Prototype Advantages and Disadvantages

Rapid prototype is a process wherein a working model or prototype is developed for the purpose of testing the various product features like design, ideas, features, functionality, performance and output. This process of development of working model is quite quick. The user can give an early feedback regarding the prototype. Rapid prototyping is, generally, a significant and essential part of the system designing process and it is believed to decrease the project cost and risk.

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The Rapid prototype that is developed by the process of rapid prototyping is based on the performance of earlier designs. Hence, it is possible to correct the defects or problems in the design by taking corrective measures. The product can be produced if the prototype meets the requirements of all designing objectives after sufficient refinement. There are many advantages of rapid prototyping.

ADVANTAGES:

  • Rapid Prototyping can provide with concept proof that would be required for attracting funds.

  • The Prototype gives the user a fair idea about the final look of the product.

  • Rapid prototyping can enhance the early visibility.

  • It is easier to find the design flaws in the early developmental stages.

  • Active participation among the users and producer is encouraged by rapid prototyping.

  • As the development costs are reduced, Rapid prototyping proves to be cost effective.

  • The user can get a higher output.

  • The deficiencies in the earlier prototypes can be detected and rectified in time.

  • The speed of system development is increased. It is possible to get immediate feedback from the user.

  • There is better communication between the user and designer as the requirements and expectations are expressed in the beginning itself.

  • High quality product is easily delivered by way of Rapid prototyping.

  • Rapid prototyping enables development time and costs.

  • There are many innovative ways in which Rapid prototyping can be used.

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Some people are of the opinion that rapid prototyping is not effective because, in actual, it fails in replication of the real product or system.

  • It could so happen that some important developmental steps could be omitted to get a quick and cheap working model. This can be one of the greatest disadvantages of rapid prototyping.

  • Another disadvantage of rapid prototyping is one in which many problems are overlooked resulting in endless rectifications and revisions.

  • One more disadvantage of rapid prototyping is that it may not be suitable for large sized applications.

  • The user may have very high expectations about the prototype’s performance and the designer is unable to deliver these.

  • The system could be left unfinished due to various reasons or the system may be implemented before it is completely ready.

  • The producer may produce an inadequate system that is unable to meet the overall demands of the organization.

  • Too much involvement of the user might hamper the optimization of the program.

  • The producer may be too attached to the program of rapid prototyping, thus it may lead to legal involvement.

  • The cost reduction benefit of rapid prototyping also seems to be debatable, as sufficient details regarding the calculation basis and assumptions are not substantial.

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Rapid Prototyping Technologies And It’s Applications

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The technology used in rapid prototyping printers for producing 3D models is computer assisted design (CAD) software such as Pro-e, Auto CAD, Solid-works, and etc,  which directs hardware to precise specifications to produce three dimensional models. The efficiency of rapid prototyping to produce models for various companies and allow design changes to be made quickly and easily has found this technology an excellent solution for fulfilling their rapid prototyping needs. As the implications for rapid prototyping printers continue to develop the applications for the manufacturing of products is expanding. If a product is desired by the business they can simply purchase a CAD file upload it and use rapid prototyping printers to reproduce it. With fabrication materials for use in rapid prototyping printers continuing to advance the use of metals, plastics and polymers contributes to the wide application of rapid prototyping printers.

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Convenience of Using Rapid Prototyping Printers

Rapid prototyping printers not only make product availability more convenient for companies but for consumers also. The technology once used only by manufacturers is now available for consumer use in their business or at home. Rapid prototyping printers provide an enhanced ability for the production of models and products. If a new brush or comb is desired, rapid prototyping printers can produce one very conveniently. Rapid prototyping printers can be used for a variety of products constructed of numerous kinds of materials. The technology used in rapid prototyping printers is computer assisted design software utilized to build a 3 dimensional model. The model is produced layer by layer until an exact reproduction is produced according to the specifications dictated by the program.

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If a small business needs a product or model produced there is no need to maintain workshops with specialized tools or expensive skilled craftspeople as with traditional modeling. Rapid prototyping printers can provide the technology necessary to produce 3D models more conveniently and in shorter periods of time and for less money. In today’s business environment in order for a small business to grow the capability to produce products in a cost efficient manner is crucial for success. Rapid prototyping printers provide the technology for small businesses that are seeking more convenient and cost effective manufacturing options.

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Growing Applications for Rapid Prototyping Printers

The computer assisted design applications of rapid prototyping printers are numerous compared to traditional prototyping methods. Traditional methods required the use of large, bulky and sophisticated equipment which also required a major investment for businesses to own. Rapid prototyping printers however are reasonably sized, compact and much less expensive. The set up time and simple operation has made rapid prototyping printers popular for creating models, machine parts and toys.

 

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The almost unlimited flexibility and potential applications of rapid prototyping printers to create replicas is a distinct applications advantage of this technology over traditional methods. If a CAD program can be created and suitable materials developed the application of rapid prototyping printers is immense.

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Also, unlike some prototyping techniques the rapid prototyping printers produces no toxic chemicals from nor uses any toxic substances during the production process. Due to their safe operation the potential locations for where rapid prototyping printers can be set up and operated increases their application potential. Additional advantages gained from the application of rapid prototyping printers is that post production work is minimized, only the removal of excess materials produced during the production process is necessary. The applications of rapid prototyping printers are many including reduced costs, efficiency and safety. As new innovations for rapid prototyping printers are developed so will additional applications and markets open up as well.

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