The process of rapid prototyping involves the creation of an initial prototype of a full-scale product with help of advanced computer-aided design software. After the creation of the sample file, the three-dimensional printers produce the final model of the prototype. With rapid prototyping, it is not only easier to analyse the prototype on a three-dimensional level but also the process of testing the efficiency of the product becomes simple and fast. Although these tests cannot analyse what durability the final product will provide they can help manufacturers analyse the shape and size of the final product. With advancement in the field of prototyping, designers are trying to develop a different method that uniquely suits a product.
Depending on the type of manufacturing techniques and requirements, designers have developed several prototyping processes. These processes suit the requirements of both consumer applications and industrial usage. Few of the common rapid prototyping processes are
- Stereo lithography – The process is an efficient application of three-dimensional printing in order to manufacture parts of a product under the effect of ultraviolet light. The process mainly involves selective polymerization of photosensitive resins. The laser traces out a part of the design on the liquid resin. The solid layer then lowers down below the liquid resin surface and the procedure repeats. Every new layer created ads to the layer just beneath it.
- Selective Laser Sintering – This process involves the use of a laser beam to melt and fuse the powdered material. Next, with the help of a roller, the precise amount of powder spreads on the table. This process repeats for each layer. This process has the capability to build a large volume of parts that have a complex geometry and provide great durability to the product.
- Direct Metal Laser Sintering – The manufacturing technology is able to produce functional metal prototypes. The laser system draws patterns on the atomized powder of a metal and simultaneously welds powder to solid. This method provides great strength to the prototypes and functional hardware made from the same material as the final product.
- Fused Deposition Modelling – The technique melts and selectively deposits thermoplastic polymers to create the prototypes. The use of thermoplastic resins provides better strength to prototypes as compared to binder jetting. This is why they have a limited usage in testing their functionality.
Advantages of Rapid Prototyping
- The process generates great opportunities for innovation of products. It also helps designers to create complex structures that are not possible with other conventional prototyping processes.
- The rapid prototyping also reduces the time taken between the creation of initial prototypes and their analysis. Moreover, the process is completely automatic hence, allows designers to quickly, modify the model if necessary.
- These processes are cheap and save the designers the expenditure on the materials.
The prototypes created from the rapid prototyping process are highly functional and durable. Many countries adopted these processes in their manufacturing technology. When it comes to rapid prototyping china, USA, India, Australia possesses its most efficient forms of technology. Rapid prototyping not only saves organizations a large amount of money but also help them to manufacture high-quality products.