What Is Rapid Prototyping?

Rapid prototyping means making a physical sample of a new product design idea. This is done as a preliminary step towards eventual production, and is most useful when verifying that the finished product will look, feel, and perform as intended. New product developers turn to rapid prototyping for several reasons. They’re used for functional testing, approvals, design iterations, for crowdfunding campaigns, trade show models, and as a bridge to low-volume manufacturing.


coming to the rapid prototyping definition, the term is originated from the manufacturing industry. Rapid prototyping or rapid prototype is the process of involves a collection of many techniques used to quickly fabricate a physical part, model or assembly using three-dimensional CAD (computer-aided design) data. The prototype can be tested before mass production of the part. The construction of the part usually applies 3D printing or additive manufacturing technology. In the process of creation, the engineering product design can be evaluated visually and functionally. Rapid prototyping can also visualize what a website or an application will look like to get feedback and validation from users, designers, and developers.


Prototypes often inspire re-designs, improvements, and other modifications that may not have been obvious merely from a computer graphic, so in this regard they’re beneficial for optimizing a design before committing resources to larger volumes. In fact, being able to correct design errors early in the development phase can more than compensate for the cost of the prototype itself, so they’re wise investments.

The first methods for rapid prototyping became available in the mid 1987 and were used to produce models and prototype parts. Today, they are used for a wide range of applications and are used to manufacture production-quality parts in relatively small numbers if desired without the typical unfavorable short-run economics.

As with CNC subtractive methods, the computer-aided-design – computer-aided manufacturing CAD -CAM workflow in the traditional rapid prototyping process starts with the creation of geometric data, either as a 3D solid using a CAD workstation, or 2D slices using a scanning device. For rapid prototyping this data must represent a valid geometric model;

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