few reasons why companies prefer not to invest in prototypes.
Firstly, design teams find it tasking to come up with ad hoc models. This is since some models do not provide an effective basis for studying unique concepts. Secondly, an ideal model may need the same amount of tools, costs, and processes as the final product. This is an extra cost some manufacturers may be unwilling to pay. Thirdly, it may be difficult to produce a complex part using normal 2production methods. Moreover, while waiting for the completion of the prototype, extra costs rake up.
However, rapid prototyping provides designers with several pros. Firstly; it ensures manufacturers do not limit themselves to product visualization. Secondly and most crucial, they can achieve better functionality.
Importance of Functional Prototypes
Making a working prototype is a vital step to the design of a product. Most companies overlook this simple step due to the extra costs involved. It is unwise to go straight into mass production without showing the product’s features to clients. Here is further insight into the advantages of functional prototypes.
Gives Life to Designs
Functional prototypes allow you to show clients and investors how the product works. Moreover, it gives you the chance to explore ideas and gain feedback from prospects. Therefore, this allows you to make changes before getting the product to the market.
Choose and Assess Materials
The selection of materials comes with worrying whether they will work or not. Functional prototypes are helpful in this case. They give you the chance to assess the performance of a certain material first. Therefore, you do not make any commitments regarding final material selection. We can use almost all material with one or more rapid prototyping operations. Examples of materials are polymers and metals. Moreover, we get the chance to introduce new processes continually. Likewise, we can improve the existing processes by enhancing the final product.
Increased Time to Market
The modern market is increasingly competitive. As a result, the faster you get a new product into the market, the more likely you will succeed. This is since you will grab a larger market share earlier thus gaining more profit. Maintaining the quality of a product is tricky when trying to get it to the market quickly. Functional prototypes reduce errors, giving you an important edge in terms if correction time. They help better assess clients’ ideas for your design.
What’s The CNC Prototyping?
There are three major groups when classifying rapid prototyping processes.
Additive processes involve the buildup of a product via the addition of material. On the other hand, subtractive processes entail the removal of material from a workpiece. Virtual prototyping involves the use of advanced visualization tools.
CNC machining is a subtractive process under the control of a CAD program. The program allows you to carry out multiple tasks with high accuracy. We specialize in CNC machining at Creatingway. Our onsite operators guide the processing tool using buttons, levers, and wheels. The CNC program replaces manual control thereby reducing its faults.
Producing a functional prototype involves several processes with a variety of tools. Typically, production may take companies weeks or months to depend on a part’s complexity and size. Moreover, the approach needs expert operators to carry out machining and finishing operations.
At Creatingway, we speed up subtractive processes using computer-based technology. It involves the use of examples of special software and drafting packages. Subtractive systems take many forms with the most common being CNC machining. It offers several pros in functional prototype manufacturing.
We can machine a wider array of materials with CNC machining than additive processes. This is especially true to metal and plastic functional prototypes.
Surface Finish and Tolerances
Machining often delivers fine finishes and tight dimensional accuracy. We opt for CNC machining when dealing with functional prototypes with complex surfaces/contours.
Short Lead Time and Low Volume
CNC is ideal for low-to-medium volume production as well as one-off jobs. This is since it offers high repeatability. We also prefer it when undertaking paper jobs that require quick prototyping results. This allows for faster production due to the considerably lower lead times.
The creation of a prototype is vital regardless of the type of product. Not only does it allow design evaluation and testing but also provides clarity of production costs.
One unique situation arises when there is a need to apply for a patent. After creating a functional prototype, it is easier to carry out a patent consultation. Firstly, the prototype allows you to see the unique design aspects. You can then find out which design aspects violate other companies’ patents. Afterward, you can proceed to change them before production to evade copyright violation.
Creatingway is concentrated on CNC machining manufacturing, prototype machining, low-volume manufacturing, metal fabrication, and parts finishing services, provide you the best support and services. ask us one inquire now.
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