What is rapid prototyping?
This umbrella term refers to different reforming processes that are used to produce prototype components directly from design data. In addition to additive processes, this also includes ablative production techniques such as milling and CNC turning.
Still, the term ‘rapid prototyping’ is increasingly being used as a synonym for widely varied 3D printing processes. The reason for this is that additive manufacturing is particularly suitable for prototype design. Functioning models can be produced quickly and economically even in early phases of product development, which reduces the time to market considerably.
Advantages of rapid prototyping
- Realistic models for reliable tests
- Quick availability thanks to short lead times
- Efficient production starting with batches of 1
Our rapid prototyping service
Reliable prototypes in your hands on short notice – a promise turned into reality with rapid prototyping. On the PROTIQ Marketplace you can choose from six different 3D printing processes and over 30 materials to design your perfect prototype.
Take advantage of reliable prototypes early on
Using prototypes in early development phases that come very close to the properties of the final product saves valuable time. With rapid prototyping, possible errors in the design can be identified and rectified without having to drastically setting project development back in terms of planning. Changes are made right on the 3D CAD model and implemented using 3D printing.
When are 3D-printed prototypes suitable for use?
- To visualize a design based on a real model
- For functional testing under realistic conditions
- To check the fit directly in the application
- To improve established products
Rapid prototyping and 3D printing – a common history
Rapid prototyping and 3D printing go back to a common point in history: The development of the STL file format. In the mid-1980s, stereolithography inventor Charles "Chuck" Hull was looking for a way to make CAD data usable for 3D printing presses. He created a file format that could display 3D models using various triangles of different sizes in order to approximate the surface of the planned 3D object. Shortly thereafter, the STL format was being used in all other 3D printing processes, and today it remains a standard format in additive manufacturing.
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