Rapid Prototyping (RP) is taking the design world by storm, allowing creators to quickly fabricate a scale model of a physical part or assembly for effective conceptualization and development. From inventors to artists, this approach has a wide variety of applications.
It used to be that one needed to invest in $500,000 machines to implement this process. But thanks to innovative new solutions like Shapeways.com, rapid prototyping is more accessible, easier, and cost effective to pursue than ever.
Shapeways is the leading 3-D printing service and marketplace, utilized for everything from mechanical parts and robotics, to jewelry, art, and accessories. It gives you all the tools you need for rapid prototyping from start to finish.
An easy-to-use 3-D printing app lets you design and tweak your product, giving you access to a range of popular programmatic, sculpting, and modeling software; you can even hire a professional designer through the website to help you in the process.
Once completed, you can upload your model onto Shapeways.com, where you will receive instant pricing, quality fixing tools, and your choice of over 45 premium materials. Beyond prototyping, you can mass-produce and distribute your product across the company’s vibrant marketplace.
When rapid prototyping, keep in mind these four lessons and ideas:
Determine what needs prototyping. Prerequisites to look for are complex and dynamic interactions, new functions and features, and any changes in technology or design.
Consider how much of an idea should be prototyped. Usually it is best to focus on the key functionality that will be most vital to your users. However, rapid prototypes not only show how something will work or look, but can cover the entire product or concept.
Plan each iteration piece by piece. It is easier to start a broad concept and then go in-depth into each selected area. For example, if you are building a website, start reviewing and revising the homepage and the main sections, then move on to other sections and functionalities.
Construct a story. Weave together all the elements of your prototype to better understand what your end goal is. This also helps you visualize the sorts of users that will be using your product or design concept.
With these things in mind, you can take full advantage of the amazing tools and functions that Shapeways.com has to offer.