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3D PRINTING & PROTOTYPING

Any business that manufactures a product understands the importance of verifying its design before taking it to mass production. Product design is no simple, straightforward process, and any new design often undergoes a series of steps and tests to iron out complications, possible defects, or problems.

This is where prototyping comes in, a working proof of concept that not only (hopefully) proves the viability of a product before launching production, but also shows its viability as a product, production costs and all.

While prototyping has always been an important part of our local market, plastic 3D printing in Johannesburg has turned the approach on its head on a local level, for the best.

WHY PROTOTYPING CAN BE A CHALLENGE

Manufacturing a prototype comes with several costs, but they are essential and unavoidable ones for the most part. One of the challenges comes when prototypes need to be changed, re-manufactured, tested, redesigned again… and so on. Each iteration raises the cost of prototyping significantly when a traditional approach is taken.

These costs are shouldered happily by most businesses because they are dwarfed by the costs of implementing changes mid-manufacturing or worse still, issuing recalls on defectively designed products.

BUT PROTOTYPING IS IMPORTANT

Given the costs of prototyping, it might be tempting to skimp on this step to keep production costs low, but prototyping serves several essential functions in the production process:

  • It ensures that errors are discovered before production begins.
  • Increase efficiency by streamlining production process.
  • Avoids expenses associated with wastage.
  • Ensures a viable product.
  • Gives designers the opportunity to test, discuss, and tweak the design of products.

HOW 3D PRINTING IS TRANSFORMING PROTOTYPING

Since its inception, 3D printing has seen numerous interesting and creative applications that add significant value. This is as true for the hobbyists that use it as it is for industries of all shapes and sizes, and as the technology continues to develop, so will this trend.

3D Printing has been around for a while now, and it is growing in its sophistication and application, with sectors of the manufacturing industry benefiting the most.

Plastic 3D printing in Johannesburg has dramatically brought down the costs of prototyping with the use of robust but affordable materials and additive manufacturing that allows individual parts to be created in moments.

Where prototyping designs require precision and accuracy in their details, 3D printing is perfectly capable of knocking out units that are designed to even the slightest specifications, directly from a design file.

This also brings a lot of flexibility to the process, since changes can be made directly to the design file and reprinted in moments, and at much less of a cost.

Thirdly, 3D printing significantly reduces the time it takes to manufacture prototypes, which creates a massive boost to production efficiency. This means that the prototyping stage can be finalised far more quickly so that full-scale production can begin.

PROTOTYPING WITH A RANGE OF MATERIALS

Let’s talk materials for a second, because it is commonly believed that 3D printing concerns itself purely with the use of plastic. While it is true that plastic 3D printing in Johannesburg is one of the more common mediums in the local market, 3D printers can be used with a range of materials at once, which includes metal, even gold and silver.

This means, that unless you are using fairly uncommon materials, that your prototype can be manufactured with parts that make use of different materials, while still keeping costs and the time taken to complete production, down.

GET YOUR PRODUCTION ROLLING: CONTACT BIG IDEAS 3D PRINTING TODAY

If you would like to know more about our offers on plastic 3D printing in Johannesburg and how you can use it to greatly improve your approach to product prototyping, be sure to get in contact with a representative from Bid Ideas 3D Printing today, or browse our website for details.