So often we take for granted the technologies we’re using today and forget how far we have come in such a short period of time. Manufacturing is an area which has experienced rapid growth and change, particularly in the domain of rapid prototyping.
Today, we enjoy the benefits and advantages that rapid prototyping brings to new product development, but we need to remember that it’s only been since the 1980s that this level of prototyping became an accepted approach in the manufacturing process.
Now, in a relatively short period of time, an approach that was used by some outliers has paved the way for new de facto standards in how best to approach new product design realization, manufacturing, testing, research, and ultimately productization.
It’s impossible to know where we will be in five or 10 years with rapid prototyping and technologies such as 3D printing and modular manufacturing. However, we do know that this is one of the most fascinating and critical aspects of the manufacturing and productization process. As costs, time, and resources become even more precious, the ability to move from compelling concept to product quickly and efficiently will be even more of a game changer.
Rapid Prototyping and Your Concept
Rapid prototyping can be utilized at any stage of the development process, from early research through stages of pre-production. Building iterative, low-fidelity prototypes early in the product development lifecycle process can be a powerful tool to help speed and gain clarity on concept decisions, design directions, hands on user experience insights, design intent validation, latent feature discovery, and more. To really deliver on your concept and vision, be sure to take advantage of our expertise in:
- Digital/Physical Prototyping
- 3D Printing Technology
- CT Scanning Technology
- CNC Machines
- Rapid Tooling
- Full Low Volume Assembly
The Proof is in the Prototype
In the 1970s and likely before, designers and forward-thinkers were using technologies such as paper topographical maps, photosculpture, advanced use and placement of cameras, and polymerization to build models. This intersection of technologies is what has brought us to where we are today.
With what is now considered rather basic or rudimentary techniques, which involved a great deal of time, cost, and labor, engineers and developers recognized the value of seeing the concept in real-life before rushing into production.
It is the drive and commitment to finding better ways to design, build, test, analyze, and ultimately deliver a better product that has pushed the advances we are using today.
Hardware development relies on proven and tested iterative rapid prototyping from start-to-finish using methods such as:
- Napkin sketch
- Ergonomic modeling
- Works-like modeling
- Works-like/Looks-like/Feels-like modeling
- Iterative pre-production low volume Alpha prototyping
- EVT/DVT build and test
You also need to know that your prototype is going to work. Making your prototype works is crucial to developing a compelling offering in the marketplace. This is where the Radius team works with you to ensure that you can deliver on this proof of concept with our advanced use of:
- 3D Printing
- Zund Digital Cutter
- Laser Cutter
- Urethane Casing
These new prototype methods allow us to move at a faster pace through product development and allow us to use higher fidelity tools to hone in on consumer needs while offering a better user experience much earlier in the process. This actually lowers overall product development costs, speeds transfer to higher volume manufacturing, and gets a more compelling product to the marketplace to meet immediate consumer needs.
Rapid iterative prototyping is a tool that can be applied in various forms from research through early production.
This is the real future of manufacturing and we’re leveraging the advantage of world-class, award-winning, cross-functional, and cross-cultural talent with customer relationship and project management specialists and a worldwide quality management system all under one roof with the latest state-of-the-art equipment.
INNOVATION. REALIZED. RAPIDLY.
We don’t know where manufacturing and rapid prototyping will be in 10 years, but we know that we’ll be there pushing boundaries and setting the standards that will continue to push manufacturing forward.
With the faster and more accurate prototyping tools we have available today, we are able to bring the power of prototyping to help us better uncover and refine user needs, create more compelling user experiences, and craft better-designed products. This all leads into Accelerated Product Introduction (API) that not only delivers faster to the marketplace, but also comes with the added confidence that you’re delivering the right product at the right time.