Before launching the production of a new product, most manufacturing companies seek to conduct its preliminary testing. 3d prototyping allows you to solve this problem quickly and at minimal cost.
The production of prototypes or master models is the process of creating a so-called technical product sample that can be easily tested on the target audience, its functionality, properties and other characteristics can be evaluated before starting small-scale or mass production. In addition, using a product prototype, you can create a reverse mold for casting.
Types of prototypes
By scope, prototypes are classified as follows
- A presentation prototype – is a layout of a city, a room or a model of a house used in the field of architecture, interior and exterior design.
- Industrial– a master model of the body, parts or spare parts used in industrial and manufacturing enterprises.
- Commodity (product) prototype – a model of a product or a prototype of product packaging, usually used at exhibitions or presentations.
- Transport – a three-dimensional model of a car, aircraft, bus, ship, rocket, etc., necessary in the space and transport industries.
More recently, prototyping was a very complex process in which a product model was created from drawings and manually.
However, with the advent of three-dimensional technologies, it became possible to quickly and efficiently create a prototype of a product of any complexity. Rapid prototyping has taken a big step forward in the field of prototyping and the development of master models.
3d prototyping includes a sequence of steps:
- building a 3D model of the product;
- production of a master model by 3d milling or printing on a 3d printer;
- testing the finished master model;
- adjustment and refinement of the resulting prototype to the “ideal”, if necessary.
Most often, the creation of a prototype is necessary in preparation for the presentation or before the process of casting a series of products. In this regard, high demands are made on the prototype, and above all on its accuracy.
What should be the prototype? A good prototype should be:
The maximum accuracy of the prototype is ensured by high-quality and professional 3D modeling, carried out in special programs for engineering three-dimensional graphics. To build a 3D model, all available graphics, drawings, drawings and sketches, as well as technical documentation are used.
A prototype used to test a product on a target audience or to make a reverse mold is most often a one-time one.
3d prototyping methods
There are two main ways to create a product prototype:
- 3D milling;
- 3D printing.
3D milling– is the process of manufacturing a product prototype using a CNC milling machine. This method has unlimited possibilities for creating a prototype of any configuration and any level of complexity. In addition, it is possible to choose the desired material – wood, plastic or metal. 3D milling is the most accurate way of prototyping.
3D printing – creating a prototype on a 3D printer by layer-by-layer building up an object – inkjet modeling, stereolithography, selective laser powder sintering.
3D printing technology is selected primarily based on the requirements for the material. The most popular materials are ABS, PLA and PVA plastic, as well as polymer powder. 3D printing is widely used not only in the field of prototyping, but also in small-scale or piece production, due to the variety of 3D equipment and consumables. Rapid prototyping is a time-consuming and responsible process that only professionals can perform with the highest quality.
The KLONAcompany carries out complex prototyping of objects. Starting from the creation of a 3D model of an object and ending with the adjustment of small-scale production of a product.