Creating prototypes isn’t an easy process, and it can be costly as well, especially for small businesses. Fortunately, some innovations allow you to enhance the product development process with high-quality prototypes at lower costs. This is where three-dimensional (3D) printing comes into play. If a business develops its projects using the technology, it can save money, time, and staffing.
What Is A 3D Printing Prototype?
Also known as rapid prototyping, 3D prototyping is when you repeatedly use a design while making small and necessary changes each time. This enables you to manufacture and print physical prototypes conveniently and quickly. You can make diverse iterations until the prototype meets your expectations in the final product. The traditional techniques, such as the use of molding injection, take longer periods to manufacture, besides requiring multiple machines.
Reasons To Use 3D Printing Prototypes In Your Small Business
For a long time, 3D printing was used by large corporations only. This was because it was too expensive for smaller companies. However, with 3D printer prices dropping, printing services are now accessible to many small businesses. For instance, they’re now able to print a rapid 3D print prototype affordably within record times.
Here are some of the reasons why using 3D printing prototypes may be good for your business:
- Fast Turnaround Times
Before, any business that couldn’t afford to purchase prototyping gadgets had to rely on outsourcing from third parties. This meant that the time a project took to finish depended on the third party’s workload and speed. It would take weeks, sometimes months, to have a prototype delivered from the time you place an order.
Now, a business that can access a 3D printer in-house can design and create its prototypes within the day. In addition, 3D printing is now easily accessible through many reputable printing service providers, such as JawsTec. These providers also create prototypes quicker for their customers.
- Benefit Your Branding And Marketing Campaigns
Most 3D models have only been used for design and architecture-related industries. However, 3D printing can be used to create anything essentially. Its versatility allows businesses to produce customized promotional products quickly and affordably. Brands can create and market new products in a way that’s appealing to many customers.
Having 3D samples allows customers to feel your products, which can help your business stand out from those only showing pictures. It’s a great way to stay ahead of your competition. It also makes it easier for marketing teams to sell the brand by printing promotional products customized to the targeted customer base. This can strengthen your relationships with your existing customers and helps you create new ones with potential customers.
The best part is that all you need is to make small changes to your design and produce the product you want. You can create different shapes, textures, and parts to get the outcome you desire.
- Usable Concept Models And Functional Prototypes
Normally, design and concept models, and the functional prototype are different in their uses. Concept modes are only used to show the design of an invention, while functional prototypes demonstrate how a customer can use the product.
Creating a 3D concept model speaks louder than any number of words to elaborate on how something looks. Being something that can be held or moved around helps you to know how it feels. It gives you insight into how customers may react, and you also get to see what improvements you can make on the final product.
With functional models, you can confirm the usefulness and test the usability of different features. This helps a business to create products that can solve customer needs and offer on-demand products easily.
- Lower Costs Of Prototyping
Every business aims at reducing costs of operations and maximizing profits. In production and application runs, 3D printing is the most cost-effective solution for testing ideas and concepts. Traditional printing techniques, such as computerized numerical control (CNC) machines and injection molding require expensive machinery and labor.
Creating prototypes is how businesses can develop new products, as well as test and improve their features accordingly. Now, businesses can produce mass prototypes with reduced labor. This technology doesn’t need numerous machine operators or technicians to operate.
With 3D technology, a business can create any number of prototypes using 3D printing service providers or their own 3D printers with just a few mouse clicks. Besides, there’s a massive reduction of waste materials since the product is created new each time, so there’s no carving required from other products.
There are many reasons for using 3D printing prototypes in your small business. You’ll be able to personalize your brand and stand out from your competitors. Your customers can choose what products they prefer, which you can then print as per demand. Besides, reducing costs of operation and producing prototypes in a shorter time improve efficiency. Also, there’s the potential for high customer satisfaction with your products and delivery times.