Best Technologies for Product Prototyping
When designing products for your company, rapid prototyping can help you to save a lot of money in design flaws and final product tests. Unlike in the past, prototyping is becoming cheaper as more advanced technologies hit the market. So, here are the most popular product prototyping technologies.
What is Prototyping?
This is the process of creating objects that have characteristics similar to the product that you target to start manufacturing for release into the market. The prototype allows the manufacturer to take a closer look at the “product” for review before embarking on mass production.
The good thing with the latest technologies in prototyping is that they are fast so that you do not waste time at pre-production phase. 3D printing, commonly known as additive manufacturing, is the most popular strategy used for rapid prototyping today. So, whether your business in the precious metal as noted here, or is in other areas, here are some of the best 3D prototyping technologies to consider.
Stereolithography, also known as SLA, is a prototyping technology used for parts manufacture utilizing photosensitive resin cured by ultraviolet light. But if the technology uses ultraviolet lamp instead of a laser to cure the resin, the technology is known as Digital Light Processing (DPP). However, both technologies operate on the same principle.
The process involves introducing the base in a resin tank, which goes up as the light beam solidifies the resin in thin layers to create the targeted part. Finally, the product is left to cure in an ultraviolet oven.
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
This technology also uses 3D printing to create your product in layers. But unlike SLA that uses resin, the technology utilizes powders that melt to create a strong agglomerate. The final product you create depends on the types of powders that are used: ceramics, metals, plastics and even glass.
To melt the powders, you require a powerful laser beam that is generated using 3D computer files, which are in layers. Once a layer is melted, a new one is generated until you have the final prototype or part.
The most notable thing about this technology is that it does not require support on different parts because the powder beds itself for support. Once the process of sintering is finished, the part/ product is removed from the box and the dusted to reveal the finished product.
If you are in manufacturing, it is important to invest in the right prototyping technology to reduce the cost associated with flawed products. We have only highlighted the top two technologies in the market today. You might also want to check other technologies such as rapid prototyping with CNC, rapid prototyping with laser cutting, and triple injection.