22 Aug What are the best programming languages for rapid prototyping?
One of the key hallmarks of rapid prototyping is that this process is as efficient as it is fast. Industrial designers rely on this important process to ensure that any questions or concerns about a planned product can be addressed before a final design is approved and the product is headed to production to be made to be market-ready.
As part of the rapid prototyping process, industrial designers rely on certain software packages that use specific languages that are suited to create the best possible outcomes for the rapid prototyping process. In today’s blog, we will be taking a close look at these programming languages, and how they typically tie in with the creation of prototypes.
Let’s start with one of the most adaptable packages that align with software that non-designers might already be familiar with.
AutoCAD, which can be defined as computer-aided design (CAD) software, is a tool that industrial designers often use to create 2D and 3D drawings aimed at the rapid prototyping process. What makes this software such a valuable asset, is that industrial designers can draft and design 2D geometry as well as 3D models with solids, surfaces, and mesh objects. Several tool sets are available with this software, which means industrial designers can benefit from various approaches.
Over and above the rapid prototyping process, AutoCAD has also proven itself as a compatible tool that can be used on about any digital device. Its versatility makes it a powerful time-saving application that can improve workflows, which is a big bonus for clients looking for a swift rapid prototyping turnaround.
SolidWorks is another popular solid modelling computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) computer program. Created by Dassault Systèmes, this program runs mainly on Microsoft Windows.
What makes SolidWorks a standout choice for industrial designers, is that it offers functionality in both 2D and 3D space models. Added to this, it provides access to a library of materials, such as glass, brick, and wood. Custom materials can also be created if needed.
Another bonus of this computer program, is that it allows for virtual prototyping too, which is fantastic for improving the quality of a prototype before it is transferred to real life. For prototypes that are smaller, this application has incredible rendering capabilities.
CNC machining is a fast, effective way to create spot-on prototypes during the rapid prototyping process. Accurate and easy to modify, CNC machining can be used for various materials.
Typically, G Code is used during the CNC machining process. G-code can be described as a software programming language that controls a CNC machine. G Code programming allows for repeating actions open-endedly during a production sequence. It does remain flexible, though, and can be used to produce different parts of a prototype.
Another programming language used during the CNC machining process is M Code. M Code can control miscellaneous steps, such as spindle rotation starting and ending, and activating and switching off coolant.
The difference between G Code and M Code, is that M Code is often more specific to different machines and can be more flexible when it needs to be adjusted. However, both G Code and M Code are needed to ensure a CNC machine performs optimally.
Although industrial designers can program machines directly with G Code, there are computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programming tools that they can use to enhance the CNC machining process.
Mastercam is a good example of code-producing software. This package allows for creating the right code for a rapid prototyping project. This includes generating the right G Code and M Code programming that is needed for a specific project.
CATIA, which is the abbreviation for Computer Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application is another application designed by Dassault Systèmes. Using C++ programming language, which is a general-purpose, case-sensitive, free-form programming language, it has even more rendering functions than those offered by SolidWorks. CATIA is typically used in advanced engineering, such as areas involving aerospace, electrical parts, engine components, and power generator systems. It is typically used by more expert users, and has incredible functionality that will improve workflows and prototyping turnaround.
Thanks to its capabilities to combine computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing and computer-aided engineering providers with existing platforms, ANSYS is easy to adapt according to the technologies that industrial designers use. ANSYS is generally used for simulations to predict how a certain product will work, which means fewer prototypes will likely need to be produced for the rapid prototyping, which makes it cost-efficient.
The importance of using the best programming languages for rapid prototyping
High-end software and programming languages are key for the rapid prototyping process. This is why industrial designers are geared towards only using the best applications when it comes to creating prototypes – after all, this is key to the overall success of a planned product!
When the right languages and software are used, industrial designers can ensure that the lifecycle of the rapid prototyping process is managed more efficiently and have more favourable outcomes in the long run.
At Moss&Schmidt, we only use cutting-edge technology during our rapid prototyping processes. Our methods are geared towards best results, and we ensure that our rapid prototyping processes are accurate, efficient and conducted in a timely manner.
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!