If you’re still manufacturing the old way, you’re missing out on some great opportunities to improve your process. The traditional manufacturing method is lengthy and pricey, and not all businesses can afford to go down that route.
That’s why the rapid prototyping industry has gotten so big. Believe it or not, it is expected to reach a market value of $2 billion in 2022.
It pays to know what rapid prototyping can offer if you want to invest in it for your business. Below are all the main benefits of adding rapid prototyping to your manufacturing process.
Prototype More Quickly
The traditional manufacturing process takes a long time. There are many little details to consider and equipment to buy in the manufacturing industry. The problem is that these things are expensive and hard to do in small quantities.
Rapid prototyping allows you to create products more quickly. You don’t need to wait for parts to become available or machines to open up. You can buy affordable prototyping equipment yourself and start with a small number of resources.
That means you can create designs quickly to determine if they work. From there, you can iterate as quickly as you can test to speed up the product creation process.
Unless you want to outsource the creation of your prototypes to another company, you will have to buy a lot of expensive equipment if you go the traditional manufacturing route. There are many machines you need to buy, and each of them serves a different purpose.
You can avoid much of that hassle with rapid prototyping. 3D printing technology and other products like the Freescan UE allow you to build products yourself without investing in more expensive equipment.
You’ll save a lot of money by going the rapid prototyping route, and that’s all money you can spend later in the product launch phase to promote your product to potential customers.
Waste Fewer Resources
The traditional manufacturing process is subtractive. You take a large piece of material and cut away at it until you get the shape you need. Unfortunately, you can’t always use the pieces you cut away and waste a lot of material.
Many rapid prototyping methods don’t work this way. They take an additive approach instead of subtractive. That means you take your building material and build your product and parts in layers without wasting as much material.
While there may be a little waste during this process, it’s nothing compared to the amount of waste you have with subtractive manufacturing. You’ll need less material to work and throw less material away at the end of the day.
Use Unique Parts
It isn’t easy to get custom parts for the prototyping process. Regular tooling isn’t built to handle small batches of parts. You need large orders to get the parts you need in many cases.
On top of that, you usually can’t get small numbers of custom parts. If a manufacturing company needs to refit their tooling to meet your needs, they’ll want to charge you a lot of money or demand a large order.
A rapid prototyping process allows you to create all the custom parts you need at a low cost. You won’t need to cut corners with parts that don’t work as well as a custom part would.
Test Different Designs
Getting a unique part is only one of the benefits of creating custom materials on the fly. It also means you can test multiple parts you design yourself to see what works best.
That means you don’t have to commit to a design completely before going with it. You can print several versions of a part to see how well it works with your product.
Doing this means you can get a better product before you start giving products to your users to test. You’ll spend less time testing as a result and be able to provide a better product once you complete the manufacturing process.
Perform User Testing
Testing is sometimes an issue with the traditional product development process. It takes a long time to get molds and a prototype for your customers. Because of that, you can’t rapidly test designs to figure out what works best.
Rapid prototyping lets you figure out what’s wrong with your products more quickly. Since you can quickly create new prototypes, you can send those prototypes to potential customers and have them give you feedback about any issues.
You can repeat this process over and over again quickly to find product issues. Since you have a quicker development timeline, this testing allows you to find more product issues and release a better-designed product.
Reduce Your Risk
Risk reduction is one of the most significant benefits of investing in rapid prototyping. You take on a ton of risk when you go the traditional manufacturing route. You’re investing a lot of time in money on product development, so you can’t afford for it to go wrong.
Since you save a lot of time and money with rapid prototyping, you have a lower risk profile. You won’t lose as much if a product you create doesn’t see success. You’ll still have money left over to invest in other projects.
Your reduced risk profile means you can take on more projects you may not have otherwise tried. That means you can take on riskier ideas that may provide a better return on your money.
Rapid Prototyping Has a Lot to Offer Businesses
There’s only so much the traditional manufacturing process can offer businesses. While it can produce great results, it has many limitations that hold back your creativity and make you less flexible. Add rapid prototyping to your process today to create better products more efficiently.
Do you want to learn more information about optimizing the product creating process? Head back to the blog to find more articles that tell you everything you need to know.