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From concept to creation : Learn how to rapid prototyping with 3D printing in our step-by-step guide

What is Rapid Prototyping in 3D Printing?


Rapid prototyping in 3D printing swiftly creates physical models from 3D CAD data. Using advanced technologies like FDM, SLA, SLS, SLM and MJF to ensures precise and efficient prototyping, seamlessly translating digital designs into tangible prototypes with remarkable efficiency.

Why Opt to 3D Printing for Rapid Prototyping?

3D printing excels over traditional methods in several ways:

  1. Speed: 3D printing enables rapid production of prototypes, significantly shortening the time from design to physical model.

     

  2. Cost-Effectiveness: Particularly beneficial for small production runs or one-off prototypes, 3D printing often proves more cost-effective than traditional manufacturing methods that may involve expensive molds or tooling.

     

  3. Design Flexibility: 3D printing allows for easy customization and personalization of prototypes, accommodating unique requirements seamlessly.

     

  4. Material Variety: With a wide range of materials available, including plastics, metals, ceramics, and composites, 3D printing offers diverse options tailored to different properties and applications.

     

These advantages make 3D printing a compelling choice for rapid prototyping needs, offering enhanced efficiency, affordability, and design flexibility.

 

What are the steps in the rapid prototyping process??

  • Digital Design and CAD Modeling
  • Preparing the 3D Printer
  • Printing the Prototype
  • Post-Processing and Finishing
  • Testing and Evaluation
  • Refinement and Optimization

STEP 1 # Digital Design and CAD Modeling

Every 3D-printed object starts with CAD software, where detailed 3D models are crafted. The design is refined and iterated upon based on requirements and feedback, ensuring the model meets specifications and is ready for printing.

STEP 2 # Preparing the 3D Printer

Choose the right 3D printing technology and material to suit your needs, such as robust FDM for durable parts or versatile SLA for models requiring fine detail and aesthetics.

STEP 3 # Printing the Prototype

The CAD model undergoes processing through slicing software to convert it into a format interpretable by the printer. With user-friendly interfaces, importing and slicing the model becomes straightforward. You can easily adjust print settings such as layer height and infill density to meet specific requirements, and observe the 3D printer transforming the concept into a physical prototype.

STEP 4 # Post-Processing and Finishing

After printing, the next step involves finishing touches. This includes removing supports, smoothing rough edges, and refining details, all of which are crucial to ensuring the prototype aligns with the intended vision.

STEP 5 # Testing and Evaluation

Prototypes undergo thorough testing to assess functionality and collect feedback for enhancements.

STEP 6 # Refinement and Optimization

Incorporate feedback to refine and optimize your design through iterative adjustments and reprinting until you achieve perfection.

 

Connect with Projet:

If you’ve had a positive experience with Projet that you’d like to share, please reach out to us at [email protected]. We eagerly anticipate hearing from you.

For additional information, visit our website for comprehensive details about our services and contact information. Our friendly team is ready to assist you at any time.

Rubber-Like Resin

Rubber-like resin has a low tensile modulus and high elongation at break, making it well-suited for objects that will be bent or compressed.

Suitable for: SLA

Application

  • Prototype
  • End-User part

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: YES
  • Automotive: YES
  • Industrial Machinery: YES
  • Consumer Electronics: YES
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: YES
  • Education Community: YES

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): –
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 7.9
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): –
  • Elongation(%): 255.1
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): –
  • Hardness Shore D: 60-75

ABS-Like Resin

ABS-like resin excels in high precision, providing a smooth surface quality with exquisite detail features. Known for its superior forming dimensional stability, this resin is ideal for the assembly and testing of various engineering models. Achieving a perfect balance between tensile strength and hardness, it prevents brittleness with its high elongation at break, ensuring resistance to breaking.

Suitable for: SLA

Application

  • Prototype
  • End-User part

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: YES
  • Automotive: YES
  • Industrial Machinery: YES
  • Consumer Electronics: YES
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: YES
  • Education Community: YES

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): 1.05-1.13
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 42-62
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): 60-80
  • Elongation(%): 11-21
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): –
  • Hardness Shore D: 75-80

Nylon-Like Resin

Nylon-like resin is a high-strength material known for its excellent durability and long-term stability. It also boasts exceptional toughness and impact resistance.

Suitable for: SLA

Application

  • Prototype
  • End-User part

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: YES
  • Automotive: YES
  • Industrial Machinery: YES
  • Consumer Electronics: YES
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: YES
  • Education Community: YES

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): 1.05-1.15
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 68
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): 35
  • Elongation(%): 15
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): –
  • Hardness Shore D: 75

Hard-Tough Resin

This hard resin boasts higher toughness and impact resistance compared to standard ABS-like resin, making it exceptionally well-suited for mechanical prototypes.

Suitable for: SLA

Application

  • Prototype
  • End-User part

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: YES
  • Automotive: YES
  • Industrial Machinery: YES
  • Consumer Electronics: YES
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: YES
  • Education Community: YES

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): 1.08-1.12
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 30-60
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): 30-75
  • Elongation(%): 35-52
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): 60
  • Hardness Shore D: 75-81

High Temp. Resin

High Temp Resin is characterized by high hardness, strength, modulus, and precision. It exhibits resistance to prolonged heating at 120°C or boiling at 100°C, showcasing excellent mechanical properties, weather resistance, and temperature resistance.

Suitable for: SLA

Application

  • Prototype
  • End-User part

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: YES
  • Automotive: YES
  • Industrial Machinery: YES
  • Consumer Electronics: YES
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: YES
  • Education Community: NO

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): 1.09-1.10
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 70-85
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): 95-105
  • Elongation(%): 35-40
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): 100.5
  • Hardness Shore D: 82-84

General Resin

General resin, known for its high rigidity, proves to be a versatile material ideal for both functional testing and rapid prototype.

Suitable for: SLA

Application

  • Prototype

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: NO
  • Automotive: YES
  • Industrial Machinery: NO
  • Consumer Electronics: YES
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: NO
  • Education Community: YES

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): 1.08-1.13
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 46-67
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): 46-72
  • Elongation(%): 28-36
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): –
  • Hardness Shore D: 78-82

PEI (Polyetherimide)

PEI is a high-performance industrial-grade thermoplastic known for its strength, durability, and low flammability. This versatile material finds applications in various industries, including automotive, aerospace, medicine, and dentistry.

Suitable for: FDM

Application

  • Prototype
  • End-User part

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: YES
  • Automotive: YES
  • Industrial Machinery: YES
  • Consumer Electronics: NO
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: NO
  • Education Community: NO

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): 1.34
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 54
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): 2170
  • Elongation(%): 3
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): 158
  • Hardness Shore D: –

PEEK (Polyether ether ketone)

PEEK (polyetheretherketone) is a high-performance semi-crystalline industrial thermoplastic known for its exceptional resistance to harsh chemicals, minimal moisture absorption, excellent fire performance, superior mechanical strength over a wide temperature range, and reliable dimensional stability.

Suitable for: FDM

Application

  • Prototype
  • End-User part

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: YES
  • Automotive: YES
  • Industrial Machinery: YES
  • Consumer Electronics: YES
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: YES
  • Education Community: YES

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): 1.29
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 100
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): 4200
  • Elongation(%): 40
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): 140
  • Hardness Shore D: –

PET-CF (Carbon fiber reinforced polyethylene terephthalate)

PET-CF emerges as a superior choice over nylon for printing functional parts in high-humidity environments. Its high-temperature resistance and minimal warping make it ideal for crafting mechanical assembly parts, including automotive accessories and fixtures. In comparison to PETG-CF, PET-CF contains a higher concentration of carbon fibre, resulting in significantly greater strength and high temperature resistance.

Suitable for: FDM

Application

  • Prototype
  • End-User part

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: YES
  • Automotive: YES
  • Industrial Machinery: YES
  • Consumer Electronics: YES
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: YES
  • Education Community: YES

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): 1.29
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 131
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): 5320
  • Elongation(%): 1.2
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): 205
  • Hardness Shore D: –

PAHT-CF (High temperature polyamide carbon fiber reinforced)

A composite of PA and carbon fibre, merges the low water absorption advantage of PA with the high-performance attributes of carbon fibre. This combination yields excellent mechanical and thermal properties that remain robust even in wet conditions. PA+CF is prized for its outstanding chemical resistance, low moisture absorption, and versatile processing capabilities.

Suitable for: FDM

Application

  • Prototype
  • End-User part

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: YES
  • Automotive: YES
  • Industrial Machinery: YES
  • Consumer Electronics: YES
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: YES
  • Education Community: YES

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): 1.06
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 125
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): 4230
  • Elongation(%): 1.8
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): 194
  • Hardness Shore D: –

PLA-CF (Carbon fiber reinforced polylactic acid)

Carbon fibber reinforced PLA, stands out for its remarkable increase in stiffness and strength. This cutting-edge bio-polymer, when combined with recycled carbon fibber reinforcement, results in a higher mechanical properties

Suitable for: FDM

Application

  • Prototype
  • End-User part

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: YES
  • Automotive: YES
  • Industrial Machinery: YES
  • Consumer Electronics: YES
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: YES
  • Education Community: YES

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): 1.22
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 89
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): 3950
  • Elongation(%): 3.2
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): 55
  • Hardness Shore D: –

ESD-safe (Electrostatic discharge)

It exhibits excellent antistatic performance, making it particularly suitable for fields that require ESD protection.

Suitable for: FDM

Application

  • Prototype
  • End-User part

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: YES
  • Automotive: YES
  • Industrial Machinery: YES
  • Consumer Electronics: YES
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: YES
  • Education Community: YES

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): 1.08-1.11
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 35-37
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): 1300-1500
  • Elongation(%): 5-7
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): 98
  • Surface Resistance: 107 and 109 ohms Ω

UL 94-V0

It possesses higher mechanical properties and is halogen-free, environmentally friendly, and flame retardant, achieving a UL94V-0 level flame retardancy. This makes the product more fireproof and safer.

Suitable for: FDM

Application

  • Prototype
  • End-User part

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: YES
  • Automotive: YES
  • Industrial Machinery: YES
  • Consumer Electronics: YES
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: NO
  • Education Community: YES

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): 1.05
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 45
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): 2400
  • Elongation(%): 30
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): 85
  • Hardness Shore D: –

ASA (Acrylonitrile styrene acrylate)

ASA shares excellent mechanical properties with ABS but offers additional benefits. It is more resistant to ultraviolet rays and harsh weather conditions, making it particularly suitable for outdoor use. ASA boasts strong toughness, rigidity, and high impact resistance.

Suitable for: FDM

Application

  • Prototype
  • End-User part

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: NO
  • Automotive: YES
  • Industrial Machinery: YES
  • Consumer Electronics: YES
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: NO
  • Education Community: YES

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): 1
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 50
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): 4300
  • Elongation(%): 30
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): 88
  • Hardness Shore D: –

PC (Polycarbonates)

PC is a high-performance material known for its toughness, heat resistance, dimensional stability, and high optical clarity. It exhibits excellent mechanical properties, high toughness, and impact resistance, making it stable and durable. Additionally, PC offers impressive temperature resistance, with a heat distortion temperature up to 80 ℃.

Suitable for: FDM

Application

  • Prototype
  • End-User part

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: YES
  • Automotive: YES
  • Industrial Machinery: YES
  • Consumer Electronics: YES
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: YES
  • Education Community: YES

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): 1.21
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 54
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): 1073
  • Elongation(%): 150
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): 80
  • Hardness Shore D: –

Nylon / PA (Polyamide)

Nylon is a versatile material known for its good flexibility, wear resistance, and high strength-to-weight ratio. PA12, in particular, exhibits high toughness and impact resistance.

Suitable for: FDM

Application

  • Prototype
  • End-User part

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: YES
  • Automotive: YES
  • Industrial Machinery: YES
  • Consumer Electronics: YES
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: YES
  • Education Community: YES

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): 1.21
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 50
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): 659
  • Elongation(%): 165
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): 100
  • Hardness Shore D: –

TPU (Thermoplastic polyurethane)

TPU material is renowned for its excellent flexibility, high elasticity, tear resistance, wear resistance, cut resistance, sturdiness, and durability.

Suitable for: FDM

Application

  • Prototype
  • End-User part

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: YES
  • Automotive: NO
  • Industrial Machinery: YES
  • Consumer Electronics: YES
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: NO
  • Education Community: YES

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): 1.21
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 35
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): –
  • Elongation(%): ≥800
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): –
  • Hardness Shore D: 95A

PETG (Polyethylene terephthalate glycol)

PETG is a robust material known for its odor neutrality and ease of printing. These characteristics, combined with high impact strength, flexibility, low shrinkage, water resistance, chemical resistance, and high toughness, make PETG an excellent choice for a variety of applications.

Suitable for: FDM

Application

  • Prototype
  • End-User part

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: NO
  • Automotive: YES
  • Industrial Machinery: YES
  • Consumer Electronics: YES
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: YES
  • Education Community: YES

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): 1.27
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 52
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): 1073
  • Elongation(%): 83
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): 64
  • Hardness Shore D: –

ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)

ABS is a lightweight material known for its high impact resistance. These characteristics, coupled with a high heat deflection temperature, render ABS suitable for a wide range of applications and environments.

Suitable for: FDM

Application

  • Prototype
  • End-User part

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: YES
  • Automotive: YES
  • Industrial Machinery: YES
  • Consumer Electronics: YES
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: NO
  • Education Community: YES

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): 1.06
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 40
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): 1203
  • Elongation(%): 30
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): 73
  • Hardness Shore D: –

PLA (Polylactic acid)

PLA is an environmentally friendly biopolymer-based material that is both stiff and easy to print. It is available in a wide variety of colours.

Suitable for: FDM

Application

  • Prototype

Application Fields

  • Aerospace: NO
  • Automotive: YES
  • Industrial Machinery: NO
  • Consumer Electronics: YES
  • Automation: YES
  • Medical: NO
  • Education Community: YES

Material Property

  • Density(g/cm3): 1.23
  • Tensile Strength(MPa): 60
  • Flex Modulus(MPa): 1973
  • Elongation(%): 20
  • Heat Distortion Temp(°C): 53
  • Hardness Shore D: –