October 17, 2016
Creating 3D-printed prototypes has become a standard design engineering process for good reason. Holding the physical representation of your digital design allows you to see things you may have missed on the screen, better understand how parts interact and more quickly test and iterate improved designs.
But the benefits of 3D-printed prototyping extend well beyond the engineering department. Colleagues in sales, marketing and management find prototypes to be indispensable as they present designs for approval from executives and to clients to make sales.
Realism is especially important in 3D-printed prototypes being presented to those who aren’t as intimately familiar with them as the design engineering team. Using multiple colors to make the prototype look like the final product and materials that represent the feel of the final product is so critical that many companies have become accustomed to hand painting parts and gluing different materials together to make a more realistic prototype.
Multi-color, multi-material 3D printers remove time-intensive finishing processes. Perhaps even more important: It gives design engineering teams the freedom to unleash their creativity and prototype more design variations in less time.