RevPart’s product development and industrial design services are offered with one goal in mind: helping our customers get their product to market faster, at lower cost and at higher quality than any other alternative available. In our experience, the best way to do that is to furnish our expertise as an industrial prototyping company as a part of the larger product design and development process, while continuing to assist our customers at every remaining step.
What Is Industrial Prototyping?
In any product development process, prototyping plays a critical role. The typical steps in product development are:
- Initial concept (which may or may not include any design elements)
- Sketch/high-level design (where rudimentary design elements are conceptualized and introduced)
- Design engineering (where the initial design is fine-tuned and developed using design and/or engineering software, in preparation for production)
- Prototype development (where a model of the engineered design is created; and testing, fine-tuning and iteration occur)
- Testing (which should stand on its own as a key step before the prototype is considered ready for production)
- Production setup (where the practicalities of the manufacturing process are facilitated, including tailoring designs to the chosen production process as necessary, sourcing a production partner, ordering and creating tooling, and more)
- Production/manufacturing (where the actual creation of the product occurs — for the intents of this example, this includes finishing processes as well)
- Fulfillment (where the manufactured product is warehoused, shipped and sold)
As you can see, the prototyping step occurs in the middle of the process, and with good reason: It’s a critically important step and is a central part of moving from the concept/design stages to the production/manufacturing stages.
In industrial prototype development, not only is the design and functionality of the product perfected, but manufacturing considerations also take shape. Depending on the process that will be used, manufacturability concerns are considered, to ensure that the product can in fact be manufactured and designed as intended; and that production can be completed with acceptable levels of quality and efficiency. Best practices for the process that will be used are enacted, all in the service of creating the best possible prototype. Meaning, in this case, one that provides an accurate representation of how the finished product will function and appear — and by extension, the best possible product.
What Industries and Products Need Industrial Prototyping?
- Industrial prototyping is used extensively for automotive components as they become stronger, more lightweight and longer-lasting.
- Industrial prototyping is a key component of the continued development of electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as traditional combustion-powered vehicles.
- Industrial prototyping is critical to the development of self-driving vehicles, including sensors, robotics and other newly developed components.
- As larger and faster airplanes with greater range continue to be developed, industrial prototyping spearheads the designs that fuel these breakthroughs.
- The rise of privately funded space travel means that fast and easily accessible industrial prototyping is key — a perfect application of 3D printing.
- Industrial prototyping allows for fast, cost-effective testing and iteration of complex, high-precision components.
- The range of material formulations offered by rapid prototyping means that special, medical-grade materials can be easily replicated.
- Advances in mobile devices and components are made possible through extensive testing and innovation via industrial prototyping.
- Home electronics continue to become more powerful and less expensive as lighter, thinner, stronger components are developed with industrial prototyping.
- Electronic components across every industry are fine-tuned and tested with industrial prototyping.
Why Is Industrial Prototyping Important?
As an industrial design company with deep knowledge of product development, we often advise our customers that during their development process, neither the design stage nor the production stage should be able to make or break the product’s success.
In other words, the customer shouldn’t be concerned about coming up with the perfect design off the bat. An initial concept is all that’s needed — rarely will a first-pass design or concept be so strong that it exactly matches the design and manufacturing parameters of the finished product. Conversely, the manufacturing step of the process shouldn’t be where imperfections, flaws or other negative factors are discovered. Those types of problems — which can be devastating to a product and a business — are easily avoidable.
The RevPart Difference
The importance of industrial prototyping — and the ease and speed with which it can be executed — cannot be overstated. In addition to specializing in 3D printing, RevPart offers prototypes created through processes including CNC machining and injection molding. Our services cover prototyping processes, short- and long-run tooling creation, design assistance, production facilitation and more. If you have a design or concept that you’re ready to take the next step with, contact RevPart today.