Rapid prototyping – advantages and disadvantages

In manufacturing, rapid prototyping is used to create a three-dimensional model of a part or product. In addition to providing 3-D visualization for digitally rendered items, rapid prototyping can be used to test the efficiency of a part or product design before it is manufactured in larger quantities. Testing may have more to do with the shape or size of a design, rather than its strength or durability, because the prototype may not be made of the same material as the final product. Today, prototypes are often created with additive layer manufacturing technology, also known as 3-D printing. Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) may also be used to create aluminum, stainless steel or titanium prototypes. This process uses laser beams to melt and fuse metal powders into solid parts.

Read more: 3D Printing | Rapid Prototyping | Additive Manufacturing

rapid prototyping- advantages and disadvantages
rapid prototyping – advantages and disadvantages

Rapid Prototyping techniques: 

The RP techniques currently available in the industry are,

  • Stereo Lithography (SLA).
  • Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM).
  • Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM).
  • Selective Laser Sintering (SLS).
  • Three Dimensional Printing (3DP).

Advantages of Rapid Prototyping :

  • Rapid Prototyping can give with concept proof that would be needed for attracting funds.
  • The Prototype hints the user about the final product look .
  • It can increase early visibility.
  • Easy to find design flaws in the early stages of developmental.
  • Active participation among the users and producer is encouraged.
  • It is cost effective,as development cost reduces.
  • Any deficiency in the earlier prototypes can be detected and rectified in time.
  • There is better communication between the user and designer.
  • The high-quality product is delivered.
  • Rapid prototyping helps development time and costs.

Disadvantages Of Rapid Prototyping: 

  • It fails in exact replication of the real product or system.
  • Some important developmental steps might get omitted to get a quick and cheap working model. This turns out to be one of the greatest disadvantages of rapid prototyping.
  • Another disadvantage is that many problems are overlooked resulting in endless corrections and revisions.
  • Unsuitable for large sized applications.
  • Compared to user’s high expectations, the prototype’s performance and the designer are unable to deliver these.
  • The producer may produce an inadequate system that is unable to meet the overall demands of the organization.
  • Over involvement of user might hamper optimization of the program.
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