Many people get confused with rapid prototyping (here the word ‘prototype’ means a model) and they confuse it with injection molding and others. But the rapid prototyping is a technology that is available to the designers so that with the help of it they can create a three-dimensional scale model of their designs. It can be any model with the design and shape of a cube, rectangular prism, sphere, cone, cylinder, etc., It is very helpful for engineers to create such models. Next, the technology that is used in the process of rapid prototyping is 3D printing, additive manufacturing systems, CNC machines, and injection-molding systems. Injection molding system is a part of the process due to which many get confused and think rapid prototyping is the same as injection molding. But it’s different in some aspects.
Rapid Prototyping through CAD
In the process of Rapid prototyping, the system or the process which the engineer chooses depends on them and their design. In prototype models and products, CNC machines and injection moldings have also played a vital role in developing the same. In the rapid prototyping process, the model of any object is made using layer-by-layer CAD (computer-aided designs) models. Firstly, the designer of the model will create a 3D image or the model image in the computer, and then it will be connected with the prototyping machine. After setting the instructions, the models will be designed or created in the same way the image was created on the computer.
Less Costly and Shorter Time
But again there is a complex process with the machines. The machines are pre-programmed. Besides that, there are four aspects in rapid prototyping that is input, materials, application, and method. Some of the advantages of rapid prototyping are as follows – It is one of the fastest methods for developing model ideas. Like you can create any 3D design and get the model. With the help of CAD, one can get multiple designs iterations. Rapid prototyping is like a CNC machine system in which the development time of the product is short and also the cost is reduced. Now, the cost factor depends on the number of models that you have ordered. If it’s 15 to 20 then it will be low cost. And if it’s 100 then the cost may increase, keeping the resources in view.
No Material Wastage and Less Dust
Another benefit of the rapid prototyping method is that there is no material wastage like it is done in CNC machine work or rapid tooling. Along with the merits, there are some demerits also of the rapid prototyping system. One of the biggest demerits is shrinkage and thermal warping. Sometimes due to the size of the printer casing, there can be limitations in the size. One of the main reasons why rapid prototyping is very popular is because complicated designs can i.e. the difficult shapes can be easily built. Plus, there is less dust and waste. Just like a CNC machine, this machine also requires maintenance. In rapid prototyping, the machines and the software do the main work, so there is no need for any kind of human intervention.