Rapid Prototyping in Houston, TX
In engineering, a prototype is an early version of an end-use product that is used to evaluate various aspects of an intended product design. This can range from testing the functionality of a new design to getting hands-on feedback from clients, investors, and the intended end users. Prototypes are an integral part of the engineering design process for new products.
What is Rapid Prototyping?
In order to maximize profit and minimize costs, companies are always looking for ways to reduce the time it takes to develop a product and get it on the market. As a result, design engineers are using a process called “rapid prototyping” to design and test their new products. Rapid prototyping uses additive manufacturing technologies, such as 3D printing, to quickly fabricate scale models based on a digital design. In most cases, it only takes a few hours to produce a prototype using 3D print technologies.
In addition to the greater speed a prototype can be produced, using 3D-printed rapid prototyping provides other advantages, such as:
- Less expensive, reducing development costs
- 3D printing can be used to fabricate a wide variety of parts and models, including those with complex geometries
- Prototypes can be printed on demand
- Many options when it comes to production materials, including those with specific properties such as heat resistance, water resistance, UV resistance, and greater strength.
- Environmentally friendly with low waste
3D Print Technology Used for Rapid Prototyping
3D printing is used to create a physical 3D object based on a digital design. First introduced in the 1980s, 3D printing has evolved into a technology with applications across a wide range of industries, including automotive, aerospace, energy, defense, medical, consumer products, and more.
There are many 3D printing technologies available to design engineers. The two main types of 3D printing technologies used for rapid prototyping are SLA (Stereolithography) and FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling).
Prototypes manufactured using SLA 3D printers have the highest resolution and accuracy, the clearest details, and the smoothest surface finish of all plastic 3D printing technologies. SLA is ideal for rapid prototyping, concept modeling, and functional prototyping applications.
FDM can produce highly precise parts from a wide variety of thermoplastic materials in a short period of time. Applications include rapid prototyping, simple prototyping, and proof-of-concept models
Other types of 3D print technologies include digital light processing (DLP), selective laser melting (SLM), electronic beam melting (EBM), and material jetting (MJ).
Rapid Prototyping 3D Printing in Houston, TX
In Houston, TX finding the right company to handle your company’s rapid prototyping isn’t difficult. Just get in touch with ProTek Models and 3D Printing. We offer our customers a wide range of 3D print services, including SLA and FDM rapid prototyping. Our talented team of engineers is here to help you through every stage of the process to ensure your finished piece achieves the quality and accuracy you demand.
Located just north of Houston in Conroe, TX, ProTek Models works with businesses all over the Lone Star State. Some of our clients include Mitsubishi, NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Oceaneering, and Saline Automotive. Contact us through our website or call us at (832) 968-6636 to get a quote for your rapid prototyping needs.