Creating prototypes used to be a slow process given the early technologies available during the 1980s. With the advent of new technology, rapid prototyping or the fabrication of scale models became faster and more efficient. The use of three-dimensional computer aided design (CAD) data and 3D printing are some of the methods used today for rapid prototyping.
Other techniques used are as follows: ballistic particle manufacturing (BPM), directed light fabrication (DLF), direct-shell production casting (DSPC), fused deposition modeling (FDM), laminated object manufacturing (LOM), shape deposition manufacturing (SDM), solid ground curing (SGC), stereolithography (SL), selective and laser sintering (SLS).
Rapid prototyping has been widely used in production of automotive spare parts. In some conditions, an electric car models can now be built and tested in just a year through the use of 3D productive systems. Software engineers also rely on rapid prototyping techniques in developing new software. They are able to design new business models and application beta to observe functions, nuances and software enhancements.
Given these needs, rapid prototyping companies are competing to provide the best services to their clients. As service providers, these companies promise efficiency, quality and competitive packages. If you are looking for a company that provides rapid prototyping services, here are the things you need to consider.
Wide range of services offered
The best rapid prototyping companies can offer various services but they also have their niche. It means that they have a good number of excellent technicians who can work on different projects but are highly specialized in casting metal or forming plastics.
Rapid prototyping is always a work-in-progress. As such, the company has to be readily available for consultations. Its representative should provide suggestions and recommendations that will ensure the best possible output or final scale model.
Rapid prototyping is not a cheap service. But you can find affordable and competitive packages that will suit your budget and need. It is important to know the inclusions of the service package you will get. Often, you can swap services if you don’t need it and request for another that will be more beneficial to your project.
It is not always possible to make a perfect scale model in the first run. Often, you will have revisions, some adjustments, minor repairs or a major makeover. In this case, the team you work with should be professional. It’s all just business. The team should be able to discuss the revisions with you, provide suggestions, benchmark a quick turnaround time and deliver.
Chances are if you have competition, they are also looking for service providers. At this point, the company you choose should avoid any conflict of interest. If they are already working with your competitor, they need to be transparent about it so you can decide whether to pursue the business or not. It’s really your choice. But it is better to know the situation from the company rather than from somewhere or someone else.
There are so many rapid prototyping providers out there. You may get overwhelmed by their sales talk and persistence. But if you keep in mind these information about how to consider a company, you will surely find a reliable business partner.