30 May How rapid prototyping works in various applications
There is no denying how important rapid prototyping is to industrial designers. Not only is it a concrete way to present physical concepts to stakeholders, clients or investors, but it also enables industrial designers to help clients to understand how products will work and eases the process of signing off designs and giving the green light for further development.
Rapid prototyping speeds up the approval cycle, and depending on materials used, it can be very affordable and easy to include as part of an industrial designer’s scope of work. It also helps industrial designers to streamline designs and ensure that designs are workable and that they will be ready for market upon completion.
In today’s blog, we will take a look at how rapid prototyping is used in various applications, and how it benefits each of these categories. Have a look below at key focus areas where rapid prototyping, driven by industrial designers, is making a difference in creating concepts for new products.
Rapid prototyping and manufacturing
Rapid prototyping is a perfect process to create an almost exact model of a product, give or take a tweak. This enables all parties involved to carefully consider each aspect of a product before entering full-on production.
This value-add is especially evident when rapid prototyping allows the opportunity for clients to sign off a prototype and design teams can complete the design phases. Manufacturing lead times are, therefore, reduced, which leads to a significant cost saving for all teams involved.
Rapid prototyping and rapid fielding
Rapid prototyping and rapid fielding go hand in hand when it comes to improving development time and fast-tracking schedules. During these phases, industrial design teams make use of the latest technologies and tools.
The combination of rapid prototyping and rapid fielding is often part of defense product design and the development process thereof – ensuring excellence in design, driven by industrial design expertise and a streamlined approach to product design. Rapid prototyping and rapid fielding in especially the field of defense products are needed to evaluate the performance of prototypes and ensure outcomes of the highest possible standards.
Rapid prototyping and engineering
When it comes to engineering product design, rapid prototyping plays a key part in delivering preliminary prototypes to evaluate these designs, while also determining whether the technologies used will enable a product that is viable and that will be feasible in real-life scenarios.
Especially in engineering design, rapid prototyping can be implemented in various stages of product development, and both low-fidelity and high-fidelity prototyping can be used. Low-fidelity is simple and broader, while high-fidelity is closer to the envisioned end product.
Rapid prototyping and reverse engineering
Reverse engineering is another engineering field where rapid prototyping can play an important part in product design. Reverse engineering involves the process of taking apart and examining and scrutinizing in careful detail how a product or device operates, with the goal of emulating a similar design.
How rapid prototyping links to reverse engineering, is that it will easy for industrial design teams to design prototypes swiftly in 3D computer-aided design (CAD) or digital form.
A key consideration for reverse engineering, however, is to bear in mind intellectual property laws and patents, and that designers should never cross the line of infringing on already established patents and intellectual property.
Rapid prototyping and instructional design
Instructional design – also called eLearning – is a field that has been growing in popularity for several years, and due to increased competition, excellence needs to be achieved in all products to ensure continued support from clients and students.
Rapid prototyping can assist instructional designers in creating previews of courses that will determine if certain modules will achieve the goals they are created for. This flexibility will fast-track the development of courses as prototypes can be created quickly and client expectations will be easily determined early on in a project.
By using rapid prototyping as part of instructional design, aspects such as the tone and design of a course, as well as areas that might be too content-heavy, can be carefully analysed to determine where improvements can be made and how a course can be made slicker and seamless.
The importance of rapid prototyping as a design tool
The beauty of rapid prototyping is that it is never a one size fits all approach. Based on a specific product or field of expertise, the rapid prototyping process can be shaped to fit a unique case, every time. It is also a process that will allow different clients in different situations to better understand projected outcomes and make more informed decisions based on the prototypes created.
Furthermore, rapid prototyping allows for different materials, different goals and different solutions to take shape, ultimately paving the way to achieve success, thanks to prototypes that provide the previews needed for product design.
So, whether a process dictates reviewing a product design and how it can be improved, whether an online course could be more refined and made more elegant, or whether a defense product’s design needs to be re-looked for certain parameters, rapid prototyping is the piece of the puzzle that ensures design success. And it should always be front and center in every design scenario.
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!