Rapid prototyping is a computerized program that can construct 3D models of work that has been derived from a CAD drawing. It is a quick and effective method of turning product designs into real and physical examples. This is done with the use of CAD and PDF formats as well as via integration and cross-functional teams. Stereo lithography was used to develop the rapid prototyping process after which it was introduced in 1987. It may also be referred to as solid freeform fabrication, additive fabrication, 3D printing and freeform fabrication. |
The manufacturing process that is used after the rapid prototyping process has the ability to produce the automatic construction of the physical models that are required. This is done with the use of 3D printers, sintering systems and stereo- lithography machines. A CAD design can be used very effectively to create the physical prototype. The machine reads all the data from the CAD drawing that has been provided by the designer. The machine then lays a mix of powdered and liquid printing material in layers. The materials that are used in this process are generally plastics, wood-like paper, ceramics or metals like titanium and steel.
In the process of rapid prototyping, every successive layer matches the virtual cross-section that has been derived from the CAD model. It is these cross-sections that gradually help in building the final model. Finally, all the cross-sections are either fused or glued together with the help of a laser. This is what gives the model its final shape. Rapid prototyping is used by individuals and companies who need to create models of their products and professionals such as engineers make extensive use of it. It helps in reducing the design-cycle time. Multiple tests can be performed on any design at a surprisingly low cost.
This is because it is possible to complete each prototype within hours or days. On the other hand, it can take weeks to complete a prototype using manual methods. Once a product design has been created and built, the company will also have to get it patented. A patent is protection from duplication of the product. However, the patent process can be a very lengthy one. There is a lot of detailed paperwork that has to be accompanied by all the relevant drafts and a patent drawing of the product. This is where CAD and 3D modeling comes into the picture again.
A patent drawing is an inseparable part of a patent submission. These patent drawings are generally done by trained and experienced draftsmen. In some cases, a patent submitter may also handle the task. Each patent application may include more than one drawing. These are generally in black and white. In some case, if the U.S Patent and Trademark Office has approved it, color drawings may be submitted. These drawings are required to be submitted with any complex patent application. If a product design incorporates numerous ideas or many moving parts, a patent drawing is mandatory at the time of patent filing. The patent design helps evaluators gain clarity about the design idea.
Resource box: GloberDesign uses modern techniques such as rapid prototyping in the product design process. They can also help with any patent drawing that you might need while filing the patent.
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