Functional Prototyping

3D printed functional prototype
Cost of 3D printed parts
$50-200
Cost of machined parts
$1000-3000
Approximate savings
94%
Time for 3D printed part
1–3 days
Time for machined part
10–20 days
Approximate savings
87%

The Challenge

Functional prototypes are absolutely critical to the R&D process, but due to their low volume are often incredibly expensive to manufacture.

The Solution

Continuous fiber-reinforced 3D printed parts are strong and stiff enough to work in application for prototyping purposes.

The Impact

Printing functional prototypes allows you to test the function of a design without going through the painful process of fabricating it.

3D Printing Functional Prototypes

For a prototype to be as useful as it can be, it doesn’t just need look the part—it needs to function as an end-use part would. Cosmetic prototypes, while useful for verifying fit and look, lack the strength to properly evaluate functionality of a design in application. Functional prototypes need to withstand the same rigors that the final part would, including loading and exposure to chemicals. Machining low volume prototypes out of materials that are both strong and chemically resistant takes time and money, stretching development cycles and unnecessarily straining R&D budgets.

Utilizing a 3D printer gives the you the ability to quickly iterate, print, test, and modify within a matter of days — replacing a process that typically requires weeks to months for every iteration. Functional prototypes come out of Markforged printers ready to work, and are strong and resistant to corrosive environments. Continuous fiber reinforcement gives these printed parts near aluminum strength—as a result, they can effectively mimic parts that will eventually be made out of both plastic and metal. Printing prototypes keeps costs down and reduces design cycle time so much that you can iterate more while still taking your products to market faster.

Functional Prototyping Resources

Webinar
Video
Case Study
Case Study
End Effector Prototype
Watch now
Read now
Read now
Webinar
Video
Case Study
Case Study
Functional Prototypes
Watch now
Read now
Read now
Webinar
Video
Case Study
Case Study
Eiger Basics
Watch now
Read now
Read now