September 26th, 2017
Plastic Prototype Suppliers: The Importance of Early Prototypes in a Robust Product Development Process
Early prototyping is critical in many scenarios, especially when it comes to a robust product development process. Manufacturers partnered with trusted plastic prototype suppliers and rapid prototyping service providers are able to learn essential production information prior to manufacturing. Plastic prototyping accomplishes a number of objectives, including physically representing how a part or component might work, look, or function in its design intent. A CNC prototype with its accurate dimensions and properties can help reveal design flaws or system integration issues that might have been otherwise overlooked.
Key Benefits of Early Prototypes
Prototyping is exceptionally valuable in products that involve a large number of parts or components such as a vehicle. In these cases, early plastic prototyping is vital. In fact the earlier they are done effectively, the more the benefit. Changes made down stream in a complex product development process are expensive, cause product delays, scrap, and inefficiency. The key is having the physical mockups available together with virtual 3D CAD visualization and PDM tools to make decisions clearly with the best information possible. With this process, manufacturers with the support of prototype suppliers have the opportunity to make appropriate changes before the product is made, which benefits the customer and the end-product user. Other benefits include:
- Tests various design features
- Verifies design functionality
- Reviews initial branding images or product shapes
- Promotes early interest by executive management for the new product
- Facilitates valuable customer feedback if displayed in marketing events or shows
- Creates a testing foundation for the development of additional features
- Identifies possible defects, irregularities, and other issues ahead of mass production
- Allows company stakeholders to review a physical model and generates a better understanding of the product for important facility or capital investment decisions
- Allows refinement of the product for efficiency, saving both the manufacturer and the end consumer money through the passing down of the savings
Working with experienced and trusted rapid prototype service companies and plastic prototyping suppliers ensures clear and concise communication among all parties. In the early stage of product development, many product details are still being developed, so good two-way communication is critical to insure that all important product specifications are clearly understood during the initial design validation phase.
Prototyping prior to mass production also helps determine manufacturing feasibility. Through the challenging of creating the prototype, an opportunity to identify difficulties that would become monumental if producing hundreds, if not tens of thousands, of parts or assemblies.
The goal with prototyping is to make a product with relative ease that fits its intended purpose within the respective market while being as cost-effective as possible. The prototype gives the engineering and design teams the opportunity to review things like Design for Assembly (DFA) and Design for Manufacture (DFM). It also allows the team to conduct tests for Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA). Its for these reasons that rapid prototyping services and plastic prototyping suppliers are key to new successful new products!
For success with prototyping parts and components ahead of mass production, it all comes down to working with a qualified supplier. For outstanding quality, innovative design, and superior prototyping services, you can always trust Global Technology Ventures. Our experts possess the required experience and expertise to bring your product to fruition. Please contact us today to get started.