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3 key Solutions to Manufacture Prototyping Projects

How to push a successful prototyping project? Here are 3 key prototyping techniques involved that can meet your different types of prototyping item needs.

Categorys:CNC Prototype Machining

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Posted on August. 2th, 2019, | By Hazel, WayKen Project Manager

A prototyping project plays the role in creating and modeling a physical form to test alternative approaches and to validate the design. Prototyping in system analysis and design will be iterated many times before the final product. We can say, or Wayken can say, almost every new product will need its prototype examples before it appears in public.

What Is a Prototype Project?

The prototyping model is a systems development method in which a prototype is built, tested, and then reworked as necessary until an acceptable prototype is finally achieved from which the complete system or product can now be developed. Although the types of prototyping can be varied in material, scales and technology applications at different prototyping stages, the evolutionary prototyping can greatly help the new product to come into being.

The prototyping techniques can be divided into three types in general, Rapid Prototyping, CNC Machining and Rapid Tooling. Their unique benefits make each more suitable for different situations. They usually can be considered as three project management steps for prototyping projects.

Three key Steps to Guide Prototyping Projects

Step 1: Rapid Prototyping

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At the initial stage of prototyping projects, the rapid prototyping by 3D Printing is a quick, easy and cost-effective way to present the design from prototype ideas into real objects. Prototype model by 3D printing can create prototypes initially to present a look-alike object originating from the design. Generally speaking, the prototyping models that are created by 3D printing are usually for show looking in short term. For example, designers will need the prototype model to make a presentation before the focus groups and empower their design better persuasion.

Choosing 3D printing makes sense when the developers need:

  •  A low-cost plastic prototype model;
  •  Parts with very complex geometry;
  •  A turnaround time of 2-5 days;
  •  Specialty material

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Step 2: CNC Machining

CNC machining produces high-accuracy parts with excellent physical properties directly form a CAD file. Developers proceed the machining projects when they want a prototype model of their new design to do not only the aesthetic presentation, but also functional tests. For manufactures like Wayken has 20 years' experience of CNC machining services, as well as quipped with both 3-axis and 5-axis, they could offer a combined machining solution for prototyping projects to achieve high accurate parts and save costs.

As a general rule of thumb parts, with relatively simple geometries that can be manufactured with limited efforts through a subtractive process, should be generally CNC machined, especially when producing metal parts.

CNC offers greater dimensional accuracy and produces parts with better mechanical properties than 3D printing, which can help the developers to test the functions of their designs. The turnaround time is usually within 2 weeks within short turnaround time.

Step 3: Rapid Tooling

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In most cast, the rapid tooling is usually as a bridge between prototype and production, which with injection molding can be the final step before production run. The rapid tooling consists of aluminum or soft steel, a stocked mold base and hand-load inserts.

It is suitable when traditional injection molding is either prohibitively expensive or not necessary for the part or volume required. It is therefore a perfect way to minimize the costs when a small batch is required for market testing or when large volumes will not be required in future.

Wayken provides two injection molding service options about rapid tooling—one is best suited for those who need smaller part quantities often associated with prototyping and the other is a good fit for those who require larger part quantities common in low-volume production.

On the other hand, the prototype model by 3D printing has the disadvantages, such as limited optional material, low strength, and low weather resistance.

This is a prototyping project of Aluminum casing by accurate CNC machining. In this case, these aluminum parts can be used in functional tests as the final version with good properties and high accuracy. Almost common metals, like aluminum, steel and brass, can be machined by CNC tooling. For the machined metal parts, there is little difference between prototypes and formal products.

Besides CNC machining, the ribs feature and the through hole were machined by Wire EDM. Wayken has the capacity to combine the 3 axis or 5 axis CNC milling with auxiliary processes, such as EDM and wire EDM. We can achieve the efficiently precise CNC aluminum machining process, especially for typical aluminum surface finishing.

Examples of Prototype Project Managements

  • Example One: Prototyping Project of 3D Printing by SLA

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This is a car prototype model used in project presentation, which is scaled down from the original design. It has the appearance of the new product. Just imagine, in a situation where the designer stands in front to the focus group and is ready to convince them the outstanding advantages of his or her design from the other designs, if they hold a prototype model in hands, they can make the audience directly see and understand his design, which will help the audience have a deep impression about their talking.

The car prototype is made of photosensitive resin which is beige originally, and then finished by gloss painting at certain areas and silk screening for the letters and logo. By the way, most post finishing for prototypes are processed by handcrafts, which will produce some costs of labor relatively.

  • Example Two: Prototyping Project of CNC Machined Aluminum

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This is a prototyping project of Aluminum casing by accurate CNC machining. In this case, these aluminum parts can be used in functional tests as the final version with good properties and high accuracy. Almost common metals, like aluminum, steel and brass, can be machined by CNC tooling. For the machined metal parts, there is little difference between prototypes and formal products.

Besides CNC machining, the ribs feature and the through hole were machined by Wire EDM. Wayken has the capacity to combine the 3 axis or 5 axis CNC milling with auxiliary processes, such as EDM and wire EDM. We can achieve the efficiently precise CNC aluminum machining process, especially for typical aluminum surface finishing.

  • Example Three: Prototyping Project of Rapid Injection Molding by Rapid Tooling

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This is a prototyping project of automotive lighting bezel. For 100pcs plastic parts, it could have been produced by other manufacturing methods with lower costs, such as vacuum casting. The reason to choose rapid tooling was that the developer wanted parts that were able to withstand kinds of industrial tests with quite good enough properties that are close to final products. What’s more, compared with the traditional mold, rapid tooling can be manufactured within short turnaround time with relatively lower costs.

At Wayken, we will make the DFM for all rapid injection molding project before tool machining and offer it to customers to understand the risks analysis and make modification on the CAD files according to suggestions. Before part production, we will send samples to customers to confirm the quality and will start the production until the quality is recognized by customers.

If you are interested to know more about prototyping projects of Wayken, you can contact with me by the email address --info@waykenrm.com. All inquiries for prototyping projects from you will be appreciated, not only for a quote.

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