Top 10 Ways Rapid Prototyping Can Save Businesses Time and Money

Additive manufacturing has sparked a wave of innovation. The ability to translate intricate designs into tangible objects quickly and with precision is changing the way businesses operate at multiple levels. It’s not just mature companies with a wealth of resources that are reaping the benefits of 3D printing technology. Jewelers, architects, toymakers, and many other businesses that never knew they needed a 3D printing service provider are discovering how rapid prototyping can benefit them. Here are some ways Shapeways 3D printing service can get your next project off the ground.

1. Efficient use of resources

There are many steps to bringing a new product to market successfully. Your job is to see that they all get done. But you don’t have to do all of them yourself. Having a reliable partner that can shoulder some of those burdens can be a big help. A 3D printing service that can produce the prototypes needed to push your business forward will help you to use your resources to your best advantage.

2. Test the functionality of your design

You may be
confident that your great new idea will work, but you still need to determine how
well it works before committing more of your valuable resources. A working
prototype doesn’t have to be prohibitively expensive and can help keep your
project on the right path. Rapid prototyping will allow you to quickly see how
all of the components of your design fit together and eliminate any design
flaws before they become too costly to repair. 

3. Test the performance of your product using various materials

How durable is your new product? Will it stand up to the stress of everyday use, or will it fall apart after just a few operations? Rapid prototyping can be employed to help you make critical decisions that will determine the usefulness of your product. Is plastic strong enough? Is metal too brittle? The answers may not always be obvious. Several models can be produced using a variety of materials that can be tested over a range of conditions to determine a cost-effective solution for your application.

4. Analyze different ideas

Is there a hole in your design? A gray area where you’re not sure how to proceed? Sometimes seemingly small details can have profound effects on your project. When the answer you are looking for is not intuitive, rapid prototyping can be an inexpensive way to test several ideas to determine the best path forward.

5. Easy to revise and reuse designs

3D printing
allows for greater flexibility with your prototypes. Data from your original
mock-up can reveal areas of concern that can then drive improvements to your
digital model. This new model can later be reprinted for other uses. You can
print as many copies of your model as you need for testing or as aids to set up
the jigs and fixtures that will be...