ABOUT Prototyping Services
Technology: General Prototyping Services are modeling and similar services offered by manufacturers in which prototypes are fabricated by traditional machining, casting, etc. There are four general categories for these models. A Proof-of-Principle prototype is used to demonstrate that the product or part design will work or require more development or testing. These can also be used as models to acquire additional funding for their production and introduction into markets. Form Study prototypes are usually used to explore and make decisions on the "form" a product will take. These models are typically made of non-durable, inexpensive materials and can be hand carved or machined. Visual prototypes are intended to show a product's visual attributes such as surface texture, color, and appearance but are not actual working models. They can be used for photo shoots and final acceptance by upper level management. Functional prototypes, or working prototypes, are used to demonstrate both the form and function of a finished product prior to production runs. These may be actual product size or scaled down to reduce cost.Provide proof of concept for a product or partReduced development cost by identifying design flawsIncrease speed to marketProvide an early view of what the final product will look like and how it will functionCan provide user input during the design cycle
Advantages: Prototyping services play an important role in new product development.
Limitations of Prototyping Services:Not suitable for large applicationModel may not meet overall company needsUser may get "too involved" with features leading the design away from the initial product intent
Applications: Prototyping services are a traditional method of producing samples for several stages of the design process.Limited runs of functional parts