One of the challenges of designing a new product is finding ways to get it into the market ahead of your competition. This is where rapid tooling can help. It can involve one or more prototyping technologies that can help you and your design team during your product development and prototyping stages. The process allows you to develop tangible versions of your idea or design, so you can test, validate, and analyze them before it goes into final production tooling.
There are many benefits that rapid tooling can provide to your project. Here are some of them:
The process eliminates the need for conventional tooling to open up new opportunities for improving the product. It’s faster than traditional prototyping and it allows designers to analyze complex geometries, which may be impossible to develop using conventional methods.
Rapid tooling lets you save time as it reduces the need to create distinct patterns, molds, and tools manually. This way, the time between your initial concept and evaluation can be decreased. Moreover, it produces accurate prototypes that are ready to use for testing to verify the features, performance, and usability.
Rapid prototyping produces production-grade parts that allow you to effectually analyze the product’s performance and overall quality. This way, you can get more reliable testing results and identify the changes that must be done before the parts go into final production.
Rapid tooling also has many applications because of the versatile processes involved. Moreover, new procedures are being introduced as technologies develop and improve. Here are some of its known applications so far:
- Custom molds – Non-metallic and metallic molds can be created through processes like injection molding, vacuum casting, and die casting.
- Cast shapes and cores – 3D printing technologies like SLS can create a range of shapes and cores for parts and prototypes.
- Market testing – Rapid tooling can deliver production-grade parts that can help you understand the product better.
Be sure to work with the right provider of prototype manufacturing solutions to get the best results. Some companies can review your project for free to help you identify the best tooling technology that can realize your design.