What Is Rapid Prototyping?

Rapid prototyping means making a physical sample of a new product design idea. This is done as a preliminary step towards eventual production, and is most useful when verifying that the finished product will look, feel, and perform as intended. New product developers turn to rapid prototyping for several reasons. They’re used for functional testing, approvals, design iterations, for crowdfunding campaigns, trade show models, and as a bridge to low-volume manufacturing.

Prototypes often inspire re-designs, improvements, and other modifications that may not have been obvious merely from a computer graphic, so in this regard they’re beneficial for optimizing a design before committing resources to larger volumes. In fact, being able to correct design errors early in the development phase can more than compensate for the cost of the prototype itself, so they’re wise investments.

How Does Rapid Prototyping Work?

Rapid prototyping doesn’t involve a single technology or process. Any of the same manufacturing techniques used to make prototypes can also apply to regular production volumes.

The value comes from making a physical model that closely resembles the design intent, is durable, can be produced quickly, and with a minimal investment in tooling or raw materials.

What Are The Different Types Of Rapid Prototyping?

Any physical model can potentially be a prototype. The difference lies in how closely it reflects the intended finished part.

Very simple models can be made with paper, plastic, modeling clay, styrofoam, balsa wood, or other common household materials. These are examples of very low-fidelity prototypes, but they do have the advantage of being easy and inexpensive to make.

These types of prototypes would likely not function very well or for long, so they’re used primarily to get a visual idea of the design and to compare it in scale to other parts.

More high-fidelity prototypes use modern machine tools and materials, including various 3D printing technologies, vacuum casting, rapid tooling for injection molding, and CNC machining.

How To Choose The Right Rapid Prototyping Technique?

The right prototyping method is the one that best fits your budget, the complexity of the part, what you want the prototype to do, and your development timeline. Better prototypes cost more money and take longer to make, but they also more faithfully represent the form, fit, and function of a production part.

The basic questions to ask are these:

  • Will the prototype be a static display model?
  • Does it need to be fully functional?
  • Are there multiple, interconnected parts?
  • What is the surface texture and finish?
  • What is it made from?
  • How important is strength and durability?
  • How closely should it match the final production version?

There are many variables to consider and we cannot cover them all here.

We recommend you contact our experts who can advise you on the method

that is best for your application.

Advantages Of Rapid Prototyping

How can partnering with Hao Shun to quickly manufacture a prototype help you and your business? Here are a few ways:

  • Show your customers and investors a physical model of your product
  • Demonstrate the appearance, dimensions, and features of your product
  • Test the market with your product before production
  • Save time and money by identifying and reducing design flaws
  • Improve and streamline the production process
  • Create multiple versions with different colors, surface textures, and finishing processes

Rapid Prototyping Services

There are three common rapid prototyping services Hao Shun provides.

Why Choose Hao Shun For Your Next Rapid Prototyping Project?

Making a quality prototype is an important first step in your product development journey. We’re veterans in rapid prototyping and we can help you to make your design dreams come to life.

✓ Industry-Leading Expertise✓ Cutting-Edge Equipment✓ Intelligent Quotations for Every Project
We’ve helped hundreds of clients, from private inventors to large corporations, create stunning prototypes that exceeded their expectations, and we can do the same for youWe’ve invested in the finest raw materials and equipment so you get superior rapid prototypes that look and perform like full-production parts, but in a fraction of the time and cost.Our proprietary AI quoting algorithm ensures you receive fast and accurate quotations to help you reach your product development goals while managing your budget.

Start Your Rapid Prototyping Project Today

Our improved algorithm decreases rapid prototyping quotation times by up to 90%. Most quotes are delivered within 24 hours or less, depending on project details. Your customer support partner will contact you directly to ensure you’ve received and understand all aspects of your quotation and to answer any questions that you may have.