The quality of a product can increase productivity and profitability by lowering costs and increasing sales. Product quality depends on the customer’s expectations – how well does it do what it is supposed to do, how durable is the product and what is the expected life cycle?
Companies with strong product quality have a competitive advantage, and are consistently looking for ways to improve existing and future products. Developing a physical prototype of a product decreases the amount of guesswork from business owners. Through rapid prototyping, you can quickly discover what your customer needs.
Using Rapid Prototyping for R & D
With rapid prototyping, a trial-and-error process takes place between the developers and users. Manufacturers create a preliminary design based on the product’s requirements, usually a scaled-down version of the final product.
Users then evaluate the first prototype. They provide the developer with detailed feedback such as strengths, weaknesses, and design flaws. This is the time to determine what needs to be added, removed and adjusted before moving to full-scale production.
The developer analyzes the remarks from the users and makes the necessary modifications before creating a second prototype. Teams collaborate to evaluate the second prototype in the same way as the first prototype. This process repeats until the prototype meets the desired final results.
Why Rapid Prototyping?
Most products are not perfect the first time around. With rapid prototyping, you can spot design flaws and fix them during the development stage. If a client asks for something that isn’t feasible, you can use the scale model to show them why their request is not practical. With rapid prototyping, it’s easier to pinpoint precisely what a client is not happy about, so you can make changes right away to meet their needs.
Computer technology helps immensely with the research and development process. Computer-aided design software can alter the parameters of a prototype so engineers can examine what’s going on with the model. After a physical prototype is created with rapid 3-D prototyping and printing, your customers can see what the new prototype can do.
Rapid prototyping helps balance user goals with business goals. The process helps validate a company’s ideas with that of the users at each stage of design. Fast prototyping helps build long-lasting relationships with your customers due to the collaborative process involved. When customers are part of the creation, they are more likely to have confidence in the final product and your business.
With rapid 3-D prototyping, a company can test a product’s strengths and weaknesses instead of releasing a product that doesn't work or nobody wants. Fast prototyping helps you perfect your product before it hits the market, resulting in minimal customer complaints or returns.
3-D prototyping provides an excellent way to test, evaluate, and refine a physical product without having to wait for a manufacturer. Additive manufacturing and 3-D printing techniques allow you to create prototypes within days rather than weeks.
Marketers, customers, and collaborators come up with solutions faster when working with a physical model made from 3-D prototyping through CAD. Performance testing happens faster and is more accurate thanks to 3-D printing materials that are now available.
Do you have clients or business partners that require custom designs? Most consumers pay attention to aesthetics – colors, shapes, textures, features and more. Many customers care more about the look of a product, so offering customizable options or features helps increase the quality of your product. In turn, higher quality allows you to raise the price for better profitability.
Rapid prototyping gives you the ability to quickly create custom designs without interrupting your normal production process. Some toy companies are considering the use of rapid prototyping, which even allows input from children when creating toys.
How We Can Help
Rapid prototyping is not new, but it can be new to your company. With rapid prototyping, you can ensure the best quality possible, and produce a higher return on investment. Rapid 3-D prototyping produces fewer defects and failures, which results in lower manufacturing and service costs. Increased sales and larger market shares are direct results of products with the best performance and features.
Happy customers generate repeat business when you build credibility and trust. When your customers trust you, they will recommend you to their friends and colleagues. 90 percent of people trust recommendations from family, friends, and colleagues above any other advertising when making purchases.
Make Rapid Prototyping Work for You
Increasing sales by perfecting the quality of your products through fast prototyping is a smart business strategy and should be on the top of your priority list for your company. Contact us today to find out how rapid prototyping can work for you.