Rapid Prototyping to Accelerate Product Design and Product Development

Rapid prototyping is one of the standout features of 3D printing technology. With rapid prototyping, companies easily create physical samples from computer-aided designs. In turn, engineers assess their feasibility in the market or supply chain.

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How is Rapid Prototyping Used?

Increases Product Development

In the past, manufacturers have fallen short on creating prototypes fast enough for the demands of their given market. However, with 3D printing technology, product development teams can now create prototypes whenever there is a need.

Whether it be automotive parts, sporting goods, or aerospace components, rapid prototyping techniques have become essential elements in modern production practices.

Used in Additive Manufacturing Technologies

Rapid prototyping was one of the first popular uses of additive manufacturing technology.

In the early days of the industry, 3D printing technology was not refined enough to produce high-quality, end-user products. As such, additive manufacturing was originally conceived to study prototypes of parts and components before putting them into mass production.

Today, many types of 3D printers are used for rapid prototyping. Whether it be selective laser sintering (SLS) or stereolithography (SLA), all additive manufacturing processes are suited to rapid prototyping.

Gathers Critical Information for End Product

Rapid prototyping is a major benefit for engineers in the high-output manufacturing world of today. By producing physical replicas of digital renderings, 3D printing gives design teams the ability to conduct functional testing for design flaws.

With solid 3D models in hand, design teams assess the functionality of parts to make any necessary changes. Important elements that are critically assessed with prototypes include the color, shape, and texture of components.

Once engineers are 100% certain that the prototype is the best possible version of a part, the manufacturing team can start producing finished products.

Two Types of Product Design Prototypes

Low-fidelity Prototypes

Low-fidelity prototypes are simplistic representations of more complex designs. Importantly, such basic prototypes are great for highlighting alternative design solutions through visualizations, which helps provoke innovation and improvement. Oftentimes, low-fidelity prototypes will be used early on in the design process.

High-fidelity or Functional Prototypes

High-fidelity prototypes are detailed models that more closely resemble the desired final product. Engineers tend to use high-fidelity prototypes when assessing how a component will function as a part of a greater assembly. Because of their level of detail, high-fidelity prototypes are often used in later phases of product development.

Advantages of Rapid Prototyping with Carbon 3D Printers

Our goal at Carbon is to help companies develop better products in less time. That being said, we’ve created an entire 3D printing ecosystem with rapid prototyping in mind including—technology, materials, processes, and partners.

High-performance 3D printers

Carbon offers high-performance 3D printers for a variety of applications, from low-volume prototyping to high-volume, end-use products. While each of our 3D printers includes key features like technical support and the Carbon Engine Design™ tool, they differ in their overall build capacities.

When it comes to product development, Carbon 3D printers have been known to reduce production times from 8 weeks down to just 3 days.

High-quality prototype parts

In the early days of rapid prototyping, almost all parts produced were considered low fidelity. This notion still rings true for prototypes manufactured with less robust 3D printing technology such as fused filament fabrication (FFF).

Carbon Digital Light Synthesis™ (Carbon DLS™) is a revolutionary resin-based 3D printing method that enables companies to create high-quality prototypes that more closely resemble end-use products.

Acquire functional prototypes through our partners

The Carbon Production Network gives you the ability to outsource high-quality prototype manufacturing in your local region. If you don’t have enough prototyping needs to warrant your own 3D printer, working with a Carbon Production Partner is a great way to still access our printers and improve your product development processes.

Working with Carbon Production Partners helps modernize the early stages of product development with dedicated rapid prototyping services.

Best-in-class user experience

By combining leading technology with quality materials, customer support, and partner networks, Carbon has created the best-in-class user experience with 3D printing.

Highlights of the Carbon platform include:

With Carbon technology, businesses can manufacture higher-quality prototypes in shorter periods of time. Using Carbon 3D printers, design software, and photopolymers allows for quality rapid prototyping that keeps your product development team ahead of the curve in your field.

Get Rapid Prototyping Done with Carbon

Carbon is a 3D printing technology that helps businesses streamline manufacturing with end-to-end services. With Carbon’s rapid prototyping process, you can greatly reduce lead times and stay ahead of the curve in your market.

Carbon’s headquarters is located in Redwood City, CA. We also have branch offices in China, Japan, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.

3D as It’s Meant to Be

Interested in utilizing Carbon to accelerate product development? Reach out to us at sales@carbon3d.com to learn more!