30 Aug How much does it cost to rapid prototype?
Rapid prototyping gives many industrial designers an edge above competitors that forego the process and end up spending additional funds on repairing product defects that could have been picked up during rapid prototyping.
This already shows how rapid prototyping could shave down costs as gross errors are avoided during production, as well as ensure that a product design aligns with client expectations and that it will be taken to market in its finished form, fully equipped to deliver on the goals that it was created for to solve certain client pain points.
In today’s blog, we will take a look at the costs of rapid prototyping and what determines the pricing for this part of the design process.
First up, let’s review why rapid prototyping is such a necessary step in the industrial design process.
A piece of the industrial design puzzle that makes everything fit in
Although rapid prototyping might seem like it is just adding another layer to the design process, there is so much more to it. When industrial designers complete a rapid prototyping process, they can review their designs, present them to clients as physical proof of what will be in store for a specific product and catch any improvement needed or elements that need to be corrected before a product is designed to be ready for production.
Should the rapid prototyping process not be included, a big piece of the puzzle will be missing – and costs that could have been saved by rapid prototyping will heap up and hamper the whole flow of production for both an industrial design team and those who will be handling the full-on production process. Not to even mention the client, who might not have been prepared for unforeseen, additional costing and might wonder if they should pull the plug altogether on a project.
From this, it is already clear that there is no way of going around the rapid prototyping process to cut corners on time – however, what then are the costs then of this process?
What determines the cost of rapid prototyping?
One of the most apparent factors that impact the costs of rapid prototyping is the materials that an industrial design team will be using. This, together with the volume of materials and number of prototypes required will form part of the costing of the rapid prototyping process.
Another consideration for rapid prototyping costs is how malleable the planned materials for the prototype will be and how easy it will be to adapt and use these materials according to the proposed timeline of a rapid prototyping activity.
The reason why this flexibility could impact the costing of rapid prototyping is that for teams that bill per hour, every extra hour means additional costs that need to be accounted for. When rapid prototyping enters the equation, additional hours – and costs – can be slimmed down as far as possible.
Finally, manufacturing and testing times during rapid prototyping that are accounted for in budgets will add to the final quote of product development. This includes any surface treatments, polishes or gloss applications.
What it costs to do rapid prototyping
Now, for every rapid prototyping process, the goalposts are different as industrial designers might not necessarily use the same materials or processes to get the prototype done.
Different processes, such as CNC machining, 3D printing and rapid injection, to name a few, are some methods that can be used, and each come with their own cost structure. For instance, 3D printing could be a more cost-effective way to produce a prototype than CNC milling – however, your industrial design team would best advise on which process would work the best for what you are trying to achieve.
The reality is, there is no fixed costing if you consider all the above factors that will impact the production of the rapid prototyping process. For clients, the best way to ensure that there are no hidden surprises when it comes to the costs or rapid prototyping, is to discuss with their industrial designer team what will be required to create a prototype, and how this can be done in a cost-efficient yet detailed way that will ensure the best project outcome.
Don’t be afraid to discuss any cost parameters with your industrial design team, as these skilled teams can provide solutions to ensure that you get options to work with if your budget is tight and doesn’t allow much room for error or multiple designs.
Dedicated to exceptional results for designs
At Moss&Schmidt, we are dedicated to providing a rapid prototyping experience that is swift, thorough and cost-effective for our clients, using only the latest technology to provide a modern solution for each product. We know how important it is to get it right the first time when it comes to design, and that when tweaks are needed, to act accordingly. That is our guarantee – always.
So, if you are a client looking for exceptional product design, know that rapid prototyping will help you to eliminate redundant features in a design and will save on costs as you will likely not need multiple prototypes to ultimately sign off on a product.
If you are a potential client and you are ready to experience an exceptional journey for your next project with amazing results, contact us today. We would love to hear from you and to provide the personal touch that we have become known and respected for as one of Melbourne’s leading industrial design teams!