In the past, it was difficult to find a 3D printing prototype service due to high costs and a limited number of companies providing it. But with the growing accessibility of additive manufacturing, service providers are now able to reduce their prices. The real challenge lies in determining which service provider truly has your best interests in mind. To make the process easier, look at the following factors when choosing a 3D printing partner:
What are their 3D printing capabilities?
Reputable prototyping specialists offer a wide range of tried-and-true additive manufacturing technologies like stereolithography (SLA), selective laser sintering (SLS), and fused deposition modeling (FDM). Moreover, they specialize in advanced and specialized 3D printing technologies like ProJet MJP and direct metal laser sintering (DMLS). Aim for a 3D printing prototype service with all these solutions to avoid finding multiple companies and save time.
What are their material options?
Look for a service that provides a diverse selection of materials such as plastics, resins, metals, and specialty materials for 3D printing. This wide range of options will make it easier to fulfill stringent demands related to factors like temperature, thermal resistance, flexibility, and strength.
Accuracy and quality
The quality and accuracy of a 3D printing prototype are crucial as they directly impact the prototype’s aesthetics, reliability, and functionality. To ensure you receive top-notch results, choose a 3D printing prototype service provider that holds certifications like ISO 9001:2015, IATF 16949:2016, and ISO 14001. These certifications demonstrate the company’s commitment to quality assurance and process control.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to review the provider’s case studies and sample prototypes. This will give you valuable insights into their capability to deliver accurate and high-quality prototypes. By examining their past projects, you can gauge their level of expertise and the standard of work they consistently achieve.
Lead times and costs
How long does it usually take for them to make a prototype? Ask about the lead time from when an order is placed until the delivery. Additional expenses and delays are inevitable with longer lead times, so verify the company’s turnaround time, workload, and communication. Likewise, ensure open and clear communication lines in case of potential delays or changes.
As for cost, it can depend on factors like the material, turnaround time, and the prototype’s complexity and size. Try comparing quotes from at least two 3D printing prototyping specialists to see who can provide the best value for your time and money.
Meet the best service provider!
Choose HLH Proto as your go-to 3D printing prototype service. We make high-quality prototypes with quality and speed at a reasonable cost. Start with a free project review from our expert team, or chat with us here to learn more about our services!