For brands looking for reliable rapid prototyping services, Fathom offers a wide range of additive manufacturing rapid prototyping technologies that can help your team create a prototype as soon as possible. There are many different ways you can create a prototype, but it is up to the designer and engineer to select which process best suits the design. Thanks to advancements in 3D printing processes, rapid prototypes can be produced quickly and within a specific budget. Fathom offers high quality plastic and metal for your rapid protype as well as expedited services to help you get your prototype even faster.
Rapid prototyping is the quick production of a part or model based on a 3D CAD design. The rapid prototype is typically made using an additive manufacturing or 3D printing technology. In the past, rapid prototyping was achieved using the same or similar process as the final product, which led to costly tooling and setup. Thanks to developments in additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping can be cost-effective and quick.
There are many benefits to rapid prototyping. These include:
Rapid prototyping can be applied across multiple industries using various technologies and materials, including:
These are just a few of the possibilities with rapid prototyping, there are many more opportunities that may be unique to your specific project.
To begin the rapid prototyping process, a design is first created using a computer aided design (CAD) software or a scan of a model is taken. The 3D printing machine uses the design as a blueprint, printing each layer of the product successively. Depending on the technology chosen, rapid prototypes can be produced within a matter of hours or days.
Additive manufacturing (AM) constructs 3D models by layering materials. The object is made by following specifications laid out by a CAD design or digital 3D model. AM may use a number of materials from polymers, metals, glass, ceramics, foams, gels and more. Applications of additive manufacturing include industrial tooling, customized products, production parts, a visualization tool in design and more.
The terms rapid prototyping and 3D printing are sometimes used interchangeably. 3D printing is a technology or process in which a physical part is made based on a 3D design or model. Rapid prototyping is the application of additive manufacturing technologies. In other words, you may select an additive manufacturing process, such as 3D printing, to create your rapid prototype.
Stereolithography was created back in 1987, which facilitated rapid prototyping. Stereolithography uses UV sensitive polymers and a laser to create a 3D part. Additional rapid prototyping processes were developed including selective laser sintering, fused deposition modeling and more. In 1992, Stratasys introduced a 3D prototyping system using fused deposition modeling. In 2000, German company Object introduced PolyJet, which is also used for rapid prototyping.
A: You may get an instant quote through the SmartQuote platform.
A: Parts made for rapid tooling are used in another manufacturing process as a tool, whereas, parts made for rapid prototyping are used in a similar fashion as the final product.
A: 3D printing, additive manufacturing, layered manufacturing, digital prototyping, desktop prototyping and desktop manufacturing.
A: There is no difference between the two. They are the same.
A: Originally used by stereolithography systems, STL stands for Standard Triangle Language. It is a file format commonly used by different additive manufacturing or 3D printing technologies. The STL file provides to a machine that includes the surface geometry. It is a triangular facet representation in which the surfaces of the part are modeled as triangles that share edges and vertices.
Get a 3D printing quote in as soon as one hour on any 3D project today.
At Fathom we offer a unique advantage of speed and agility-our experts help companies go from concept to prototype to manufacturing in ways not previously possible.
|SLS / / Two-day||SLA / / Next-day|
|FDM / / Next-day||DMLS / / Three-day|
|PolyJet / / Same-day||MJF / / Two-day|
30 Second Quotes
Prototype Tool / / As soon as 10 days
10K Parts / / 10 days
Production Tool / / As soon as 3 weeks
3 & 5 Axis Milling & Turning
(Plastics, Composites and Metals)
Tolerance Accuracy Range
from +/-0.001″ to 0.005″
Injection Molding Adjacent
without High Costs of Metal Tools
Most Commonly Used for High-Volume
Prototyping & Bridge to Production
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Fathom is driven by advanced technologies and methods that enhance and accelerate today’s product development and production processes.