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131. Intro to rapid prototyping technology

Now more and more people are interested in the rapid prototyping technology. And the rapid prototyping is very important for us. So we should know more things about it.

Products need to be designed and manufactured much faster then twenty years ago and everyone is on a rush to put their products on market. That's when a rapid prototype machine comes handy. Rapid prototyping technology is gradually improved. All prototypes were either machined or modeled by hand before the rapid prototype machines and it would take one or two weeks to get a prototype part for evaluation. The new ones are "FDM" Fused deposition modeling, "3d printing"the name says it all, "SLS" selective laser sintering, and the list goes on.

FDM melts a thin abs rod and build the parts layer by layer . It's the machine to get if you want a fully functional part but resolution is not the best one, layer thickness is about 0.25mm. 3Dp gets you one of the best looking parts and it print in colors but parts are not strong as the the ones made by FDM. One could infiltrade the 3dp parts with epoxy but I've no idea how strong it gets.

SLS selective sinteres a nylon like powder to bond the particles together and parts are strong.
This are the processes I'm familiar with , there is a lot more processes out there like 3d printing using UV resins, a 3d printer that uses metal powder, 3d printing using wax and many others.The build material to use on this machines is not cheap it goes from 100 to 300 dollars per kilo and some of this machines uses a support material to build the parts taking the cost of build material even higher. It's like when you buy a new cheap desktop printer you pay something like 100 dollars for it and pay 80 dollars for a new cartridge when it runs out of the ink .Rapid prototyping machines are very expensive anything from 10.000 usd to half million add to that the build material cost and replacment parts and it turns into a very expensive printer to buy.

In fact, there are many other technologies that we don't know. Thus it can be seen, rapid prototyping is very important for everyone .

Here are some samples we have done before, please kindly take a look:

Product design

Product design
Rapid prototyping

rapid prototyping

Plastic molds
Custom molds

Electronic product
design samples

rapid prototype

Plastic molds
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