What is Rapid Prototyping?
Rapid prototyping is a series of techniques that are used to quickly fabricate a scale model of a physical part or assembly using a 3D computer-aided design (CAD). The part that is created is then assembled via 3D printing.
At Southern Model, we offer the following 3D printing services:
- 3D Architectural Modeling: When it comes to three-dimensional architectural models, there are a few types that are used. We specialize in producing these, and we can work with you to find versions that work best for your needs.
- Three Dimensional Printed Architectural Models: Once we have come up with a design of the model, we can produce three-dimensional printed replicas for you. We can then take the digital model and bring it to life. This way, we can provide you with a physical representation of your building that you can pick up, touch, and alter if required.
- 3D Model Painting Service: For you to get the most out of your printed three-dimensional model, we know that you need to have it accurately painted. We make sure that our prices are competitive in the industry. If your budget is tight, we can work with you to come up with a way that you can afford our painting services.
- 3D Model Moving Service: We know that your models are valuable, and we want to do everything we can to protect them. If you must move, we know that you are nervous about transporting your model. You are worried that it might get damaged in transport. If you need help moving your model, then we can help you. We have a tremendous amount of experience in this field and our experience places us in the perfect position to help you move your model safely.
What are the Uses and Advantages of this Method?
There are several advantages and benefits associated with Rapid Prototyping, including:
- The ability to paint a more complete picture of how a product will look or perform in the early stages of the manufacturing and design process. This also allows changes or improvements to be made earlier on in the process, saving both time and money.
- Rapid Prototyping is a cost-effective way to prototype products because it is an automated process, so it requires less staff to operate. The RP process is also extremely precise. Using computer-aided design reduces the amount of material waste and does not require special tools to prototype each new product.
- RP makes it possible for designers to present new concepts to board members, clients, investors, and so on. When presenting these concepts via Rapid Prototyping, the audience can grasp and understand the concept and development of a product a lot easier. This visualization also allows designers to receive steady feedback from customers and clients in real-time.
- The ability to thoroughly test and refine concepts. Being able to minimize design flaws with a small volume rapid prototype run helps abolish expensive design flaws that may not even be noticed during early assessments.
How Much Does Rapid Prototyping Cost?
One of the most common questions we get asked is how much Rapid Prototyping costs. It is a simple question with a complicated answer. The cost of rapid prototyping varies quite largely. Costs can range from $100 to upwards of $100,000. Cost depends on several factors, including:
- What type of product you are seeking a prototype for
- Whether or not you have a design ready for prototyping
- What the purpose of your prototype is
- Volume or size of the parts that are being created
- The surface finish of the product
- The materials used for the prototype
- How much post-manufacture processing will be needed
To determine how much your prototype will cost, you must figure out where exactly you are in the process, here are some examples of different stages of the product development journey:
- Stage 1, Concept Design: This early stage is all about research and choosing a prototype that will simulate user experience. Types of prototypes that are commonly made during this stage include user interface mock-ups, foam models, virtual 3D renderings, and beauty models. The costs at this stage are relatively low, starting around $1,000 and the design can typically be completed in less than one week.
- Stage 2, Design Engineering: This stage is all about bench model engineering prototypes that quantify options to make design decisions. Types of prototypes in this stage can be scale models of the product and proof-of-concept hand-built models. Costs at this stage are modest, but they depend on the customization needed for sub-systems and user validation metrics. These costs typically start around $5,000 for the bench model prototype testing costs and the cost of materials.
- Stage 3, Prototype, and Test: This stage creates a fully functional alpha prototype. Costs are medium during this stage and vary depending on the complexity of the product and the volume of the output. The cost of the alpha prototype materials can range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, depending on the required custom parts, electronics, and fidelity.
- Stage 4, Manufacturing Setup: During this stage, a production parts prototype that is manufacture ready will be created that is an early-stage, fully manufactured unit. Costs associated with this stage start around $30,000 for basic products and can move higher depending on the extent of the manufacturing process, volume, and development time needed.
At Southern Model, the products we produce have been done with the highest quality and best results for generations. We encourage you to compare our quality and service to any other manufacturer. Because we offer great service and a quality product, some of the biggest clients in the business utilize us. Contact us today, so you can get the best in the business of Scale Model Building.