There are a variety of ways to have a prototype created and whichever vendor you decide to use should be qualified and experienced in the different methods and techniques so they can be utilized wherever appropriate. If you need a large quantity of product created then injection molding is considered fast and reliable and cost effective.
Another accurate method for smaller quantities or metal parts is CNC milling process. It can be used with either metal or plastic material and requires a computer programme be produced from the 3D CAD data. Basically, the computer reads the design that has been input through special software and it translates the image into directions that the cutting tool understands.
This tool has high quality precision and accuracy because it can move up and down or be tilted at an angle to perform the necessary cuts. It works around the entire block of material cutting off pieces so that it starts shaping into the desired tool or part. The table can move the block back and forth to assist the cutting tool and then a technician needs to ensure that it is rotated if necessary according to the specifications. This technique can be completed with variations but the basic concept is the same and users can watch the design become a reality as the tool progresses further into the process.
Having a prototype created with CNC milling service or other methods allows flaws and errors in your design to be caught and changed rather than after mass production. When you use specialized prototype manufacturer, their professional engineers can recommend that most efficient method of construction based on your submitted design and requested delivery date. They may also be able to offer 3D printing or having it built by hand if the occasion warrants it but they have spent a great deal of time and money to ensure that they have the top of the line equipment at their disposal to address any project that comes their way.
You can speak with a customer representative and ask about pricing, schedule availability, techniques and other factors that will affect your ability to work with them on a routine basis. Skill and precision are hallmark characteristics in this field and should never be sacrificed for items that are not as important. Use the Internet to research the list of companies and find out what past and current customers have said about their service and reputation through posted comments.