Why Looking for The Cheapest 3D Printing Service is a Bad Idea.
3D Metal Printing Prototyping
What Is It?
In short, 3D Metal Printing is a process that fuses layers of metal together using a laser to create certain parts. It’s also known as Metal Additive Manufacturing (AM) and Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS).
This ‘laser cutting technology’ is produced from CAD data, and manufactures parts that are light in weight yet extremely durable. They possess complex features like internal voids, undercuts, tubes within tubes and so on.
Great advances have been made thanks to modern technology, since the origin in the early 1980’s.
A variety of metal and alloy materials such as stainless steel, cobalt chrome or Inconel metal are used during the manufacturing process.
This system is excellent for functional metal prototypes, end-user parts or high-temperature applications.
You can create anything from small tools, dental and surgical implants and even aerospace parts, but we’ll get into all that a little later on.
Before We Print We Must Prototype
As with anything we create, there must first be a vision. An Idea of what it is we want to make or manufacture and what the purpose of such an item would be.
Once it is visualized it must be made into a physical form for someone else to see and realize what the picture in your mind was all about.
Thus, we create a prototype.
The word “prototype” originates, where else but in Greece of course, from the words “prototypon” and “prototypos” which is directly translated to mean “first impression” or “original” or “primitive form”.
So, we understand then that prototype is an early or first sample, model, cast or release of a product built to test a concept or process.
It’s a term used to explain the materialization of an idea and exists in a variety of contexts, such as software programming, semantics, design, engineering, electronics and more. Creating an actual item from a theoretical one.
Rapid Prototyping Advantages and Disadvantages
- Offers better visualization of products.
- Accurately displays physical features no matter the complexity or size.
- Improves and speeds up development of new products.
- Saves time (Accurate models can be created more quickly and effectively almost overnight).
- Models can be altered and refined more effectively before large-scale production.
- Products are released into the consumer market much quicker than with conventional methods.
- Can create a product with complex functions and surfaces.
- Less wear and tear on tools and machinery.
- The same tools can be used for various products and projects.
- Uses accurate CAD data.
- Less labor intensive.
- Reduced waste costs due to less material carving or chipping.
- Reduced risk of errors.
- Reduced overall production costs.
It’s safe to say that the pros certainly outweigh the cons when it comes to rapid prototyping. Though there are about 3 disadvantages to mention, it’s clear that rapid prototyping is the way of the future.
- There will be added development costs. Even though they’ll probably be worth more in the long run, It’ll still add up initially.
- Due to direct client involvement development processes can be slowed down as new features and functions are added.
- Complicated reusable code is created that’s almost impossible for users to revise or alter later.
Benefits of Prototyping
We’ve all heard of the term trial an error. Now the picture you see in your mind may not be the same as the picture your designer sees, so naturally, we can end up having more error than success.
Hence, we are better off creating an example or a prototype of your initial idea.
This creates a visual, workable product that can be altered, corrected, changed or fine tuned to remove any errors and then replicated or even mass produced depending on the functionality of the item.
It saves so much time and money because it eradicates the possibility of error on a mass scale.
Application of Rapid Prototyping