At present, it is very important to a guide any new product, starting from the concept phase so it can be marketed quickly and affordably. This is where rapidpro or rapid prototyping comes in. it basically automates the making of a certain prototype. At the same time, it builds a prototype from a 3D CAD model.
Some people get confused with rapid prototyping. This is because it has other terms such as:
- 3D Printing
- Additive manufacturing
- Free-form fabrication
So, Why Opt for Rapid Prototyping?
In order to get a product affordably to the market, it should be done quickly. One of the best ways to make it happen is to shorten the time for the design process. In most cases, conventional prototyping can take weeks or months and this would depend on the product and the method employed. But rapidpro can make the prototypes faster and most cost-effective. Moreover, it is capable of making parts with complex geometrics and small internal cavity. With this, it is possible to see the actual product while still on the early stage of the process.
How Does it Work?
Rapid prototyping was first introduced in the year 1987 as an additive process. Meaning, an additive process is instrumental in building an object by joining layers or particles or raw materials. The materials used in the process include thermoplastics, photopolymers, ceramic powders, and metal powders.
Among the very first prototyping technologies used as stereolithography. This makes use of a photopolymer in a vat. It has a laser that generates a UV beam which then solidifies focused surface areas. The process starts with the vat filled with photopolymer liquid. Then the operator will load a 3D CAD solid model file to the system. With the control unit, the model will be sliced into a series of cross-sections. It has 0.004-0.020 inches thickness. Then, the computer controlled optical scanning system will direct and focus the laser beam so that it can solidify a 2-dimensional cross-section on the section of the photopolymer. As a result, the product turns to cover the solid polymer with a layer of liquid. The process continues, leading to the building of the part from the bottom up until the product is completed.
With stereolithography, a prototype was made of telescope for a radistation. This was made at a scale of 1:200. With this, it has become possible to perform checks in the wind tunnel. This helps engineers to do some necessary measurements. Without this, a conventional prototype can cake months to be built.
In addition, a jewelry maker can make use of the method as well. The prototypes built with this technology is used to make molds. The very expensive cost of labor has significantly decreased with the help of prototyping.
These are just some examples of how you can make the most of this technology. Undeniably, it has greatly changed our lives today in the most surprising yet helpful way.