The Fascinating Technology That Is Changing The Prototype Process

Apr 14, 2015 by

The Fascinating Technology That Is Changing The Prototype Process

For years, businesses have been harnessing the power of prototypes. This is the process of designing and building full scale, workable models of a final product. It allows engineers and designers to test a workable product before mass production. It is a technique that has been used and honed for decades in order to perfect a design. Nowadays, that process is becoming easier and faster thanks to modern technology.

Not only that, but many companies are bringing their prototyping in house. In the past, companies would often have to outsource the building of their prototypes. Of course, this still happens on a huge scale. But, modern technology is helping bring some prototype building closer to home. So, what exactly is the technology behind this process? We decided to investigate and find out how technology is pushing this process forward.

Computer software

Computing is the big driving force behind prototyping. So much of a product can now be designed and tested using computer software. Without the need for building or hands on engineering, experts can build and test a product using a computer. Sophisticated CAD/CAM and design software now allows for full digital rendering. The experts can analyse every detail in 3D and make minute changes in the product itself. This process can be honed before it is built in real life.

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3D Printing

The concept of 3D printing has been floating around tech circles for a decade. Many thought it would change the world we live in, including our daily lives. 3D printers haven’t quite entered our homes in the mainstream way that many predicted. But, they have entirely changed the way businesses operate. Startups are reaping the biggest rewards here. They can now design a product and use a 3D printer to have a complete 3D model in less than a day. It is seriously speeding up the process of prototyping.

CNC Routing

This is an older technology that is still right at the heart of prototype design. It is the art of cutting and carving all manner of materials into a prescribed design. It involves fabrication and cutting of industrial materials such as acrylic, metals and wood. This fine art is almost always outsourced to the likes of Trade CNC. It involves expert precision and equipment that is best left to the professionals!

Lasers

There are few things in the tech world that can’t be improved by adding lasers! And that is certainly true in the world of prototyping. Lasers provide one of the fastest and most efficient  methods of prototyping. They have two main features here. The first is cutting. Lasers are a fantastic and powerful method of cutting through tough materials. Secondly, they are instrumental in ‘rapid prototyping’. In fact, the very first concept of 3D printing revolved around two lasers. They are used to fabricate and mould materials into a useable design.

Technology really is changing the process of prototyping for the better. It is now faster, more efficient and more powerful than ever. Engineers are designing and testing with more accuracy. As a result, the final product makes it through to completion with more strength.

 

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