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What Are the Main Applications of Rapid Prototyping Technology in New Product Development?

What Are the Main Applications of Rapid Prototyping Technology in New Product Development?

1. Visualization of Conceptual Model

In the design stage of new product development, although drawing and computer simulation can be used, it can not show the prototype, and it is often difficult to make a correct and rapid evaluation. Designers can achieve the purpose of inspection by making prototype models. The traditional method of model making is mainly handmade. The manufacturing process is complex. The handmade prototype model not only has a long construction period, but also can hardly reach the exact size required by the appearance and structure design. Therefore, the function of checking the appearance and the rationality of the human-machine design is greatly discounted. Compared with the traditional manual model, the high-precision and high-quality prototype manufactured by rapid prototyping equipment can more intuitively reflect the designer's creativity in the form of physical objects, which facilitates the appearance modeling of products and the evaluation of human-machine characteristics. At present, all the parts processed by rapid prototyping are single color, and the color is mainly determined by the material. In order to evaluate the color appearance of the products, it is sometimes necessary to paint by hand. With the development of color prototyping technology, this problem can be solved. Man-machine evaluation mainly includes the dimension of the part and the pleasant operation. Rapid prototyping can satisfy this requirement very well.

  1. Design Evaluation

    The prototype manufactured by rapid prototyping is as assembleable as the actual product, so it can directly reflect whether the structure design is reasonable or not, and the degree of difficulty in installation, so that the structural engineer can find and solve problems as early as possible. Because the cost of die manufacturing is generally high, the larger die is often worth hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. If the structure is unreasonable or other problems are found after the die is opened, the loss can be imagined. The prototype manufacturing with rapid prototyping technology can solve the problem before the die is developed, which greatly improves the efficiency of product development.

    3. Combining with Reverse Engineering

    Reverse Engineering (RE) is also known as reverse engineering. It uses certain measuring means to measure the object or model, and then reconstructs the CAD digital model of the object through three-dimensional geometric modeling method according to the measured data, so as to realize the product design and manufacturing process. For most products, their three-dimensional models can be designed on general three-dimensional CAD software. However, considering some factors, such as function, process and appearance, the shape of some parts is very complex. It is difficult to design their entity models in CAD software. In this case, three-dimensional entity models can be obtained by measuring and processing the models. As an important means of developing new products and digesting and absorbing advanced technology, reverse engineering and rapid prototyping technology can meet the requirements of digesting foreign technological achievements. For the existing entity model, we can obtain the three-dimensional entity of the model through reverse engineering. After processing the three-dimensional model, we can use rapid prototyping technology to realize the rapid replication of the product, shorten the product development cycle and greatly improve the product development efficiency.

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