When and Why Should You Choose 3D Prototyping Services?
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, continues to represent the future of manufacturing and prototyping. But should you use it for your project? If your design needs an aesthetic or functional model, you should definitely consider 3D prototyping services for faster production at a more reasonable cost.
Each project may have different requirements, so here are some instances where it makes sense to use 3D printing to build custom prototypes.
You require an accurate aesthetic model.
Stereolithography (SLA) is a 3D printing technology that can build accurate aesthetic models and rapid prototypes. SLA uses a precise laser to cure liquid resin inside a build chamber, crafting the model one layer at a time.
You want your prototypes to be functional.
3D prototyping services include selective laser sintering (SLS), an additive manufacturing technology that fuses powdered nylon or glass-filled PA12 material one layer at a time with a high-precision laser to create accurate and robust parts. The process is ideal for building functional prototypes and versatile enough for low-volume end-use manufacturing.
Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) is another version of SLS 3D printing, but this time, it builds materials by sintering metal powders one layer at a time. It builds highly complex shapes from materials like stainless steel, titanium, copper, tool steel, and aluminum.
You have a complex design.
Other prototyping methods, such as CNC machining, have limitations in their capabilities. 3D printing can produce more complex designs, with or without supports, and at a more reasonable cost. It also does that faster and more accurately based on your CAD model.
You want to save money.
Prototyping can be costly when done the traditional way, and the results may not even be perfect. 3D prototyping services are more cost-effective and help reduce the costs of building a model of your design. The process also involves minimal human intervention, thus, reducing labor costs.
Sustainability makes 3D printing ideal for building prototypes. Subtractive manufacturing methods can waste raw materials, but additive manufacturing requires only a specific quantity of material to build the part, leaving minimal waste. Any excess materials are recyclable or reusable, so they leave minimal impact on the environment.