Looking at your visual prototype and wondering how to take it to another level. Worry not, all you need is a functional prototype for your project solution. This is an early sample or model of your product made for testing a concept or the process. The functional prototype acts as a visual entity to be simulated, enhanced, and learned from.
A functional prototype brings your mental formalization of a product to the actual look, feel, and function. It’s a decisive step towards actualizing an idea, invention, or designing a new product. Indeed, a Functional prototype captures all elements of your final product, unlike a normal prototype that only represents the size and appearance. For you to reap big on your final product, you need the right prototyping technology for simulation. Why? Since a functional prototype ensures your design meets manufacturing or industry expectation. Supporting your custom machining projects of metal and plastic materials, WayKen Rapid Manufacturing could be one of your best options to create prototype parts.
Crafting a Functional Prototype by CNC Machining
CNC machining technology is perfect for manufacturing production parts and functional prototypes. It’s a cost-effective method for developing prototypes and products.
CNC machines use electro-mechanical devices to manipulate their operations. Machine shop runs through computer programmable codes, such as CAD software or Solidworks. It’s a reductive manufacturing process capable of transforming a stock of metal or plastic into a functional part. Either by removing material through milling, grinding, or turning with a controlled computer.
This method guarantees superior strength and excellent surface finishing compared to other prototyping technologies. One benefit of using CNC machining in designing a functional prototype is the possibility of working as a final product. Consequently, bringing about a showpiece worth showcasing how a final product would look, feel, and work like.
The CNC machine gives you a wide range of material selection, allowing you to prototype your desired material properties. Also, this method ensures optimal dimensional tolerance. Plus, it’s the best way to test the form fit and function of a prototype.
Custom-Building with Rapid Injection Molding
A low-volume prototype is not only the best method to save time. But also most excellent for testing form-fit and preliminary markets. Though it cannot match the end function of a final product. It manufactures hundreds even thousands of functional prototypes in the quickest time. Besides, it provides on-demand low-volume manufacturing for end-user parts.
Are you a client in need of low volume simulation parts? Well, rapid injection molding gives the best results. Likewise, it bridges the difference between an engineering prototype and final production.
Replicated Moulding Using Vacuum Casting
Vacuum casting uses a specific range of materials in creating urethane casting parts. For the core purpose of pre-production assessment, low volume production, and functional testing.
Typically, molds are built from silicon rubber and polyurethane components. This kind of molds could make multiple copies to duplicate texture and details. The resultant parts have consistent finishing similar to the mold.
Vacuum casting prototypes are quick and less expensive. And you need not invest in metal tooling since it only produces a small series of about 20 functional plastic copies. The mold strikes the needed balance between production lead-time and quality end-user parts.
Vacuum casting has benefits like other methods. It’s ideal when in need of high accuracy and delicate, detailed functional plastics parts. Also, it replicates patterns, profile, dimensions, and textures for customers pursuing perfection. Still, you can use the process to test parts; for example, the thermal, airflow testing, assembly line trials, and marketing purposes.
3D Printing for Rapid Prototyping
Rapid prototyping represents techniques used for fabricating models with 3D computer-aided design (CAD). When the resultant visual prototype closely matches the final piece, the process has a high fidelity prototype.
3D printing or additive manufacturing captures a wide range of rapid prototyping technologies. But 3D printing is the quickest, easiest, and cost-efficient process to use. When designing a presentation prototype into a successful product. A Rapid print prototype aids in verifying designs and expressing ideas in the development process.
There are two types of 3D printing services, Stereolithography (SLA) and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). Both are active processes that conform to your designs, functions, and tolerance.
Stereolithography (SLA) is the most used 3D printing method. As well, Stereo Laser Sintering (SLS) is popular since it uses high power and optic laser to fuse small powder layers. By creating 3D printed functional prototypes, designers or engineers can test various thermoplastic materials in working environments to see how the final performance prototypes react under every stress of everyday product use.
Crafting a functional prototype is a vital process when introducing new products. The listed methodologies are what you need. For example, CNC machining is most exceptional for designing production parts, jigs, and fixtures. The rapid injection is fast and works well for batches of 100, 100,000, or more low-volume mold parts. While 3D printing does more. It designs fixtures and jigs, and also test parts using plastics, flexible, metals, and heat-resistant materials. Then vacuum casting favors small series parts like visual, assembly, and mechanical.
For successful functional verification, rapid prototyping achieves perfect results. Why? It uses a software/hardware co-design with accurate core algorithms. So, for you to reap the rewards on a final product, you ought to start limiting risks by using a functional prototype.