May 28, 2021

The Benefits Of Rapid Prototyping (& Rapid Tooling Methods)

In This Episode...

Renaud Anjoran, Sofeast's CEO, joins Adrian from the team to talk about rapid prototyping and rapid tooling methods to make prototypes a lot faster than production tooling, with a focus on electromechanical products and plastic injection molding.

You'll get answers to the following questions: What are rapid prototyping and rapid tooling? What do we discover from different rounds of prototyping? What are the features of hard tooling? What are the pros and cons of the different technologies used for rapid prototyping? And much more...

Ultimately, you'll see why rushing into production without utilizing prototypes to test and validate your product design is a big risk.


Show Notes

00:00 - Introducing the episode

01:01 - What is rapid prototyping?

04:37 - Why to perform rounds of prototyping to get to a minimum viable prototype

06:33 - The difference between additive and subtractive manufacturing for prototypes 

08:55 - Rapid prototyping rounds and PP samples and making the distinction between rapid prototyping and rapid tooling 

Read our Guide To Rapid Tooling Prototyping for more details and a handy table that compares the different methods.

13:30 - Discussing hard tooling and its pros & cons 

18:32 - The benefits of doing iterations of prototypes during pre-production - based on this blog post: Prototesting: Reap All the Value of Proof of Concept Prototypes

21:57 - The pros & cons of the different technologies for typically making plastic parts -  Renaud talks through the different technologies that may be used for rapid prototyping:

  • 3D printing
  • CNC machining
  • Die casting
  • Silicone tooling
  • Soft tooling
  • Altering standard parts: An example here is the original Tesla Roadster which used a lot of standard parts from a Lotus.

37:57 - Renaud's key points to take away if you're an importer who is looking into doing rapid prototyping  - here are the takeaways that will be helpful:

  • Look at similar products and avoid reinventing the wheel by creating something similar but with added features
  • Keep the product as simple as possible for a V1.0 in order to get to market as quickly and cheaply as possible
  • Work with an industrial designer who has good communication and understands your vision (Andy Bartlett is a great example and we spoke with him about tooling for plastic injection molding on the podcast already).
  • Be aware of keeping control over your IP and designs when approaching manufacturers. Vet the suppliers first, get them to sign an NNN agreement and product development contract before you get them to start developing the product
  • Take your time in the product development stage to play with the design, refine it, speak to users, research alternatives and ways to simplify it

41:24 - Wrapping up


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