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Does 3D Printing Reduce Rapid Prototyping Cost?

3D printing is a rapid prototyping technique which does not rely on drilling or cutting materials to create a product. In this process, a three dimensional solid object is made from a digital model by laying down successive layers of the material. 3D printing also known as 'additive manufacturing' has been welcomed by product designers and manufacturers across the globe, due to many reasons apart from being cost-effective.

3D printing rapid prototyping technology helps you take well-informed decisions about product designing. One doesn't need a functional mechanical prototype before manufacturing the actual product, which helps in reducing the rapid prototyping cost significantly.

Exploring Cost-Saving Possibilities

3D printing is lifelike, and is the closest draft of the concept designers have in their minds. Rapid prototyping process helps in saving cost under various circumstances, like:

  • 3D print gives enough idea about the product's viability, and if one should go ahead with the manufacturing process or not. Thus, it eliminates the need to create a physical prototype, saving cost
  • You may discard the need for product prototype, as 3D print depicts if the product looks failure or the idea itself seems impractical, which is a real cost saver
  • For ideas and products where the prototyping cost is exceptionally high, or where the product is similar to another product, you can stick to 3D models and analyze product's viability
  • You can get 3D printing of your product done and outsource the physical prototyping to a service provider at cheaper cost than manufacturing it in-house, saving time, effort and money
  • 3D printing helps when you need to research about the overall looks of various products, and take consumer opinion before manufacturing
  • 3D printing reduces cost by enabling designers to detect flaws during the early stages and make productive changes in the designing phase itself

Should You Avoid Prototyping After 3D Modeling?

As discussed earlier, 3D printing gives a near-perfect idea of an actual product before manufacturing or creating its prototype. However, there are some areas for concern:

  • Handling: Just sticking to the 3D model, deprives you from the feel of handling an actual product. Mostly, you can analyze a product better from all possible angles when it's in your hands rather than just seeing it as a design. It's just like shopping in an actual market vs. shopping online
  • Incorrect conclusions: You may also be wrong looking at just the 3D design and concluding that it's impractical. It's good to have a prototype developed and checked; before concluding it useless, as considerable amount of thought and effort went into your idea to manufacture this product
  • Scope of approvals: The physical product or prototype has a wider scope of getting approved than just showing the product design
  • Physical attributes: Handling, dimensions, expert evaluation, customer evaluation, ergonomics, display-ability, coordination checks with other physical parts, etc., all become a possibility with a prototype

It is always better to keep in mind the above points before making a final decision on whether to keep 3D model or prototype as the final product. Sometimes you just need a 3D model or a product's prototype to say yes for manufacturing, while in other scenarios both may be required. 3D printing and rapid prototyping companies check product description in detail before deriving at a conclusion.

Real Cost Savers

You can outsource 3D printing as a stand-alone process, or as rapid prototyping which includes 3D printing as a development stage. Going for 3D printing as an independent process and then later prototyping it proves to be more costly than going for complete prototyping process which includes 3D or 2D design, and saves time and help you gain process excellence.

Outsource2india is a leading provider in 3D Printing File Creation and Rapid Prototyping Services. Learn more about O2I's Rapid Prototyping Services to properly evaluate your market requirements and take an informed decision.

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  • O2I's Mechanical Engineering team functioned as an extended team for an oil & gas company. We helped them complete the project in record time, resulting in substantial time and cost savings.
  • Our FEA Services team has successfully completed FE Analysis and assisted in validation and certification of equipment used in offshore applications.
  • O2I's Mechanical Engineering team is involved in updating the current database of drawings in different CAD platforms and converting the same to a common CAD platform for a client.
  • O2I's Mechanical Engineering team is working on creation of 2D CAD drawings for a large European food and beverage industry.
  • We are providing Virtual Assistant services for Engineers and Consultants, supporting the in-house Engineering team in gathering Engineering Data for a large mass lift company.
  • Our Engineering team is providing tool design assistance to a large shipping company.
  • We are assisting a precision component manufacturer to convert large volumes of hand sketches to editable CAD files.
  • Our Mechanical Engineering team is assisting a food and beverage company with re-engineering existing machinery and finding better design alternatives.
  • The Mechanical 3D Product Animation team provided a scope break-up for 180 seconds of animation for an engineering consultancy & contracting company.
  • Our CAD services team is providing design and documentation solution to a large precision component manufacturer in the Europe.
  • Our Engineering team is currently executing a Reverse Engineering project for high precision components at our facilities.
  • The Engineering team is involved in concept design of mass lifting components for a large shipping company.
  • Our Mechanical Engineers completed a CAD conversion project for a large consulting firm in record time while also ensuring the highest quality.
  • Our Engineers and styling experts are working on providing assistance to our client in restoring vintage vehicles.
  • The Mechanical Engineering team is updating 3D models and conversion of the same models to different modeling platforms for an F&B company.
  • Our team is helping an automotive company to customize product display of automotive components.
  • The Engineering team at O2I is executing concept design of equipment used in the agricultural industries.
  • We are assisting a large aerospace company in converting a large number of hand sketches to CAD drawings.

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