3D print for prototyping featuring woman reviewing 3D printed part.

Why use 3D print for prototyping?

Prototyping is an essential step in the product development process. For close to three decades now, 3D print for prototyping has been widely used to create physical prototypes for visualization purposes, functional prototypes or testing.

Improve product development and time to market with 3D printed prototypes

3D print for prototyping has been used for the last 30 years, since it’s a fast and reliable way to produce multiple design iterations. This effectively minimizes risk and resources in the product development phase.

There is a broad range of different materials that allows product development teams to test the prototypes and their performance in real world conditions when exposed to chemicals, weather or mechanical loads. There are also a a growing number of materials that mimic the end product. For instance, rubber-like materials or wood-filled composites.

Functional prototyping with 3D printing makes it easy for product development to create multiple iterations before proceeding into production tooling. This allows companies to shorten their lead times and avoid costly mistakes, when introducing new products to the market.

3D print for prototyping is changing the way we design and manufacture

A lot of the designs we take for granted today are a result of restrictions in production. 3D printing provides new possibilities to create optimized products with new functions, lightweight designs, since design complexity is not a challenge within 3D printing.

Companies leverage 3D printing in order to speed up labour-intensive product development, save costs in tooling as well as allowing spare parts to be created on demand. The technology is also used for low-volume production of optimized end-use parts with superior performance.

But, every new product starts with a good idea. And in this, 3D printing has proven itself invaluable when you want to turn that idea into a physical shape.

Learn more about 3D printed applications here