Prototype manufacturing is an important part of refining your designs to accelerate innovation. When prototype machines are available, it means a tremendous amount of the intellectual work behind your strategy is done and the fruits of your labor will soon be realized.
Three major workflows combine for quality prototype manufacturing:
- Needs Assessment: First and foremost, you need to be sure that your manufacturing partner is positioned to deliver fully on your needs. This is a crucial step that is all too easy to overlook unless you’re using an experienced, quality-focused manufacturer.
- 3D Modeling and Printing: The latest 3D modeling and printing software is essential for accurate components. Modeling provides the precision to ensure your prototypes are fabricated within the tightest tolerances every time.
- CNC Machining: Excellent CNC machining is key to reliability: That the prototype will perform as expected and stand up to repeated use. CNC equipment dictates the range of materials that can be used, plus the level of precision attainable.
These steps are the foundation stones that deliver prototype machining excellence. By making sure they are in place, you and your manufacturing partner position your enterprise for success – not only for your prototype project, but for scaling production in the future.
When these processes are done right, you unlock the three big business benefits of prototyping:
1) Faster Time to Market
The speed of your market entry can make or break your position, especially in competitive fields. For medical device manufacturers, for example, the difference between being first or second on the scene can close down promising avenues of development. Getting to market faster also helps save millions on “playing catch up” in marketing and advertising. By cutting months off your project timelines with rapid prototyping, you can prepare for sustainable market dominance.
2) Better Proof of Concept
Superior proof of concept gives you the intellectual horsepower you need to meet exacting standards, whether you are aiming to win over a fickle public or navigate a regulation-driven sector. You can subject a prototype to rigorous testing that will ensure the mix of function, fit, and finish you need. Testing now could protect you from fines or an embarrassing recall later – and with a proven prototyping process, you’ll still save time rather than lose it.
3) Rapid Refinement and Iteration
The data you gain through prototyping should flow seamlessly back into your organization so you never find yourself going “back to the drawing board.” As your prototyping process reaches maturity, you can easily adapt products to changing market conditions. The right industrial automation firm should be able to understand your evolving needs, update your schematics accordingly, and deliver new devices for testing or test marketing in a matter of days.
Backed by sound design philosophy and manufacturing, a prototype machine will deliver tremendous value to your bottom line. Companies large and small have wondered how they ever got by with less.