Rapid Prototyping is not exactly a new industry by any means, but the way to handle tasks has significantly changed a lot in the last 20 years give or take. There are still a lot of practices that need to be standardized in this industry. While many companies do their best to keep their workers trained and prepared at all moments, there is alot of things that could go wrong as a technician and a creative team prepare themselves for a project. Common mistakes have been identified by some of the most experienced players in the market. The following list is a little compilation of problems you can avoid by taking some steps to prevent them as you work on a prototype.
Creating the First Prototype Too Soon
Design and engineering take time with any product being created using rapid prototyping services. This not a process that drags for months. But it can take a while to work out the details as the guys on each department handle measurements and geometrics to get the product right as the client requested, creating the first prototype with basic settings is a waste of resources and it will cost you money, and ultimately to your client too.
Sticking by Your Design
No one says this out in the open, but sometimes you do know better than your client when it comes to the design of a part. If you are working with preconceived CAD files, you will probably see a lot of room for improvement. While you are free to make suggestions to your client, don’t impose your ideas on them. Sometimes they want to be serviced with what they know, and that’s it.
Getting a full project will give you free reign to your imagination, you will be able to create a part from scratch and have the chance to make it functional for your client. Do your best to avoid going overboard, if there is one thing that scares the hell out of people is overly-complex pieces on anything. Try to keep a clean, stylized look on your design and be open to revision, is almost a fact that you will be asked to change more than one thing before it reaches completion.
Using the Wrong Software to Create your Design
Every single manufacturing project is different, that pretty much has already been established. There is no point of approaching every project with the same tools. STL can work as well as CAD, but there are specific differences between them that allow for thorough revisions. If you create a complex piece on the wrong software, you will have to go back to the drawing board using the program you should have used in the first place. This is a waste of time and money for you and your client. If you need perspective, go back to basics and use a pencil and paper to design the part until you can figure out what you need.
Take this advice with you as you embrace rapid prototyping services, don’t feel discourages if your first attempt fails, the most graceful thing you can do with such a serviceable technology is reworking your process and try again until you get it right. At least you know that it won’t take years to achieve success.