Add inserts during printing
It is now possible to incorporate non-printed elements such as fasteners, electronics, switches, sensors, or even metal sub-structures into a printed part. This means that hardware can be inserted mid-print, allowing it to become completely encompassed by the 3D print process. The ability to add inserts is a key advantage of the FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) type of 3D printing and can result in fully functional prototypes.
Create unique zones with core modeling
Core modeling is the process of creating multiple zones or cores within a 3D printed object. Inside each core, engineers can specify different print process settings, such as an infill percentage or material type. This can be advantageous for those who need to create strength in a specific section of a model. By using core modeling, a dense infill can be applied to a single core as opposed to the entire part, but without sacrificing print time. The process can also be applied to the use of multiple materials within the same model, with each having their own specific print settings.
Utilize multiple material types
There is an abundance of material types that are available for 3D printers. The ability to utilize these multiple material types for 3D printing allows users to select the right materials for their project. Often this involves using multiple materials in the same print. By applying the core modeling process, multiple materials can then be incorporated into the same model.
Why Rapid Prototyping?
Rapid Prototyping is the process of manufacturing parts quickly from CAD models. It is an integral part of product development and product testing. Prototypes are required for validation, communication, fitment check, and final testing before launching and moving ahead for mass production. When utilized well, rapid prototyping with 3D printing increases the quality of your designs by enhancing communication between the various parties and reducing the risk of building something that no one wants. Rapid prototyping with 3D printing benefits customers with:
- decreased product development time from months to days
- ideas produced quickly and more frequently improved
- in-hand product vision
- final design before costly tooling
- functional samples in any size or number
In addition, engineers can choose from multiple options and levels of accuracy, depending on the stage of the process and the goal of the prototype. This is often referred to as fidelity, or how closely a prototype matches the final product or solution. For example, if a prototype is produced with a high level of visual fidelity from the beginning, users will tend to focus on visual rather than functional details, which could distract from the primary goals. In the video below, our 3DP representative and development engineer discuss the advantages of 3D printing for engineers in the field.