In almost every field of manufacturing, rapid prototyping can help to ensure the success of a product. Creating a prototype is an easy, cost-effective way to create quick iterations of your plastic part. If you’re planning a product for mass production, rapid plastic prototyping is an essential step in the process.
What is rapid prototyping?
Rapid prototyping is the process of creating a scale model of a physical product using a number of different means. Methods used to create prototypes include 3d printing, CNC machining, and plastic injection molding. You can learn more about the process of rapid plastic prototyping in our in-depth blog here.
When should I create a prototype?
Prototypes are useful in many situations, across all forms of manufacturing. For example, say you will be creating a part that requires an exact size or fit as you would need in a casing. With rapid prototyping, you can create a test part to ensure the piece is exactly the right size before going into production. Imagine manufacturing thousands of parts only to then realize they are slightly different than what you need. This is precisely the kind of situation rapid prototyping helps to prevent.
Every design is unique, and every designer has something they need to get just right. Spending a few hundred dollars on a prototype is always worth mitigating the risk of spending thousands of dollars on adjustments later.
Manufactures create prototypes in a number of ways, each with there own strengths and weaknesses. In general, there are four main methods of production.
- 3d printing. Often used because of its affordability and versatility.
- CNC machining. Perfect for larger products or when a specific surface finish is required.
- Injection molding. Good for situations where many prototypes are needed.
- Casting. A fast and effective way to create prototypes, an intermediate step between printing and molding.
Start designing your prototype today
When getting started with your design, it’s important to have a trusted partner to work with. At Rex Plastics, we have decades of experience helping our clients create the parts and prototypes they need to get the job done. From questions to a free quote, Rex Plastics is here to serve you for all your plastic needs.