Learn About Design: Prototyping and 3D Printing Options

Learn About Design: Prototyping and 3D Printing Options

3D printing is a manufacturing process that allows for the construction of a three dimensional solid object from a digital file. A 3D printer works by laying out successive layers of material, one on top of the other, until the entire form is constructed. 3D printing can be a great and economical resource for creating a physical prototype of your concept.

There are a variety of 3D printer and software options on the market today and a wide array of materials can be 3D printed, from ABS plastic to rubber, precious metals, or even chocolate! Not all 3D printers use the same technology. Here at Enhance, our 3D printer uses the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) method. In order to get a part 3d printed, you will need to have a virtual design of the object you intend to create. This CAD (Computer Aided Design) file is sliced into hundreds of horizontal layers and uploaded to the 3D printer which will read and process each slice. Once your CAD file is uploaded to the printer, ABS plastic is unwound from a coiled spool of material and then melted and dispensed through an extrusion nozzle. Each layer of plastic hardens immediately, once it is extruded from the nozzle. The printer continues to blend each layer on top of the last, resulting in one three dimensional object!

3d print

An example of some prototypes made with our 3-D Printer.

3D printing has many advantages. It allows for levels of complexity that often could not be produced through traditional manufacturing processes. 3D printing does not require any additional tooling, which is typically the most cost, time and labor intensive stages of product development. 3D printing can bring a host of benefits that traditional methods of prototyping simply cannot.

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Enhance Product Development is a professional design firm that specializes in launching new products for inventors, entrepreneurs and start ups.  For product development inquiries please contact Enhance Product Development at https://enhancepd.com/contact/ or call us at 877-993-6426.

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