The Simply Brilliant Blog

You Can’t Afford to Pass Up the Benefits of Prototyping!

Engineers utilize many tools in order to conceptualize a product that is attractive and functional. Advanced software and rapid prototyping are key technologies that help designers save time and money. The widespread availability of specialized design and simulation software in conjunction with 3D printing has led to products getting to market faster with fewer design defects and lower development costs.

3D computer-aided design software has become commonplace, thus enabling engineers to directly create their ideas in a virtual environment. Modern CAD software has advanced beyond simple modeling and now integrates manufacturing simulation, finite element stress analysis, rendering tools, drawing tools, and animated motion analysis abilities. Field specific to plastic injection molding, there are specialized programs to simulate part and mold design to anticipate defects and abnormalities. Draft angle requirement, part thickness, feature replication, plastic flow, shrinkage, and much more can all be evaluated before the design is taken out of the digital space. Modeling software can optimize designs through iteration for perfect product replication in high volume manufacturing.

Once digital optimization has taken place, realizing a physical object is equally as crucial. The “feel” of a product is very important and virtually impossible to replicate in software, but 3D printing bridges the gap. Eliminating the need for premature and costly tooling, 3D printing enables product designers to analyze the ergonomics and integrate a 3D prototype into other components for a comprehensive analysis. Any changes that may be needed can be quickly updated and a new 3D prototype can be printed immediately. Once the print is initiated, the 3D printers are completely autonomous; freeing up the designer’s time to multi-task! Moreover, advances in additive manufacturing have enabled highly accurate prints to be created in a wide array of materials.

After tooling is made it can be very expensive to make alterations if the desired alteration is even possible. By using rapid prototyping and similar advanced design techniques, you can drastically lessen the possibility of major and costly alterations or redesigns. Thus, eliminating redundant costs, saving time, and capitalizing on the efficiency of your resources.

At Allen Field, we utilize all these tools to create high-quality custom injection molded parts for our customers. With over 30 years of custom design experience, Allen Field delivers superior service at every stage of the design process from inception to prototyping to sourcing materials. We will work with you to find something in our product line that fits your needs, or we will create a unique solution just for your application. Contact us today to speak with one of our product experts and learn what Allen Field can do for you!

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