Rapid prototyping has revolutionised the way shops design, test, and deliver parts for a wide range of needs. Aside from significantly reducing the time that it takes for the entire product development cycle, it has also improved the quality of resulting parts for many organisations and businesses. Even individuals who want to get started on the technology have found it to be a big help to their entrepreneurial goals.
Regardless of whether you think you need a rapid prototyping machine for personal, commercial, or industrial uses, knowing what you should is important. Remember these pointers.
Know what you need it for
Rapid prototyping makes a lot of things possible, but harnessing the full power of the technology depends on knowing what to use it for. Don’t worry, you do not have to have grand plans about the uses that you intend for it – but it does help if you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with it. If you run a shop that does parts design and development, for example, a rapid prototyping machine can help you with anything from testing iterations to actually 3d printing out custom parts. The key is to know what you need.
Set expectations accordingly
If it will be your first time to use a rapid prototyping machine, chances are you will not find the experience to be quite a breeze. After all, the tech comes with a learning curve that will take some time to get used to. For this reason, set realistic expectations that are framed within the right time horizons. For example, it will not be reasonable to expect that your first foray into rapid prototyping will end with a custom part that has been perfected according to your specifications. It is, however, well within reason to expect that your first rapid prototyping session will allow you to get familiar with all the wonderful things that you can do with it; you may even possibly run a few iterations to see what works best for the product that you are trying to design.
Get professional guidance
Finally, seek professional guidance. Reputable suppliers such as Objective 3D Direct Manufacturing should be your go-to sources of information for picking out the right machine for your goals, calibrating it to meet your needs, utilising it to satisfy your requirements, and maintaining it to the highest standards.
Some suppliers also provide trainings and workshops for beginners in rapid prototyping. And you can supplement what you learn from them with what you learn while operating the machine.