3D Printing Puts the “Rapid” in Rapid Prototyping

September 19, 2023

A prototype is a physical model of a product or part. Engineering companies and others commonly utilize prototype models during the research and development process. These industrial prototypes can serve many different purposes, such as design validation, functional testing, marketing tools, product safety, or visual aids. The goal is to create the best final product possible.

What is Rapid Prototyping?

3D Printing Puts the "Rapid" in Rapid Prototyping“Rapid” prototyping refers to a process that creates a physical prototype or model of a product or part in a relatively short turnaround time. The process allows designers and engineers to quickly analyze and assess their product designs. If modifications have to be made, a new, updated prototype design can be produced in a relatively short period.

There are many ways a prototype can be created. Traditionally, industrial prototypes have been created by hand or by CNC machining. The problem is, that it could take days or even weeks to create the latest version of a prototype using these techniques.

Some of the Advantages of Using 3D Printing for Rapid Prototyping

More and more companies are discovering the benefits of using 3D printing to produce their prototype models. The 3D print process creates a three-dimensional object based on a digital file. The object is created by adding layer upon layer of a workpiece material until the required shape and dimensions are achieved.

Here are a few of the advantages of using 3D printing during the prototyping process:

  • Shorter production times. Prototypes can be produced at a much faster rate using 3D printing. 3D printing puts the “rapid” in rapid prototyping.
  • Lower setup costs. Without the need for costly tooling and setup, 3D printing provides a cost-effective way to manufacture one-off prototypes as well as short and medium production run parts.
  • 3D printing is ideal for printing parts with complicated geometries. This includes parts with complex inner surfaces and details like raised print or brand logos. Prototypes of almost any kind of part of a product – from automobile and jet engine components to replacement body parts – can be created using 3D printing.
  • A wide range of materials can be used to create 3D-printed parts.
  • 3D-printed parts can be manufactured locally, eliminating shipment and inventory delays.

Rapid Prototyping 3D Printing in Houston, TX

ProTek Models and 3D Printing is the partner you need when it comes to the rapid production of industrial prototypes in Houston, TX. We use state-of-the-art SLA and FDM 3D print technologies and have the capabilities to manufacture a wide range of parts and components from a variety of materials.  Our team of engineers can assist you at every step of the rapid prototyping process, from file setup to finishing options.

Protek Models is located just outside of Houston in Conroe, TX, and we serve companies all over the Lone Star State. In addition to rapid prototyping 3D printing, we also offer customers custom scale model building, urethane castings, and automotive 3D printing services. You can contact us through our website or call us at (832) 968-6636. We are here to help you with all your rapid prototyping projects.