All you need to know: Prototyping and 3D printing

All you need to know: Prototyping and 3D printing
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Investing in the prototyping process is one of the most effective ways to guarantee the success of a product. The more faithful and functional the prototypes are, the lower the risk factors for their production. Meeting these and other needs, the development of 3D printing technology is revolutionizing the prototyping landscape . In this post, we will understand a little about prototypes, their evolution and everything you need to know about prototyping with 3D printers

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Why prototype?

Imagine that you or your company have a great idea for a product. As much as the concept is elaborated, we need a concrete model before we make high investments and send it to production, right? In this sense, prototyping is a crucial step for the successful development of a product that seeks innovation.

A prototype is a semi-functional model of the final product . It can be developed at various levels of fidelity and its general purpose is to test and provide the basis for an efficient validation of the proposed concept. The tests can be conceptual, aesthetic, functional, ergonomic and even mechanical.

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Paralleling the electronics universe, the Arduino is our main rapid prototyping tool. With it, we can test ideas and functionality of a circuit and easily identify its errors. With this, it is possible to make changes and corrections much faster and more assertive .

Whether with an Arduino or a 3D printer , prototyping is the safest way to guarantee the success and quality of your final product.

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Rapid prototyping: the era of 3D printing

Before, prototypes were built through machining, where the object is moulded from the removal of material. Despite presenting a good result, it is an expensive method, slow and needs advanced machinery.

The development of 3D printing technologies has revolutionized the world of prototyping as we see it today. With less production time, greater precision and low cost , it is the main method used for rapid prototyping. Unlike machining, the process is based on additive manufacturing . In this, the material is added, layer by layer until it materializes in full.

In this method, we usually start with an idea projected in 2D and then model it three-dimensionally in CAD software (computer aided design). The digital model built then passes through another software called slicer . This divides the object into thin layers and generates a code with the orientations of the XY axis that will guide the extruder to print the object. Then, just pass this code to the printer, wait a few minutes and your model will be ready!

Advantages of 3D printer prototyping

Time

Time is a crucial factor in product development. Unlike machined parts, which can take days or even weeks to complete, 3D printing is finished in a matter of hours ! This allows us to find and fix errors much faster. The sooner you make a mistake, the sooner you fix it !

Cost

The 3D printer creates anything, and it can be yours at an affordable price! Its cost-benefit is high and the investment price is easily paid in the low/medium term. The price is very low, the material is cheaper, the labour is less specialized and the waste is minimal. In this way, smaller companies can also benefit from high-quality prototypes, a scenario unfeasible with the old conventional methods.

Quality

With a 3D printer, it is possible for prototypes to achieve high levels of fidelity in relation to the real model, allowing the development of objects with complex shapes. The quality varies according to the precision of the printer and to guarantee the success of printing, you must know how to choose the best filament for you.

Why invest in a 3D printer in your business

The need for innovation requires that processes become increasingly agile and accurate. Imagine how many ideas were disregarded because they were too difficult to test? With fewer obstacles, creativity is freer to flow.

Purchasing a 3D printer for your company is a major technological advance. The success of a product is totally associated with how much it could be improved in its development, in this sense, rapid prototyping with 3D printing is a major competitive advantage.

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