Before launching the production of a new type of product, manufacturers are faced with the need to test a new product. In this connection, 3d prototyping is an important preliminary step in starting production.
A prototype (or master model) – is a three-dimensional model of a product or a technical sample that allows you to explore the properties, functions and characteristics of products, test the product in real conditions, and also makes it possible to create reverse molds for casting.
Prototyping – is a complex, responsible and time-consuming job. As a rule, the performance of such tasks is given to a third-party contractor with extensive experience and a high level of professionalism. In this article, we provide complete instructions for creating a prototype – a clear step-by-step algorithm that is useful to anyone who is faced with the need to make a master model of a product.
Part 1. Determining the type of prototype
Prototypes differ among themselves in areas of application:
- A presentation prototype – is a master model of a city, house or room, most often such prototypes are used in interior design and architecture.
- Industrial– a prototype of the device case, parts, spare parts, engines, etc., this type is used, as a rule, by manufacturing and industrial enterprises.
- Commodity (product) prototype – a 3D model of a new type of product or product, a master model of product packaging – commodity prototypes are very useful at exhibitions or presentations.
- Transport – models of aircraft, cars, space rockets, ships, etc., widely used in the space and transport industries.
Part 2. 3D prototype modeling
Not so long ago, the production of a master model and the manufacture of prototypes was a complex and difficult process, prototypes were made by hand based on complex developments and drawings. Now, with the advent of 3d technologies, these processes have become much simpler and much more efficient.
3D modeling of a product prototype involves building a three-dimensional model of the product using professional software.
Modeling a prototype includes the following steps:
- building a geometric 3D model of the object;
- overlay and adjust textures;
- creation of scenes and environment of the object (if necessary);
- setting up cameras and additional special effects;
Part 3. Choosing a method for making a master model
After the construction of the 3D model of the prototype is completed, it is necessary to choose a method for its manufacture.
The most famous and popular ways to create a master model of a product are:
– 3D milling on CNC machines;
– Three-dimensional printing.
3D milling is the process of creating a prototype using special equipment – a CNC milling machine that allows you to make a prototype of any complexity, any shape and configuration. In addition, they allow you to choose the optimal prototype material for your case – metal, plastic or wood. 3D milling – is the most accurate way of 3D prototyping.
Three-dimensional printing (3D printing) – is a method of prototyping products based on the principle of layer-by-layer building up of an object, while the following types of 3D printing can be used – selective laser sintering, inkjet modeling, stereolithography, polymer filament printing. The variety and almost limitless possibilities of modern 3D printers make it possible to use ABS and PLA plastic, polymer powder, acrylic, photopolymers, and a wide range of other materials in the 3D printing process.
Part 4. Prototype testing
The finished prototype is important to test. An effective master model of a product must meet the following requirements:
- accuracy – to be an exact copy of a real object;
- visibility– to demonstrate all the properties and characteristics of the product in a visual form;
- efficiency – the prototype must be suitable for practical use;
- functionality – retain all the functions of a real object.
Part 5. Refinement and improvement of the prototype
At the final stage of prototyping, as a rule, the final refinement of the finished prototype is carried out, bringing it to the “ideal” sample. If necessary, the creation of casting molds is also carried out.
High-quality prototyping of products will be carried out by KLONA quickly and at affordable prices. In addition, we will help you set up your small-scale production.