Cost Effective Functional Prototypes and Models

Prototyping is an essential phase in the inventing process and the early life-cycle of a new product. Our network of U.S-based rapid prototyping companies is ready to help you transform your CAD design into a tangible reality. Take advantage of advanced manufacturing technology to create quick, cost effective, and functional prototypes.

Rapid prototyping is used across all industries, from automotive manufacturing to toy and prop design. Communicate your idea to clients and investors, fix design issues early in development, and smooth out any wrinkles before entering full-blown production. 

With 3D printing and digital manufacturing, it's easier now than ever before to create multiple iterations of your product. These methods require no tooling and can be used to create even just a single model without having to worry about overhead costs. This is a great advantage for inventors, who can now make a single prototype, test it, modify it, and create the next iteration quickly and efficiently. As rapid manufacturing technologies continue to progress, the variety of materials continues to expand, and the cost of production keeps going down. Innovators can now easily create prototypes from the same or similar materials that they would use in final production.

There are a number of applications for this technology, depending on the stage of development and the current needs of the project. 

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Concept Models

When you're first working through a new product design, having a real tangible object can help you through the creative process. Well-constructed concept models that mimic the appearance of production-run parts are an invaluable tool for working out the design kinks in the early production process. With 3D printing and rapid manufacturing technologies, you can create several iterations of cost-effective models to see what works best. 

A well-made concept model can help inventors who are looking to license their invention or attract investor support. Concept models don't have to be fully functional or match the final appearance of the eventual product, but they can be valuable in communicating the promise of your idea to interested parties.  

Presentation Models

Don't wait until you've started tooling before you have something to show your investors. Share with them directly, right from the start. Demonstrate your design and communicate the marketability of your product in a way they can see and touch. With high-resolution rapid prototyping in a variety of colors and materials, you can build a market for your product before beginning production. 3D printing technologies like SLA and SLS allow for extremely detailed and fine surface finishes, meaing you can create beautiful models with little to no post-processing. 

Functional Prototypes

Sometimes, inventions don't work exactly as planned. Test your new product to ensure the design is right before full production. With our rapid prototyping services, you can test out the form, fit, and function of parts with a highly accurate and durable working prototype. By prototyping with production-grade materials, you can rigorously test your product to ensure it can tolerate the kinds of environments consumers will subject it to. 

Functional rapid prototyping prevents costly mistakes down the road. Create robust prototypes from the same tough materials used in final production. Make sure your design can take whatever you throw at it before beginning production.

Rapid Tooling

Rapid tooling is the combination of rapid prototyping with conventional molding and tooling techniques. Create a mold to cast parts quickly using additive manufacturing technologies. With rapid tooling, you can create limited runs of tools and parts quickly and cost-effectively without the overheads and lead-times associated with conventional manufacturing. If you have a prototype that requires tooling or you just need to create a few parts, our rapid prototyping services can get the job done for a fraction of the cost and time of conventional tooling runs. 

Create casted parts in less time and with less costs than with conventional machining. 

Low-Volume Production

Sometimes you don't need a million parts. With rapid manufacturing, you can create limited runs high-quality end-use parts from plastic or metal. This is great for iterating prototypes and creating limited-run products either for testing or for selective distribution. With the finishing options available to you from our expert manufacturing firms, you can ready for the marketplace in just a matter of days. 

The Technology

Rapid prototyping takes advantage cutting-edge additive and subtractive manufacturing technologies. We offer services in a variety of metals and plastics. Technologies include: 

  • 3D Printing with Color and PolyJet
  • Stereolithography (SLA)
  • Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
  • Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
  •  Machining (CNC)
  • Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)

Get an estimate now and get started with the best rapid manufacturing and prototyping companies in the United States. 

Need help creating a CAD design for your project? Take advantage of our CAD design services. Once you've got your idea, protect it. Connect with our network of U.S-based attorneys and get your idea patented.