There are various types of 3D printing prototypes according to their different uses and applications. Here we list several common types:
1. 3D printing prototype in design stage
Every product development starts with product design. In the early stage, designers need to understand the design and be able to communicate it to product development team members.
Since the design of 3D printing prototype is mainly used to explain the initial design concept, FDM, a relatively less expensive 3D printing technology, can be selected first.
For color prototypes, CJP (colorjet printing) can be selected. If the design has finer features or needs to show a more comprehensive appearance of the finished product, SLA (stereolithography) or DLP (digital light processing) can be selected.
2. 3D printing prototype in research stage
Researchers have been using 3D printing prototypes since the early days of technology. The ease of use and economy of 3D printing make it an ideal technology for creating research stage prototypes.
Because 3D printing eliminates the need for tools, it can even make a single product very economically. In addition, for the small batch production in the research model, it shows the advantage of low cost compared with the traditional process.
MJP (multi nozzle printing) may be an ideal 3D printing technology for such applications. This technology can truly simulate the effect of the final product through a variety of materials, optimize accordingly, and even enhance the performance of the product.
3. 3D printing prototype in marketing stage
It is quite common for marketers to print prototypes of pre released product models in 3D. With the help of 3D printing, users can touch, feel and test products by hand. This marketing stage model close to the actual product is usually made of technologies such as DMLS, CJP or MJP.
4. Product function 3D printing prototype
The product functional prototype is mainly used to observe and test the movement, strength, operation and influence on adjacent parts of the mechanical prototype and connecting rod. Some more industrialized production grade materials can be used for 3D printing of functional prototypes.
5. Engineering evaluation of 3D printing prototype
For engineering evaluation, 3D printing technology is as important as materials. Therefore, it is recommended that the printer and materials be perfectly compatible with each other. And its wide range of material combinations provide a good choice for engineers' testing applications.
6. Simulated 3D printing prototype
Until the product is delivered for production, simulating 3D printing prototype is very important for product testing. FDM 3D printer can create complex internal structure, which can easily complete wind tunnel test.
3D printing prototype is the core of additive manufacturing from the beginning. Because it can produce small batch and high-quality parts at the lowest cost, this application has always been in a pivotal position.
Since its invention, this technology has made great progress. There are dozens of platforms and hundreds of materials to choose from. It is believed that the 3D printing prototype will develop better and better.