Prototypes can be developed using various techniques but when a company needs a sample from real production materials then rapid injection moulding is the best option. This method is similar to the regular injection moulding process except that the mold created for this procedure is built in less time and used for only low-to-mid-volume quantities. With traditional mold making, the mold can take months or longer to build in order to capture all the necessary details and ensure quality parts are created. The prototype tooling is designed to give an overall feel for the design and function but does not need to be as perfect since it will never actually be used on the market.
The price factors for rapid injection moulding are low because while the timeframe for the job is usually short notice, the cost is lower than utilizing other methods. Businesses with demands for prototype tooling should ensure the prototype service provider they work with is able to handle these types of projects. Depending on the specific project requirements the molds are often not able to be reused on a large scale basis because of the quick assembly but are viable enough for the time period needed to get the sample completed and into the hands of the customer.
Another purpose for this technique is called bridging which means utilizing this production method while production molds are being created so that the short and long term aspects of the project are conducted at the same time. Of course, the rapid sample needs to be finished early enough to catch any design flaws or errors so the production molds can be modified without too much expense. The overall process is designed to be cost efficient for the requesting client so they can move forward with product development with confidence and assurance concerning the quality.