For some manufacturers, the gap is closing between ideas and reality. The reason for this is rapid prototyping.
As 3D printing technology has advanced, it is now enabling product designers to refine and adapt their concepts at an earlier stage in the process.
There are several notable consequences to this:
- It enables product designers to help their clients, investors and others visualise more accurately what the finished product will be, including its usability and durability
- It strengthens the connection between product design and its customer audience, supporting the development of mass customisation in manufacturing.
Therefore, rapid prototyping has the potential to boost investment, reduce risk and improve choice, and, consequently, competitiveness.
Selling the Concept
Whereas many manufacturers are familiar with, and implement, processes to streamline production, they can find there are obstacles at the earlier product development stage.
Rapid prototyping can help speed up product development by providing tangible concepts that go beyond traditional two-dimensional visualisations
This can be vital when product designers are looking to green-light concepts. It also allows them to make changes swiftly and refine what is on the table.
The benefits of prototyping, in selling the concept, extend to customer feedback.
Tightening Up On Testing and Feedback
Producing a finished product for the marketplace is a big, and often expensive, commitment.
Rapid prototyping means designers and developers can come up with something that closely resembles the look and feel of the proposed finished product
Putting the prototype in front of customers then allows for accurate feedback to do with its usability and strength.
In effect, it bridges the gap between concept and customer response and brings the concept stage far closer to the marketing and research of the product.
This bridging effect can have an overall transformation on manufacturing processes, making them more dynamic, responsive and agile.
Rapid prototyping is a means of helping make manufacturers more competitive, and opens opportunities for mass customisation.
Rapid Prototyping and Customisation
A natural extension of increased responsiveness to customer demand is adapting products to meet different customer requirements and preferences.
Drawing on the versatility of modern 3D printing technology, rapid prototyping helps designers adapt product ideas to fit in with what customers want, swiftly incorporating feedback and changes.
It very much supports the next stage in manufacturing’s evolution, and can provide plenty of opportunities for product developers to find an audience for what they are designing, and refine their concept it to meet customer expectations.
Are you interested in the potential of prototyping? Contact us to discuss how we can bring your idea to life.