Top 7 Prototyping Methods Widely Used in China

There are different rapid prototyping methods you can use to achieve your goals. The method you choose depends on the materials available, the purpose of the prototype, and the capability of the prototyping company.

 

Seven Prototyping Methods

3D Printing

3D printing is also known as additive manufacturing. It is a process of creating 3D objects from digital files. A prototype or product is made by laying down layers of material. This manufacturing technique is the opposite of subtractive techniques of manufacturing.

These are the five 3D printing methods used for making prototypes.

Stereolithography (SLA)

This method is widely used because of its versatility and ability to produce quality prototypes. Although this method is regarded to be expensive, it is the fastest rapid prototyping method. Therefore, you should use this method when you have a quick turnaround and tight timelines. This balances out the high cost of prototyping.

Stereolithography process

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

This is one of the popular rapid prototyping methods. The process involves the use of thermoplastic material and injection molding. There is also DMLS, whereby the thermoplastic is substituted for powdered metal. Unlike SLA, this technique does not need support struts. However, its output is not that detailed and it may need machining.

Selective Laser Sintering method

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

In FDM, the process involves heating the thermoforming filament and passing it through the nozzle. Modern FDM machines are portable and compact and can use a variety of plastics. This rapid prototyping method allows the use of multiple materials at the same time. You will find this method to be cost-effective. However, it is slow and not suitable for the mass production of product prototypes.

Fused Deposition Modeling technique

Multi-Jet Modeling (MJM)

This is another rapid prototyping method that uses thermosetting polymers. The good thing about this method is that it produces extremely precise and smooth parts.

Multi-Jet Modeling of engine block

Selective Laser Sintering (SLM)

The method is used in creating metal prototypes by using a laser to sinter and weld parts. This process is done in a sealed chamber. SLM is also used for low volume production. The use of power lasers makes the process quite expensive.

Selective Laser Sintering process

CNC Machining

CNC machining can also be used for rapid prototyping. This method leverages the advantages of a computerized system to create high-quality parts. The method is used because it is fast and does not need fixed tooling.

Computer-aided manufacturing uses 3D CAD models to create surfaces and shapes designers and engineers need to emulate.

The good thing about CNC machining prototyping is that it helps create prototypes from a range of materials, such as aluminum alloys and polymers, such as ABS and plastic. The idea of machining any given material makes CNC machining flexible and diverse. As a result, you can use this prototyping method to create everything from spacecraft to mobile parts.

The common CNC prototyping techniques are milling, turning, and routing. Although this method is useful, it is not recommended for mass-produced prototypes due to economies of scale.

cnc machining

Rapid Tooling: Injection Molded Prototypes

Injection molding is suitable for prototypes required in large quantities. As a result, you need to ensure the design is sound and the product functions as required. Usually, a few hundreds or thousands of injection molded prototypes are made for consumer research and testing before full-scale production. This requires investment in rapid tooling and research.

injection molding prototype

Why Choose Sunrise Metal for Rapid Prototyping

It is advisable to outsource your rapid prototyping project. Sunrise Metal is the best rapid prototyping partner.

When you work closely with Sunrise Metal, you can transform your idea into a real product at a competitive price. These are the different reasons you should go to Sunrise Metal for your rapid prototyping projects.

Quick Turnaround

Sunrise Metal has capabilities that allow them to complete your product prototyping project within a few days.

Competitive Pricing

Sunrise Metal has built a modern manufacturing system that can handle any given prototyping project. No matter the size of your project you can be assured of competitive pricing.

Supports Variety of Materials

Sunrise Metal serves clients from around the world. Thus, it offers a range of prototype materials and finishes. They can make your prototype in metal, ceramics, and plastics.

Tight Tolerances

Sunrise Metal serves a range of industries that include medical, automotive, and aerospace. As a result, the company produces precise prototypes with tight tolerances.

Experienced Engineers

With over 10 years in the industry, Sunrise Metal has a team of engineers who can handle complex prototyping projects. Thus, you can be assured of quality services and your project is in safe hands.

Choosing a Rapid Prototyping Method

You should note that the rapid prototyping method you choose determines whether your prototype is a success or a failure. Remember that prototyping is iterative in nature and different methods can be used.

Choosing a prototyping method is quite important as each method has its compromise on material compatibility, speed, and cost. You should note that you are not limited to a single process; you can use different techniques to make a prototype.

These are factors to help you choose the best rapid prototyping method that suits your project.

Purpose

When it comes to engineering product development, prototypes serve four purposes. These are milestones, integration, communication, and learning. Your purpose of the prototype will determine the rapid prototyping method to use.

Quality

The accuracy or fidelity of the prototype determines the method to use. In fact, the quality of the prototype when compared to the final product ought to be considered. Also, you need to consider the lifespan of the prototype.

Quantity

The quantity of prototypes does matter in determining the prototyping method. Ideally, you want a method that is cost-effective based on the number of parts required. Some methods have a higher production rate than others.

Complexity

The intricacy and complexity of the prototype determine the rapid prototyping method. For instance, you can use additive manufacturing for making complex parts required in low volumes.

 

 

Benefits of Rapid Prototyping

 

  • New products occupy the market first

In this era, many companies are competing to come up with new products. That is because technology innovation and product development are necessary for the success of a company. Therefore, rapid prototyping plays a critical role when it comes to the making of new products. A prototype offers users, clients, and stakeholders hands-on experience.

  • Affordability

With the use of 3D printing methods, it costs less to make prototypes than using traditional prototyping techniques.

  • Minimize your time to the market

As you know, the product development process is long and time-consuming. From the time of designing the product to having it on the market, it undergoes several stages.

With rapid prototyping, you can reduce the amount of time spent in testing and validating ideas. Also, you do not have to wait for months to make prototypes and test them.

 

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