Rapid prototyping allows manufacturers to quickly prototype ideas and create products that are identical in design. This technology also guides products through various stages of validation before they are ready for mass production. We will share 10 tips to help you cut costs and reduce the time it takes you to make prototypes.
1. Prototype in-House
You need to first ask many questions if you are interested in investing in prototyping. The first question is whether to purchase equipment to make your own prototypes or hire a professional to do them.
Most companies will find it best to purchase the necessary prototyping tools for smaller projects. It’s better to outsource larger projects. This is also true for complex or non-standard parts.
2. Choose the right technology
Consider your needs before you decide on the right prototyping material or equipment. Are you using the models for demonstration or testing?
You can choose the right technology for you by considering your requirements. If you only require basic models, then you should choose equipment that offers speed, better finishing, and attention to detail.
3. Automated Post-Processing
Post-processing is often overlooked. It is important to remember that post-processing will take a lot of your time. Some technologies do not require much post-processing. 3D-printed components require some post-processing. This stage can be automated to save time and money.
4. Multiple prints are needed to assemble large parts.
It is not always affordable to 3D print large parts. This is why it is necessary for companies to outsource such projects. These projects are difficult to print on large industrial printers.
Because assemblies are made up of different building blocks, it is a great way to create large objects. You can also add additional features to your designs to allow for printing alignments.
5. Make Hollow Parts
Most 3D printers can print dense parts. You can make hollow prototypes if you are unable to print functional parts of a specific length. This will save you a lot of time and material.
6. Adjust the layer height
You can reduce the printing time by adjusting the layer height. SLA systems can make the difference in how components are printed, for example, with 50 and 100 micron layers. It can save you a lot of time.
7. Optimize Your Schedule
You can improve your printing schedule by trying a few methods. Printing 24/7 is possible while still achieving maximum throughput. Below are some top practices you can use.
- Mix and match parts to create a single build
- Printing shorter runs may be an option before sunset
- To increase throughput and reduce the work load, you can use more than one printer
- Dashboard can be used to receive alerts after you finish a print
These seven tips should help reduce prototyping lead times and costs.