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Making Rapid Prototyping Better with 3D Printing Services

- March 21, 2018

Making Rapid Prototyping Better with 3D Printing Services

Time to market is one of the most critical issues that product designers face – the longer their concept stays in the design cycle, the less potential profit for their company. With the pressure to get products to market quickly, product designers have to make fast yet accurate decisions during the conceptual stage of design. These decisions often affect a majority of total cost factors by informing material selection and manufacturing techniques.

Rapid prototyping is a key step in design verification, but can pose a potential roadblock to product launch if not executed quickly and cost-effectively. 3D printing optimizes the design step by speeding iterations through product testing. Rapid prototyping with 3D printing gives designers the ability to fail fast, produce multiple design iterations quickly, and change a product design overnight to meet deadlines. 


Making Prototypes with a Service Provider

The journey from concept to successful product can be fraught with obstacles. Utilizing a 3D printing service with manufacturing experts to assist with each project enables product designers to remove the guesswork from their prototyping process. 

While the benefits of 3D printing prototypes may be clear, operational costs and implementation may not be. Perhaps your company has considered buying a 3D printer, but aren’t sure about the costs involved and technological expertise needed. Utilizing a 3D printing service provider can help bridge gaps in knowledge and equipment, and may lend a hand in the make vs. buy discussion later on. 

Service providers like Stratasys Direct Manufacturing offer expertise honed over 30 years in the industry, a range of technologies, both additive and subtractive, and excellent customer service. Our rapid prototyping services enable companies to get imperative feedback, revise, iterate and bring better products to market fast.  

At Stratasys Direct we offer five 3D printing processes, each with its own unique build style, design limitations and material properties. We have two 3D printing technologies that offer unprecedented detail and cosmetic finish with fine resolution: PolyJet and Stereolithography. These two technologies are ideal for concept models and prototypes that need excellent aesthetics. 

For functional prototypes, Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), Laser Sintering (LS) and Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) build strong, durable parts with engineering-grade thermoplastics. Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) is also available for metal prototypes. Produced much faster than with traditional manufacturing methods, these prototypes provide realistic simulations of the mechanical functions of your design in the same materials as the end product.


rapid prototyping
rapid prototyping


Making Prototypes Cost-Efficient

3D printing provides a highly cost-efficient means of quickly producing numerous design iterations and gaining immediate feedback throughout the critical early stages of the product development process. 

The ability to refine form, fit and function quickly can significantly improve production costs and time to market. This can create a distinct competitive advantage for those companies who include 3D printing as an integral part of their design process.

Making Prototypes Successful

3D printing can increase the chances of a successful product launch by enabling quicker design evaluations and a more iterative process. Successful product design requires review and input from many sources, and design teams can review concepts earlier with company stakeholders. Fast collaboration with engineering, marketing and quality assurance empower product designers and engineers to make adjustments throughout the design process and follow-up testing.

Ultimately, an optimized design process with more prototype iterations can help minimize risk of product failure. 3D printed prototypes give designers a thorough understanding of products earlier in the development process, minimizing the risk that problems will go unnoticed. With fine feature details and the strength to withstand rigorous testing, designers and engineers can be more confident in their work as they move forward in the product development life cycle.