Rapid prototyping entails creating sample versions of your product to evaluate the fit, manufacturability, function, strength, and appearance, of the product components. It enables you to identify design flaws early during the product development in China, so that you can take action to fix them.
You could still be unsure about the best rapid prototyping system and technology for your design given the variety of rapid prototyping technologies now on the market.
China is the world's top supplier of manufacturing and quick prototyping services. Many businesses all around the world have profited from the nation's inexpensive labour, raw materials, and technical advancements. In addition, China is always developing and building to keep up with the inflated standards of quick prototyping and production. Chinese prototype manufacturers are investing in the most modern equipment and technology to fulfil the constantly changing demands.
You receive quick prototypes from China due to its abundant financial resources. They claim their success from the expertise and skills they have. Reputable rapid prototype suppliers will also provide quality inspection in China. Before releasing your prototypes or finished goods, you'll be provided with thorough reports that include data, pictures, and videos.
The truth is that quick prototyping has advanced significantly. It is now less expensive to obtain high-quality prototypes with investments made by several prototype makers in CNC machining, 3D printing, vacuum casting, and rapid tooling.
Different types of prototyping in China
Since 3D printing is an additive manufacturing process, where the requested prototype is created by layering many components together. Due to its great accuracy, low cost, and material compatibility, it is the most popular technology for quick prototypes from China.
Fused deposition modelling (FDM)
The most common 3D printing system for rapid prototyping is FDM. Thermoplastic fibres (such as PLA and ABS) are expelled one by one through a heated nozzle in FDM 3D printers. It is appropriate for making prototypes that will be put through form-fit testing.
Prototypes are produced by a stereolithography 3D printer employing an accurate laser. This ray treats liquid resin except for the low-resolution issue common in FDM 3D printing. In comparison to FDM 3D printers, SLA 3D printers can provide advanced accuracy and finer features.
Selective laser sintering (SLS)
In SLS method, use of powder bed aids in creating a prototype one layer while using a laser to sinter and warm up the powdered material. SLS is used for both plastic and metal prototyping. However, the part’s strength isn't as strong as it is with SLA, and the final product is typically unfinished and may require more work to be refined.
This technology is suitable for a variety of hard plastics and metals. This prototyping approach allows for the creation of prototypes with strict restrictions. As you are aware, getting parts constructed with the required materials is essential to verify your design. Quick prototypes are all constructed under the supervision of professionals. Furthermore, metals such as aluminium and its alloys, brass, steel, nylon, ABS, and zinc are among the common machined materials.
Aluminium die casting is appropriate when you require numerous prototypes with a clear layout, smooth sides, and excellent dimensional accuracy. The procedure is also basic and straightforward and doesn't require many professionals with specialised skills. The procedure can also be utilised to create prototypes out of magnesium and copper in addition to aluminium.
Benefits of prototyping in China
Early market testing
In the past, people would create items, identify any bugs, find solutions, as well as mass production, and sell products. But you may now create a Minimum Viable Product to evaluate if there is any relevant market for your product before repairing those faults.
Fixing the defects is not particularly relevant, instead, you are merely testing the viability of this product.
In the past, quick prototyping was used to determine whether a product was suitable for large production. Currently, rapid prototypes from China are being used to determine whether the product will satisfy the market demand.
Rapid prototyping has drastically shortened the time it takes to go from product design to prototype analysis by eliminating the need to create specific moulds and equipment for every new product. Anything that was discovered via this procedure can be swiftly applied to future development.
Making moulds and tools takes a lot of time and is expensive. Any modifications made to a product's design during the development stage also save money by avoiding the need to redesign these manufacturing tools. This process and its necessary costs are eliminated by additive production.
Mass production requires strict quality control due to the potential impact that even a little manufacturing error can have on an entire batch of defective goods. Quick prototypes from China enable extensive physical analysis at an early level, enabling developers to test for flaws and make useful modifications before significant production issues arise.
Process of making prototypes in China
Design the product and do it yourself so that you have the blueprint and copyrights. Avoid making the error of letting a Chinese manufacturer handle it because they will believe that they are the sole owner of all intellectual property rights.
Verify and confirm that all product components can be created or purchased. That can take some time, depending on how sophisticated the prototype is, but it will identify some of the technical challenges and confirm whether cost targets are reachable.
The assembly can begin once all the components are prepared. Iterations in design and prototype are required at this point to address all issues.
Tooling is bought after a prototype when the final components have been created and authorised. Don't forget the testing supplies, some of which can take weeks or months to prepare.
At the last stage, take some time to do thorough testing. The urge to start producing as soon as possible is quite tempting, but it is much quicker and less expensive to repair a problem that is found before manufacturing begins.
Choosing appropriate quick prototypes from China is important for a successful finished product. Different methods have different tools and costs involved. You need a Chinese supplier that uses your prototyping machine, which will help in a smooth business process.